“Birds of a feather flock together.” And so do rats, and I guess media people who have more or less the same anti-Duterte agenda.
The latter is an observation based on the fact that one of the founders of Rappler, the foreign-funded blogsite that is perceived by many to be biased against President Duterte, is also the Chief Strategy Officer of ABS-CBN, the Lopez-owned broadcasting company that the President himself has called out for it’s slanted reporting.
According to the Rappler’s website, Raymund Miranda was recruited by Maria Ressa (the owner of the Internet) to be part of Rappler’s founding Board of Directors because of his “marketing and sales expertise,” as well as his “management experience” that would help strengthen “the team’s global view.”
Miranda stayed with Rappler for about 11 months before moving to ABS-CBN where he is now both the Chief Risk Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of the network.
In a recent interview with his former company, Miranda talked about the President’s complaint against ABS-CBN. “Inquirer, mga bullshit kayo, pati ‘yang ABS-CBN, basura ‘yang inano ninyo. Dapat may magsabi sa inyo ngayon, mga putang-ina ninyo, sinobrahan ‘nyo ang kalokohan ninyo,” Duterte said during a speech in Malacañang.
Miranda denies that what the President is true, insisting that “from a news and current affairs perspective, we have, and always will be, striving to report in a fair and balanced manner,” he said.
While Miranda pointed to a “network Ombudsman,” which he describes as a “self-check mechanism” that allows the network to remain “fair and balanced” in its reporting. The fact remains that many Filipinos feel that like Rappler, ABS-CBN deliberately presents the news in a way that undermines the President. It could hardly be a coincidence that the way Rappler itself describes the coming together of its founding members – including Miranda – talks of DNA and shared visions, of common advocacies and having the same ideals. These are ties that bind far stronger, and remain more persistent than ordinary business relations.
It is the kind of shared values that can easily transcend professional separation, and could surface at any point and time. Such as, for example, with what is happening now between ABS-CBN and Rappler. The similarities of there reporting, as noted by viewers from the President down to the men and women on the street is uncanny.
This is not to say that there is collusion between Miranda and Ressa (who owns the Internet), or that there is a conspiracy on their part to bring down the government. But at the very least, people need to look more closely at the consistently similar coverage that Duterte gets from these two media companies. It may just be a case of coincidence gone wild, or something far serious that people who are up for a franchise renewal might want to correct at the soonest possible time. Just saying.