In yesterday’s tense situation in
On the positive side, thanks to the media coverage, it was easy to get information about what was happening, considering that there were media persons inside the
On the negative side, the media seems to think that they have a right to cover everything. This, unfortunately, included the positions of the Philippine National Police (PNP) SWAT team. If Trillanes and company had enough firepower (which, thankfully, they didn’t), it would have been child’s play for them to ambush the PNP and Army forces, as the positions of the assault team were shown all and sundry on the air. This morning, on “Umagang Kay Ganda”, the lame response of one of the hosts to that charge was that the positions of the Magdalo rebels inside the hotel were also broadcast. Of course, since there were more camera men outside the hotel, the positions of the assault team outside were a lot clearer than those of the rebels inside. And, besides, the host still hasn’t answered the question: why give away positions of legitimate police officers to persons who are clearly out to sow chaos?
What I didn’t like was that, after the standoff ended, a number of the media personnel inside the hotel were cuffed and brought to the Bicutan police station for processing. Obviously, that didn’t look good on camera, and the media fallout from that is bound to be nasty. On the other hand, ABS-CBN, which issued a condemnation of the apparent arrest, should be thankful it wasn’t charged with interfering with a legitimate police action for their exposure of the assault team’s positions.
Besides, it was explained that some of the Magdalo faction posed as media in order to infiltrate the Makati RTC and join up with Trillanes, so one can understand the police’s erring on the side of caution. Still, the images, which ABS-CBN so loudly plays up, bring back bad memories of times better forgotten, of martial law and suppression of freedom.
I’m sure that media coverage of this event will continue; barring any more disturbances, there doesn’t seem to be much else to cover. I hope, though, the media will cover the event with a little more responsibility than what they demonstrated yesterday.