Baseless low blow

March 29, 2019

THAT politics is a dirty game is a given—mud lies, and sometimes blood splattered all over.

But candidates can always choose to play it clean and fair.

Quite sadly and outrageously some politicians, their supporters, and friends in media refuse to abandon negative campaigning and insist on assigning faults where there are none.

If political rivals are themselves  the ones doing so, we would not have been surprised because it is a natural impulse or reflex for them to do so.

After all, politics is a game where the one who scores the most hits against his or her opponent is considered the winner.

But if non-participants in an electoral contest are the ones launching direct attacks against candidates, the rules of engagement are altered.

In fact, such an engagement becomes a one-way exercise.

When reporters and commentators go on the offensive against certain political personalities, the contest can never be categorized as being in the “same weight division”.

Why? Because people in media would always have the last say on issues, their outlets—print, broadcast, and multimedia—being in constant operation. Electoral officials, on the other hand, only have a limited political shelf life—six years for national officials and two years for local executives, including members of Congress.

True, news is sacred while opinion is protected.

But in both cases, facts must rule supreme all the time.

Being factual also brings you closer to the truth.

Quite unfortunately, there is a grey line between news and commentary or opinion. It is in this twilight zone of sorts where some reporters and writers practice their dark art.

Call them Journalism Jedi’s who have crossed over to the Dark Side.

Of course, they are few and far between, but they exist—somehow tolerated but never welcomed.

Why? Because they debauch, rather than exalt the profession.

We could only hope one veteran journalist has not hit this perilous road to perdition.

One thing is for sure at the moment—he has found himself in a dark ally.

This he has done by making sweeping, baseless generalization against the character and competence of a highly respected political leader from Eastern Visayas.

And the worst part of all is that he made his conclusion without providing any reasonable and sufficient and factual explanation.

In law as in any debate, the rule is that he who accuses must prove.

Here is what he wrote about the lawmaker:

Presidential daughter Sara “Inday Sara” Duterte-Carpio is endorsing former Leyte congressman Martin Romualdez as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

How sure is Sara that Romualdez will win?

Leyteño voters are so sick and tired of the Romualdezes as public officials that they want new faces.

The operative words here are “ sick and tired “.

But how did he draw this conclusion?

Was there a survey indicating this general sentiment?

He did not provide any.

And so, before he makes more baseless and outrageous claims against the character and fitness of a political leader to hold a lofty public office, perhaps he should first look at the record of his own sibling who was unceremoniously remove from a highly prestigious Cabinet position.

Why did he not continue to pursue his senatorial ambitions which were dashed by the family scandal?