So, who is now a ‘corrupt’ media organization and kudos, Comm. Jagger

FOR two columns now, Bobby Tiglao has been detailing the amount of foreign money that some purportedly “credible” and “respectable” media organizations have been receiving, all of them, unfortunately, coming from well-known conduits of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), namely, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), VERA Files and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.

Such relationship has long been an open secret in the media community and now that it is totally in the open, my personal call is for all of us in the media community to “come clean” on the issue.

Mas maganda kung “magkalinawan” na, hindi ba, mga kabayan?

So everyone will know where each of us in the media is coming from and thereby give the public a better appreciation as regards our credibility as individual journos and as regards the media organization that we represent.

Last February, our media colleagues in Mindanao passed a resolution also calling on all media organizations in the country to divulge how much money they have collected in support of the victims and the families of the 2009 Ampatuan Massacre.

With 32 of the 58 victims all journos,’ the incident triggered a wave of global sympathy for Filipino journalists and with it, a flood of money.

And ten years hence, the demand of our Mindanao colleagues -- and the victims’ families too -- for the truth about these “donations” to be out finally is wholly justified.

On the part of the NPC, I believe that we are the first -- and the only one thus far -- to volunteer a full accounting of all the money we have collected and expended on behalf of the Ampatuan Massacre victims.

We turned over this report to Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) executive director, Joel Sy Egco last December 12, 2018, or more than two months before Mindanao-based journalists issued their resolution.

Anyone interested to know about it can just view it at the NPC’s website, my personal FB account and at the FB account of the NPC.

As a media organization much denigrated, much maligned -- even branded as “corrupt” -- by these other more “respectable” media groups, the NPC has been doing its share to better the lot of Filipino journalists -- but without accepting foreign money in exchange for trying to bring down the duly constituted government of the Philippines, as what is now clearly the agenda of these self-pontificating media organizations.

Whether our authorities should also probe these groups for “subversive activities” (in the context of the repealed RA 1700), is another area also worth looking into.

Over this revelation of their collusion (thru funding) with a foreign power to destabilize our society and government, one question begs to be answered:

“Sino ngayon ang totoong korap na samahan ng media, ang NPC ba o… “kayo,” hehehe!

At mas “nakakatakot” ang mga samahang ganito, hindi ba, mga kabayan, dahil hindi na sila masasabing “lehitimong media,” bagkus, simple na lang silang mga mersenaryo (“bayaran”), nakakalungkot, tsk, tsk, tsk!  

* * *

Entering his six months in office after assuming the top customs post in October 2018, erstwhile AFP chief, Rey ‘Jagger’ Guerrero, has done two things that has tarred the reputation of those who came before him, namely, addressing the issue of port congestion and addressing the issue of imported goods valuation.

Among the stakeholders I talked to, no one disputes the bureau’s ‘press release’ over the weekend stating that the container yard utilization at the POM and the MICP is now down to an average of 70 percent.

Translation? The perennial problem of “port congestion” -- the bane of waterfront stakeholders -- has been “solved,” yeheyy!

Considering that port congestion first reared its ugly head in the latter part of PGMA’s administration, turned into a “nightmare” in the whole 6 years of Noynoy Aquino’s regime and had become seemingly “unsolvable” under Comm. Jagger’s two predecessors, such  development is truly worth of praise, Pres. Rody and DoF secretary, Sonny Dominguez.

Ditto, the issue of “goods valuation” (more precisely the creation of a system “standardizing” the valuation of goods in all ports) has been grating the ears of listeners, yours truly included, since the term of Comm. Guillermo Parayno during the Ramos administration.

Indeed, I recall that one of the “justifications” made when the country hired the services of the Swiss-based, “pre-shipment” inspector, SGS, is to “help” the BoC establish a “data base” for the values of imported goods, especially with the country’s membership with the WTO.

And yet, after a long line of customs commissioners and decades later, this data base for goods valuation has remained unaccomplished -- it was even among the unfinished “priority projects” left behind by Comm. Jagger’s immediate predecessor, Sid Lapeña.

But as I have reported here, last April 8, the BoC, formally launched the “NVVS” -- National Value Verification System -- covering the bureau’s 15 collection districts.

How Comm. Jagger managed to “solve” these two major concerns that have bugged those that came before him, I am yet to find out, dear readers. But “kudos,” Comm. Jagger!

Now, as for finding out the details and reporting them eventually eh, “magpakape” ka naman ulit, Comm. Jagger, hehehe!