Teodoro camp: Inquirer coverage fair, disclaims ad vs PDI

Teodoro camp: Inquirer coverage fair, disclaims ad vs PDI
By TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—The camp of administration standard-bearer Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. has distanced itself from a print ad questioning a Philippine Daily Inquirer story about Teodoro’s campaign rally in Davao City and the paper’s supposed bias for another candidate.

Mike Toledo, spokesperson for Teodoro, confirmed that a group of volunteers in Davao City had paid for the ad that came out in another broadsheet last Wednesday.

“The ads being brought out by volunteers are ads made on their own. We have nothing to do with the ads put out by volunteers,” Toledo said by phone the other night. But he said Teodoro’s media bureau respected the volunteers’ right to put out the advertisement.

Raymundo Roquero, secretary general of Lakas-Kampi-CMD, under whose banner Teodoro is running, also said the party had no hand in the ad and that the Inquirer had been fair in its coverage of Teodoro’s campaign.

Crowd estimate

In the ad, titled “Setting the record straight,” the Davao volunteers questioned the Inquirer’s crowd estimate of 2,000 at the rally for Teodoro at Davao’s Rizal Park last Saturday night.

The ad claimed that more than 12,000 people waited for Teodoro at the airport, and later joined the motorcade from the airport to the park for the rally.

“The bias of the Inquirer for one presidential candidate has been clear since the start of the campaign period, and continues to this day! Tama na (Enough),” the ad said.

“We don’t know about it. I only read about it. We’ve not even discussed it,” Roquero said by phone.

Fair coverage

Roquero said the Inquirer had been “fair” in its coverage of Teodoro from the party’s convention in November last year through the Feb. 9 kickoff of the campaign and on to the campaign proper.

“You had a very good coverage of the proclamation of Gibo as standard-bearer,” Roquero said. “The stories on the guessing game as to who will be the official candidate between Gibo and Bayani Fernando were good. Even the proclamation rally in Antipolo City was well covered.”

Roquero said he was aware of the dynamics in the newspaper industry and that he understood why some stories about Teodoro did not land on the paper’s front page.

“It all depends on the activity. If the event is not newsworthy enough, then it’s not going to land in the news. Your message should be good so it can be given a good medium,” he said.

More Noynoy stories

Roquero, however, observed that the paper appeared to be giving more space to stories about Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, the Liberal Party presidential candidate.

“There seems to be a big space for Noynoy’s stories … but it’s not as pronounced as ABS-CBN,” he said.

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.