By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
I was hooked recently reading Bob Woodward’s hard covered 237 pages “Maestro: Greenspan’s Fed and the American Boom. One of the excerpts in page 110 of Woodward, my favorite author where my latest collection of his book is Obama’s War, said: “Greenspan noted that the (news) reporting had changed, that reporters were more aggressive and often competent in economics. When he had been President Gerald Ford’s economic adviser in 1975-76, he told the committee, “You should just feed them (media men) pabulum (soft digestible food- MCO) and they pretty much accepted it. That clearly has changed quite dramatically”.
I could not agree more. But here in the Philippines many media men and women are just like the gullible pabulum eater of Greenspan.
They just write what they had interviewed with their source. They did not clarify deeply on the matter.
Media practitioners should study or read voraciously about economics (what’s the advantages of a strong peso, a weak peso?) and law. They don’t satisfy themselves to be mechanical where what those politicians told them they accepted it as gospel truth. They should be searching and judgmental in their interview with their source. A lot of these politicians are pinheads whose statement needs to be exposed, too.
One of the anecdotes I encountered about Philippine media’s idiocy was a press conference in San Carlos City, Pangasinan.
It was about the case of a lost P9 million owned by the city government. The one in custody said she was held up (robbery) inside the Land Bank of the Philippines branch in the city.
For the maximum appreciation of the anecdote, please allow me to define the words “Prima Facie (spell “patsi”). Prima Facie denotes evidence that – unless rebutted – would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact.
MAYOR: Si Cashier ay kinasuhan ko na dahil may Prima Facie, si Mr.A at si Mr.B ay kinasuhan na rin dahil may Prima Facie.
MANILA RADIO ANNOUNCER (with husky voice): Anong klaseng report ito! Kinasuhan niyo na nga iyong tatlo, pero bakit si Prima Facie hindi niyo kinasuhan? Sobrang lakas naman niya ata dito sa ciudad niyo!
|Incoming One- Star Police General Marlou Chan|
I remembered years ago when then Sta. Barbara Mayor Rey Velasco (PMA ’71) told me that his second star as police general was a bonus.
“Galit sa akin si (Department of Interior & Local Government) Secretary (Rafael) Alunan. Nadinig ko hindi ako kasama sa mge newly promoted general”.
Velasco cited his golf hobby as his saving grace. He said he met at the golf club then president Fidel V. Ramos who asked him: “O ano Rey kasama ka ba sa mga bagong ipo-promote na generals?”
“Hindi po sir,” he retorted.
Ramos immediately called Alunan and ordered him to include Velasco in the promotion.
“E kung hindi ako naglalaro ng golf, hindi ko makukuha ang ikalawang estrella ko,” Velasco, in his self styled boost told me.
“Kaya nga sir, ako rin nag- go-gulf (imbibing liquor) na rin with some power- that- be baka sakali sa ibang araw ma “promote” na rin ako,” I told him.
When I asked the newly designate acting San Carlos City police chief P/Supt (Lt. Col. In the military) Charlie Umayam that he is the luckiest peace officer in Pangasinan because of his designation in one of the most “lucrative”, er, biggest posts.
|IRAN -CONTRA BROUHAHA - Marine|
Lt. Colonel Oliver North
“What’s your story?” I asked him after I told him that he was envied by his superiors in the humongous province who salivate for the city’s post.
He told me he did not ask for the post, it was offered to him by Regional Police Office-1 Chief Directorial Staff Colonel Marlou Chan.
Chan by the way is PMA Class ’85, a darling of the press, and a shoo-in general next year.
Just like the story of Rey Velasco, Umayam said he met and befriended Chan at the oval of RPO-1 where both have their regular road run.
“What’s your story, too with Colonel Chan, sir Mortz?” Umayam asked me.
“I met him in a “gulf session” at Sydneys Restaurant (Dagupan City) when he, a teetotaler, was the provincial director of Pangasinan and we became friends as we conversed till the wee hours about politics and military issues like U.S four – star general David Petraues (USMA ’74 and then Central Intelligence Agency’s chief) was exposed to have illicit affair with the athletic (just like Petraues), pretty, and charismatic Paula Broadwell (USMA ’95, Harvard) and the politics behind the Iran- Nicaraguan Rebels' Contra deals of U.S Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North where I gave Chan a hard copy book "Under Fire: An American Story" by of North as told to William Novak as he was investigated by the U.S Senate.
“Need niyo iyong ibang mga sagot diyan ni Oliver North, sir versus the provincial board that gears to investigate you on your being the top cop of the province,” I remembered telling the then provincial director.
Uyaman, a down-to-earth fellow and a trained elite Special Action Force, used to be the chief of police of a rambunctious town in Abra. I told him his Abra stints, where the courts there look inutile as politicians preferred to avenge the loss of their kin by killing too their nemesis, bode well for San Carlos known as the A-Corral or Wild-Wild West City of Pangasinan notoriously known to have their then mayor peppered to death by bullets by assassins in a public function in a gym notwithstanding the murders being committed with regularity until now.
“Mortz, have you visited Umayam?,”Colonel Chan called me in the phone.
“Oo,matindi ang bata niyo. Kung iyong ibang chief of police niyo pinapakita sa akin ang mga top of the line guns nila, Umayam showed me a huge Bible he said would help protects him in his duty in San Carlos”.
Umayam, a Baptist like me, quoted how King David and King Solomon (not the hated “Solomon” among some chiefs of police who make “solo” the perks in their post) defeated their enemies under the guidance of God the Father.
“With God’s guidance and protection I can make all things possible in this city,” he concluded.
“Amen,” quipped by the likewise “religious in liber-liber media man Harold Barcelona.