FORMER ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) anchor Ricky Carandang is appointed Communications Group secretary by the Aquino administration and he becomes a different person to some sectors. Critics led by defeated vice-presidential candidate Loren Legarda are suddenly asking if he was part of the Liberal Party (LP) communications team while working as ANC anchor.
Legarda and stalwarts of the Nacionalista Party where she belongs have long accused ABS-CBN, without presenting concrete proof of course, of propping up the candidacy of then LP presidential bet and now President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
Her statement on Carandang is therefore par for the course.
But there are other sectors, some of them in the media, who are sellers of the line that if a media personality is appointed to a government position, he or she must have been cozying up earlier on to the appointing power. If, say, Mayor Michael Rama appoints a City Hall beat reporter as his administration’s PIO, these sectors would surely pounce on this reporter and label him as a Rama man/woman from the beginning.
I say it does not follow. And that line of thinking is unfair to the concerned ex-journalists. In assessing the career path of media people who accept appointments to government posts, objectivity is still the name of the game. Incidentally, Carandang was the recipient of the Broadcast Journalist of the Year award given by the Rotary Club of Manila just last June.
It’s probably because of the name. Frankly, the first time I heard President Noynoy Aquino blurt “Truth Commission,” images of Nelson Mandela rebuilding apartheid-torn South Africa came to mind. Abuses of the ousted regime in that country were so unconscionable an accounting of the atrocities had to be made to give justice to the victims and provide closure.
Of course, P-Noy isn’t Mandela--he’s far from being one—and the damage supposedly wrought by the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on the country and the government bureaucracy wa ras kumingking when compared with the racist South African government of old.
That’s why Aquino shouldn’t have named his Hilario Davide Jr.-led probe body as “Truth Commission.” It is rather pretentious and therefore misleading.
So now we are hearing legal minds talk about P-Noy’s Truth Commission like it is a tiger. And because the said body does not have the power to force witnesses to testify, they’re calling it a toothless tiger.
But let’s be clear on one thing first. The Truth Commission is not a tiger. Rather it’s more like an eagle in the sense that it is expected to possess telescopic eyes.
P-Noy’s Executive Order No. 1 states that the Truth Commission will merely “seek and find the truth on, and toward this end, investigate reports of graft and corruption of such scale and magnitude that shock and offend the moral and ethical sensibilities of the people."
The Truth Commission actually has no prosecutorial function and can only recommend to the proper government bodies the actions to be taken on cases they are investigating.
The bulk of the evidence and testimonies on the cases that the Truth Commission will tackle has already been gathered by Congress and other government investigating bodies.
The commission will just have to sift through them, gather more information and seek more witnesses if necessary and come up with recommendations.
It’s as simple as that. That’s the truth.
(email@example.com/ my blog: cebuano.wordpress.com)