Brigada News FM probes controversial child abuse interview

Brigada News FM probes controversial 
child abuse interview
SunStar Local News GPX

BRIGADA News FM radio station has vowed to seriously address the “inappropriate and insensitive” interview conducted by two of its Cebu-based radio anchormen with a four-year-old girl who is allegedly a victim of sexual abuse, following several criticisms.

In a statement posted on its official Facebook page on Sunday, March 17, 2024, Brigada’s area manager for Visayas Raul Del Prado said the radio station is “currently conducting a thorough investigation into this matter.”

On Wednesday, March 13, Juril Patiño, a lawyer, and Dennes Tabar, anchors of Brigada News FM Cebu, conducted a live on-air interview during which the victim was encouraged to recount the details of the abuse.

Jonalyn Jumabis, one of the station’s field reporters, facilitated the interview inside a police station.

As of Sunday, the recorded live broadcast of the episode can no longer be viewed on the Facebook page of Brigada.

The incident has sparked outrage and condemnation from various sectors, underscoring the imperative for media practitioners to exercise utmost sensitivity and professionalism when reporting on cases involving children.

Brigada, in the letter, emphasized its commitment to taking complaints seriously and conducting a thorough investigation into the matter.

The media outfit acknowledged the importance of safeguarding the dignity and best interests of children, particularly in cases involving vulnerable individuals such as the alleged four-year-old victim.

“We at Brigada remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting the welfare of women and children — which lies at the heart of our mission to serve the public. We will uphold the highest standards of broadcast decency and will continue to be a voice for the voiceless,” a portion of the statement reads.

In response to the allegations, Brigada said they took immediate internal action, implementing administrative sanctions against the involved anchors. However, they did not indicate the nature of these sanctions.

They said both Patiño and Tabar have expressed regret for any harm caused and publicly conveyed their “sincere” remorse, indicating their willingness to accept responsibility for any errors that they “may have” made.

During their radio program “Tira Brigada” last Saturday, March 16, Patiño and Tabar expressed their willingness to accept any sanctions or investigation outcomes, including the potential disbarment of Patiño.

Contrary to the station’s statement, Tabar, however, expressed no regret for his involvement in the incident, emphasizing that they were merely fulfilling their duties as radio hosts.

He also lambasted the critics who condemned them on the matter, while Patiño added that he did not mind the backlash and criticism coming from the public and fellow media workers in Cebu.

Moreover, Brigada said it prioritizes the well-being and protection of the communities it serves as a proud member of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).

In recent days, the radio station has been called out by both public and private sectors, including the Cebu Citizens-Press Council, the Cebu Federation of Beat Journalists, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Central Visayas, Integrated Bar of the Philippines Cebu City chapter, Stet Women in Cebu Media, Children’s Legal Bureau, Cebu City Anti-Indecency Body and KBP Cebu. / KJF


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