Television station Net 25 is facing backlash from angered netizens after airing an “unprofessional” news segment on the Robredo family New York City trip. The segment called Vice President Leni Robredo’s daughters, Aika, Tricia, and Jillian “kulang sa pansin” for posting updates on social media. What exactly did Net 25 say about the Robredo family?
What did they report, exactly?
This only proves that Iglesia Ni Cristo is a cult. Ang bababoy nyo NET25! pic.twitter.com/oKgB0DOw0j
— AltGMA🌈 (@KafosoMo) May 24, 2022
“Mga anak ni outgoing vice president Leni Robredo kulang nga ba sa pansin kaya panay pasikat sa kanilang mga social media account?” began Mata ng Agila anchor Alex Santos. Vin Pascua, who reported the whole segment, proceeded to malign the Robredo family with biased commentary.
“Pawang celebrity wannabes ang tatlong anak na babae ni VP Leni Robredo na sina Aika, Tricia, at Jillian na saksakan ang sipag sa pag-angat ng imahe ng kanilang ina at ng kanilang sarili online,” said Pascua.
“Mahilig si VP Robredo at ang mga anak niya sa pag-post sa kanilang social media ng images of photos of humility and goodness upang idisplay ang kanilang pagiging karaniwan at simpleng mamamayan. Gaya ng kanilang pag-lipad sa economy class papuntang New York at pag-sakay sa public transportation habang ipinagyayabang ng kampo nila ang mataas na pinag-aralan ng anak ni VP Robredo,” he added.
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VP Leni and her daughters recently flew to New York City to attend her youngest daughter Jillian’s graduation from New York University. Jillian, 22, finished with a double degree in Mathematics and Economics. Since the New York trip happened a few days after the elections, supporters of the vice president channeled their frustration about the results into keeping up with the family through social media posts.
What is Net 25, anyway?
Net 25 is owned and operated by the Eagle Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), a for-profit organization of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC). Most of EBC’s primary stakeholders are members of INC. The religious sect, known for bloc voting, endorsed the BBM-Sara tandem for the 2022 elections.
Criticizing VP Leni’s daughters
Pascua’s report went on as if to mock Aika for a touching introductory speech she gave about her mother.
“Kung matatandaan rin, ipinagmalaki ni Aika Robredo na ang ina niya ay tila sinasamahan ng paru-paro, sinasalubong ng rainbows sa airport, at sinasamahan ng simoy ng hangin na parabagang si Leni ay isang anghel o propeta,” it said. This referenced Aika’s speech at VP Leni’s May 7 miting de avance before VP Leni stepped on stage.
An alleged smear campaign
“Subalit, ang ipinapakita nilang imahe ng kabutihan ay taliwas sa smear campaign ng kampo nila laban sa mga Marcos. Wala silang tigil sa paninira. Isa na rito ang paninisi nila kay presumptive president Bongbong Marcos na naglabas raw ito ng malaswang sex video ni Aika na halata namang inimbento lang ng mga Robredo dahil wala namang nakakita nito,” Pascua alleged.
Last April, Robredo did admit that she believes Marcos is behind the below-the-belt attack on her eldest daughter. She said fake news attacks “has really been the modus of [her] rival since he lost in 2016.” Robredo lamented that her daughters, who have been helping her with the campaign, are also being targeted.
Comparing the Robredo sisters with the Marcos brothers
The reporting didn’t stop there, Pascua went on to compare VP Leni’s daughters with BBM’s sons, Sandro, Simon, and Vincent. Pascua showered the Marcos brothers with praises for keeping a low profile on social media, living quiet lives, and never making any negative remarks against anyone.
“Halata na pinalaki ng may mabuting asal ang mga anak ni BBM at kitang kita ito ng mga Pinoy sa tunay na buhay, hindi lang sa social media,” praised Pascua.
Pascua also cited as an example how Sandro recently met and greeted retired Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon at the Party-list Coalition Foundation, Inc.’s (PCFI) meeting last May 14. Guanzon is a staunch critic of the Marcoses and yet Sandro didn’t hesitate to approach her.
Netizens express disgust online
Netizens took to social media to air their concerns over the reporting. It sparked a conversation on the state of journalism in the country. Many observed that major news sites like Rappler and ABS-CBN are being targeted and tagged as ‘biased’ while the type of unprofessional and actual biased reporting from networks like Net 25 and the Apollo Quiboloy-owned SMNI News Channel are hailed as ‘credible.’
“That’s the impact of the years-long foundation of lies — and we now see just a glimpse of it,” commented one netizen.
Some can only feel frustrated.
25.5k netizens agree that this was questionable news reporting.
A journalism professor encourages everyone to file a complaint to KBP
ADVISORY: KBP officials confirm that SMNI and Net 25 are members of KBP. They should therefore comply with the KBP Broadcast Code, particularly on responsible news reportage and commentary. Want to file a complaint? Please fill out this form (https://t.co/E8OLEnxvzO).
— Danilo Arao (@dannyarao) May 25, 2022
Journalism professor Danilo Arao also commented on the news clip. “This is neither news nor opinion reportage but a shameless hack job. Thank you for giving me another case study for my ethics class,” said the Kontra Daya election watchdog convenor.
(2/3) Read the KBP Broadcast Code (https://t.co/kllnA9Nyso). It’s most ideal to read all 38 pages, but you can focus on Articles 1 (News and Public Affairs) and 2 (Analysis and Commentaries) from pages 2 to 8. (continued)
— Danilo Arao (@dannyarao) May 25, 2022
Arao also said that since Net 25 is a member of the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), they should be fined for violating the “responsible news reportage and commentary” of the KPB Broadcast Code. He then encouraged everyone to file a complaint through the KBP’s official website.