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SOMEONE ELSE’S WINDOWS: Comeuppance for Badoy and Celiz

someone elses windows marcos mordeno mindaviews

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 13 December)—The problem with some people at Sonshine Media Network Inc. (SMNI) is that they have allowed themselves to become attack dogs of former president Rodrigo Duterte. Consider the recent stunt by SMNI program hosts Lorraine Badoy and Jeffrey Celiz, who reported that House Speaker Martin Romualdez had a P1.8 billion foreign travel expense this year.

Neither Badoy nor Celiz could present solid proof of such a huge expenditure. They relied on an “anonymous source” for a piece of information, which turned out to be disinformation, that requires documentary evidence. A query with the House finance department or the Commission on Audit would have helped their cause (read demolition job against the Speaker).

Accustomed, however, to SMNI’s brand of “ethical journalism” that has earned the nod of a dubious award-giving body, they never bothered to verify with official sources. Perhaps they have forgotten that their patron is no longer the occupant of Malacañang. Or they’re just so arrogant they have no time to ponder on the possible consequences of their recklessness.

House Secretary General Reginald Velasco said in a testimony that Romualdez and his staffers only spent P4.3 million on foreign travel from January to October 2023. Notice the huge discrepancy between the figures; it should give a hint on whether the agenda of Badoy and Celiz was really to safeguard public funds from abuse and misuse.

Note that their unsubstantiated exposé came days after Duterte demanded an audit of expenses by Romualdez. (An attempt to divert the public eye from her Vice President-daughter’s jaw-dropping disbursement of P125 million in just 11 days?)

The tactless and baseless claim led to the detention of Badoy and Celiz at Congress after they were cited in contempt and to the possibility of SMNI’s franchise being revoked. They tried to turn the situation in their favor by staging a 6 p.m.-12 a.m. hunger strike, which people in their right mind know isn’t really a hunger strike, not even close to fasting.

Besides, they can eat their words about Romualdez’s travel expense for their midnight snack.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. H. Marcos C. Mordeno can be reached at hmcmordeno@gmail.com.)

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