We would not have wanted to give Rigoberto Tiglao the honor of a response from us if not for the advice and prodding of one of our editors who is also a professor of journalism at the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communications Prof. Danilo Arao.
So what is worse, fake news or irresponsible journalism? A combination of both and that is what Tiglao practices in his column for the Manila Times. In a vain attempt to defend the dismal human rights record, especially the spate of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug users, under the Duterte administration, Tiglao maliciously resorted to slandering journalists and media outfits, including this online news magazine.
He accused Carlos Conde and Sheila Coronel, who are both more accomplished journalists than him, of lying and deceiving their media outfits and Manuel Quezon 3rd of being a “Yellow propagandist.” Tiglao maliciously labeled Bulatlat as being run by “Communist party propaganda cadres” and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility of receiving funding from the CIA.
Tiglao’s addition of the words “allegedly “ and “accused of” does not make his malicious claims more credible. Who has been alleging and accusing, in the first place?
This is not the first time that Bulatlat became a victim of red baiting. Bulatlat was labeled as an “enemy of the state” along with a host of organizations, including the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, the PCIJ, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines, among others, by the Armed Forces of the Philippines during the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Tiglao’s former boss.
What Tiglao wrote is not only fake news and irresponsible journalism, it is not journalism at all. At least Mocha Uson was honest enough to say that she is a blogger and not a journalist. Tiglao has been lying through his teeth and slandering people and media outfits while claiming and boasting that he is a journalist.
In fact, Tiglao is what he has been accusing people of: a liar and a propagandist.
If anything happens to our outfit, and to us, we will hold Tiglao accountable. That would be the only time that we would take Tiglao seriously.