Be fair to dispel trending allegations

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — ADMINISTRATION lawmakers yesterday urged media to be fair in reporting the results of the May senatorial race to dispel trending allegations as major outlets continue to highlight areas like the NCR where GO candidates are leading the early count.

Cebu City Rep. Antonio Cuenco and Antique Rep. Exequiel Javier issued the call, noting that the ongoing quick counts seemed to be focusing on areas where Genuine Opposition candidates were taking the lead, creating a false impression that GO bets were already winning the polls.

Cuenco said that in the spirit of balanced and accurate reporting, media networks should also highlight the lead of Team Unity bets in known bailiwicks of the administration.

“In Region 7 for instance, Team Unity bets are faring well. In Cebu City alone, we expect TU to dominate the senatorial race. Panalo tayo and most TU bets,” said Cuenco.

Cuenco said the media should also report the good performance of TU bets in areas where administration candidates ran unopposed.

“The administration coalition has 234 town mayors and 24 city mayors who ran unopposed during the elections. The League of Municipalities had vowed to vigorously campaign for Team Unity bets and we’re confident this promise was delivered during election day,” he said.

Javier said developments in the provinces where 77 or 95 percent of the 81 governors belong to the administration reflect a decisive Unity win.

He further said that 78 administration candidates for governor were either unopposed or with token challengers.

“We believe these important facts are being glossed over in the ongoing media quick counts. We remain confident that the support of local officials and candidates of the administration would tremendously help in the victory of Team Unity candidates,” said Javier.

Javier, Lakas co-chair for Western Visayas said Team Unity bets are doing well in Region 6 with Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay now at No. 4.

However, he lamented the failure of major broadcast and print media outfits to adequately report these pro-administration developments.

“Instead, NCR is getting pride of place, as if this is already representative of how 45 million Filipinos voted. They should be fair, else talagang totoo na nag-te- trending sila in the opposition’s favor.

Meanwhile, Bayan Muna party-list yesterday urged media entities to include the party-list votes in their partial and unofficial quick counts for fairness and transparency.

In a statement, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo decried the almost “zero-coverage” on the result of party-list votes.

According to Ocampo, the zero-coverage on party-list votes might lead to election fraud, especially those groups known as enemies of the government.

“We are deeply concerned over the lack and shortage of information on the party-list elections. Such a situation serves the purposes of those who seek to subvert the party-list system and deny victory for winning party-list groups,” Ocampo said.

Ocampo appealed to media to give the same importance to party-list representatives who like senators were elected nationally.

The militant solon said that public is also interested in the party-lists results, just like other positions.

Ocampo cited the absence of unofficial counts of party-list votes in at least two giant networks, 18 hours after the actual elections.

He even said that the Namfrel ignored the party-list race, leaving the public blind, Ocampo noted.

“The media should reconsider the seeming exclusion of the party-list race in their coverage plans. The under-represented and marginalized sectors which the party-list system hopes to represent must be provided timely and accurate information,” Ocampo added.