First, let me greet everybody with the note that I subscribe to the Inquirer specifically for its content on the editorial and opinion pages. The generally morbid, gory details of the news can be had anywhere. So on Feb. 14, just like any morning, I opened the pages of the Inquirer but found, to my dismay, the editorial titled “Unqualified.”
I am against dynasty, I am not rooting for UNA and neither am I a fan of Vice President Jejomar Binay. However, the visibly partisan attack on a candidate, in particular Nancy Binay, by a newspaper with a reputation to uphold and a large national circulation, is appalling. So where would “balance” be in this account? I’ve always thought the Inquirer as peerless; but that editorial sounded just like any old paid political advertisement.
Some days back, the Inquirer ran a feature on candidate Sonny Angara. Add that to the Feb. 14 editorial and the Inquirer instantly becomes an Liberal Party poster, another collateral for the campaign that the Commission on Elections’ James Jimenez may decide to pull down.
As a newspaper of note, the Inquirer has a fiduciary responsibility to its readers for what it advertises itself to be, balanced news, fearless views—not partisan. I would like to see the Inquirer feature all the candidates, including the lesser known, like JC de Los Reyes, Greco Belgica and Edward Hagedorn, for their views on matters of national interest.
I saw such a presentation on Solar News; alas, the concerns presented to the candidates were parochial.
The day before the editorial came out was Ash Wednesday, a reminder of man’s transient character, a blow to his vanity acquired through success. All things must pass. The reign in politics of Joseph Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile and Jejomar Binay, along with all the pork-consuming, MOOE-aligning, committee-hungry neurotics in power will pass; it’s just taking a bit more time than usual.
Politicians are a vain lot in foisting their progeny on the voting public. It’s just sad that President Aquino, with his “Daang Matuwid” (Righteous Path) also argues against the prohibition of dynasties, with spokesperson Edwin Lacierda making a distinction between good and bad dynasties. In this respect, the United Nationalist Alliance and the LP look like just one big party highlighted by the three common candidates. They are the “same old, same old” vain lot. People know what they are and I believe the electorate might just pull a surprise.
There’s no need for partisan politics in newspapers.
—BENIGNO T. CALANTUAN III
(The news feature on Sonny Angara is part of an ongoing series that has included the likes of Dick Gordon. The editorial on Nancy Binay joins other editorials critical of other candidates, Bam Aquino included.—Ed.)