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Mar 29th
Home Sections Canadian Happenings Filipino-Canadian Gasbag Lusting for Romy Marquez’s Associate Editorship
Filipino-Canadian Gasbag Lusting for Romy Marquez’s Associate Editorship PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 24 January 2013 18:31


To the ill-and-misinformed arrogant gasbag of
Toronto's Filipino community, the fear is evident. In his latest smear campaign to get support and divert public attention from the activities of a fundraising couple, he betrays an unmistakable ignorance. He speaks of muckraking without a basic understanding of what it is. What he didn't know until now is that the prestigious mainstream newspapers like the Toronto Star, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, among others, engage in it. At the community level, Balita, Toronto's largest Filipino paper, and online news outlets Filipino Web Channel and Currents & Breaking News, also practice it. Why? Because it is investigative journalism; it is essentially no-nonsense journalism (background article at: Understandably, the crooks, the scam artists and the fraudsters are frightened.

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Muckraking Is No-Nonsense Journalism



Member, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Asian-American Journalists Association (AAJA) and National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC)


There are a great multitude of individuals who are like blind mules, anxious enough to kick, but can’t tell where. —Josh Billings


T ORONTO – By the sound of it, Oswald P. Magno lusts for my position as associate editor of Balita, Toronto's largest Filipino newspaper in point of circulation, readership and advertisers.


His covetous eyes, blinded perhaps by greed, could not penetrate the transparent walls that the couple Ruben and Tess Cusipag had built around it as the only Filipino publication in Greater Toronto Area that sets the noble goal of exposing ills in the community.


There is no hiding what Balita has determined to do and does proudly. 


It's not a secret; it is a declaration of intent; a drawing of the line between "praise" reporting that Magno has been used to, and journalism of the investigative, in-depth, adversarial genre which the Filipino community is now witnessing being practiced solely by Balita.


Ruben Cusipag, Balita's founder, publisher and editor who is now retired, has carved that niche 34 years ago with a vow to make the paper "an uncompromising vehicle for the just causes of the oppressed".


His declaration would resonate with the very same principles that I uphold and practice in the pursuit of journalism, starting as reporter, then editor and - the height of a newsman's career - as foreign correspondent with the Asahi Shimbun and Deutsche Presse Agentur.


A year ago, the commonality of our cause intersected in Toronto, the city I had moved to from 16 years of pioneering investigative journalism at the community level in San Diego, California.


Tess Cusipag invited me to write a column. But because of the sheer number of stories that I encounter in my coverage for my online news channels, I also contribute feature stories and news articles.


I honestly don't know when I became associate editor. I just found my name in the staff box under that designation with three others. Why Magno would pick on that appointment escapes logical reasoning, specially because the current big issue is his threat, blackmail and lies that he avoids mentioning.


The ill- and misinformed Magno says in his latest rant: "It would appear Balita’s publisher/editor, Tess Cusipag, was either too busy or had no desire to face media scrutiny herself that she promoted Romeo Marquez to Associate Editor . . . "


He has trained his envious sight on the position and masks it by saying my appointment is causing concern in the community. It's fear basically, gnawing fear of being found out for whatever.


Though he speaks only for himself, Magno uses the plural pronoun as if speaking for the entire community. He says "we expect Marquez, who has built a notorious reputation for scandal-mongering and muck-racking, will raise the notch even higher and turn the paper into a tool for his brand of yellow journalism". 


What he claims as "scandal-mongering" is in fact the fruit of persistence in finding the truth, which when divulged, scandalizes the offender. That's true of the drama that's being presently played out in the community.


M agno not only threatens, blackmails and lies. He also insults. He disrespects the Cusipags one more time by saying that I would "turn the paper into a tool for his brand of yellow journalism". My gosh, I don't even own the paper. I don't run things there my way.


When is he going to stop committing ignotism? What is he afraid of?


If Magno had taken the simple initiative to educate himself by reading instead of aping Paul Potts, he would have known that muckrake is a verb that means "to explore and expose misconduct and scandals concerning public figures".


Admittedly, I am in the business of muckraking. And so is Balita. And so are mainstream newspapers like Toronto Star, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and New York Times, among others.


Investigative journalism is basically muckraking. It's also called watchdog journalism, exposing "dirty linen" as some people prefer to describe it. (Related story:


The objective is to inform the community about members and con artists who engage in fraud and deceit. Exposing them where possible would hopefully stop the victimization process and empower the community.


There's nothing shameful in muckraking. It's a noble undertaking. Without muckraking, the community would be at the mercy of those who bully, abuse, steal, intimidate but who are disguised as do-gooders, religious, charitable individuals or entities.


With that clearly stated, I can understand why Magno is quivering in fear. His apprehension is well-founded if he has skeletons in his closet or if he keeps a can of worms in his pantry. Having those, the prospect of being exposed is really frightening.


No amount of threats, physical harm, lawsuits, blackmails or bullying would keep us away from what Ruben Cusipag has already written in stone, that is, that Balita be, and is, the "uncompromising vehicle for the just causes of the oppressed". (Related story:


Says Michael Ignatieff: "A journalism that doesn't defend its right to offend, that doesn't tweak noses and laugh at the naked emperor, is not worth fighting for". # # #


Other stories for the mainstream available at:


My news and food channels can be viewed by clicking the links:

1. The Gotcha Journalist Channel's Currents & Breaking News at

2. The Filipino Web Channel at:

3. Filipino Web Entertainment Channel at:

4. EatsNRestos Channel at:



PHILIPPINE VILLAGE VOICE/The Filipino Web Channel - Redefining Community News

Currents & Breaking News 

Volume 7, Issue No. 9


/ News That Fears None, Views That Favor Nobody /

. . . A community service of Philippine Village Voice ( for the information and understanding of Filipinos and the diverse communities in
North America . . .

Newer news items:
Older news items:


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