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Home Columns San Diego Happenings How the “Filipino Press” Newspaper Fabricated Lies Against Romeo Marquez
How the “Filipino Press” Newspaper Fabricated Lies Against Romeo Marquez PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - San Diego Happenings
Friday, 09 May 2008 01:36

The News UpFront: (TOP STORY) as of Friday, May 9, 2008 

A chance encounter at the FilAm Expo weeks ago yielded an admission of wrong-doing. It's been two years and four months after the entertainment paper the Filipino Press published an erroneous story that a local journalist had been arrested on "multiple counts of criminal and immigration charges". The lie was never rectified by the writer or by the publisher or by the newspaper itself despite repeated demands for correction.  Now, the reporter who wrote the offending article comes out and puts the blame on her publisher.  

 

PASSING THE BUCK  -  FROM DORIS TO SUSAN

Writer Blames Newspaper Publisher for Erroneous Story

By ROMEO P. MARQUEZ

The author is a member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Asian-American Journalists Association (AAJA) and the National Press Club of the Philippines-USA.

After two years and four months, a former reporter of the community's entertainment paper the Filipino Press comes clean with the admission that she was "ordered" to do the dirty work in publishing an erroneous story about this journalist.

It was December 2005 when that paper headlined the article that said I was arrested on "multiple counts of criminal and immigration charges" and was being held by immigration authorities.

The incorrect story was based largely on hearsay, not on facts, and substantially lifted from a corrupted report by the over-hyped TV reporter named Marti Emerald, now a candidate for the San Diego city council in District 7.

Editor’s Note: We decided to use a different headline, as indeed the “Filipino Press” newspaper wrote a nasty false story about Mr. Marquez. And worse, another Filipino-American wannabe writer, Perry Diaz, turned it into a “perrytale” (fairy tale of a news report) and wrote extensively about it in his online postings.

(I was actually picked up by immigration agents for my failure to attend an immigration court hearing, held and released two days later after it became clear there was a mistake in sending out the notice. I was not charged with anything).

I had demanded a retraction from Susan de los Santos, the newly-assumed publisher of the Filipino Press, and from Doris Enriquez Malabad, the writer who was then trying to establish herself, having just come from the Philippines. Her coming to the United States is another good story.

I was banking on goodwill. Knowing Susan from way back when I was that paper's associate editor in the mid-90s, I asked her to correct the error by publishing the truth, which is that I am, was, in no way involved in any criminal activities in the US or in the Philippines or in Germany where I had on-the-job training at the Deutsche Presse-Agentur's headquarters in Hamburg.

Now, 28 months later, I got an admission from Doris Malabad that she "was ordered" by the Filipino Press publisher to write the wrongful story about my arrest.

But Susan was brimming with hatred, her anger stoked by my own questions about her competence to sit as publisher after her domestic-and-business partner of many years, Ernie Flores, had died of heart attack in January 2005.

So instead of acceding to my demand (which she continues to ignore), she tried to turn the table by asking where Doris' story had erred. I thought this response strengthened my personal belief that she was not only ignorant, she was in fact a misfit in a world of words!

If she had only read and digested what I was saying in my demand letter, she did not have to ask anything at all. My letter was a complete denial of Doris' story.

Now, two years and four months later, I got an admission from Doris that she "was ordered" by Susan to write the wrongful story about my arrest. (I had written about it at least four times, including my interviews with detainees, in several publications).

The impression that Doris conveyed to me was that she was totally helpless in standing up to Susan even if she knew that the alleged reason for the arrest  -- in her own words "multiple counts of criminal and immigration charges" --  story was baseless.

Her conversion was fast, from a budding student journalist to a propagandist; spineless, unprincipled, easily cowed by a superior who did not know any better.

Doris had a roundabout way of acknowledging the grievous mistake. When I asked why the Filipino Press, or Susan, or her, never retracted the false story and why Doris wrote it knowing it to be wrong, she replied: "Who's the publisher?"

Clearly, Doris had a bad day of following blindly her publisher. Now, she wants to pass the buck. If truth be told, she and the publisher share equal responsibility for the scurrilous lies embedded in the story.

"But you're the writer," I answered in exasperation. "I was ordered to write it," Doris explained, and pointed to Susan de los Santos as the person who did indeed tell her to do so.

Doris was clearly passing the buck. If truth be told, Doris and  Susan share equal responsibility for the scurrilous lies embedded in the story. It is not so much to me that they owe, it's to the people who patronize the Filipino Press for whatever it's worth in chicken dung.

As much as I am, as a journalist, disappointed with the paper's superficial coverage, lack of depth and focus -- a situation worsened by a dearth of writing talents and a proliferation of wannabes and bogus reporters -- I do not wish to see it evolved into the community's no. 1 source of corrupted information.

Why Doris had to write and Susan had to publish could be traced to their friendship with a two-timing woman who had fed them with misleading information to extricate herself from her own mess and deflect attention.

Lacking the dossier against me, Doris and Susan found this two-timer as a convenient source, except that her information were spun from rumors and peddled to exact vengeance on me for exposing her dirtiest linen, and I mean that literally and metaphorically.

The cry baby that she was found sympathetic ears in Doris and Susan who lent their undivided attention, even pandering to her wishes. The result was a faux gem journalists and journalism schools guard against - fabricating stories that are products of fantasies.

PHILIPPINE VILLAGE VOICE - Redefining Community News
BREAKING NEWS -  Exclusive (Volume 2, Issue No. 10 / News Without Fear or Favor)  . . . A community service of San Diego's Philippine Village Voice (PhilVoiceNews@aol.com or at 619.265.0611) for the information and better understanding of the public. . .

Might somebody ask why I always refer to the Filipino Press as an entertainment paper, the answer could be easily found in what it reports, publishes and avoids. The arrest story about me is a fine example of clumsy reporting. The intellectual deficiency demonstrated weekly in a column by a semi-religious septuagenarian is also another.

I wasn't intending to bring up this story again until Doris complained to me as I passed by her booth at the FilAm Expo on April 26 at the Golden Hall in downtown San Diego. After a little pleasantries, she asked me why I wrote an unflattering story about her in one of the articles in my Breaking News.

I was quite surprised by her complaint that she was written up in a bad light. I was just honestly pointing out that her newspaper, the unremarkable tabloid called San Diego County Times, was publishing stories that had little or no relevance to the Filipino community. That opinion still stands, sorry to say that.

From the way she sounded that opinion piece was like a personal affront. And then it occurred to me, if she felt this way about what I wrote and I didn't accuse her of anything criminal, how would she feel if she had been in a story that's grossly false, like her article about me being arrested on "multiple counts of criminal and immigration charges"?

"I was ordered!" she said again, as if her repeating it would erase the fact that she had obliged her publisher to commit a wrongful act. That's serious, premeditated and malicious, knowing it was wrong and she would do it; in fact, did it.

That leads me to these questions: to what extent would Doris go to fabricate a story? To what lengths would Susan go to publish an article knowing it to be false just to satisfy her personal wishes? Can the people trust the Filipino Press to report on the truth?

"Romy, let go and move forward," Doris enjoined me as our chat was interrupted by another person who tried to butt in.

But how can I let go, I told Doris, when she herself, and Susan and the Filipino Press never owned the mistake and never apologized for consciously committing it? # # #

(This Breaking News is sent by Romeo P. Marquez, Editor, Philippine Village Voice, San Diego, California. Mailing address: P.O. Box 2118, La Jolla, CA. 92038. Volume 2, Issue no. 10, May 9, 2008).

 



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Last Updated on Friday, 09 May 2008 05:44
 
Comments (2)
1 Sunday, 23 August 2009 08:05
Jason Abustan is in the works with Disney to play Ricky Ortiz the bad boy in the High School Musical Franchise. He is Filipino and he's bringing Filipinos up just like Vanessa. I can't wait. I checked him out and he is cute. Go Flip!
2 Thursday, 19 November 2009 15:24
Such a gentleman you are. Any chances you'll be writing any love stories or novelas? Or how to sex guide?

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