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Mar 27th
Home Sections Literature and Fourth Estate Philippine News Fires Business-section Editor
Philippine News Fires Business-section Editor PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Literature and Fourth Estate
Saturday, 13 October 2007 06:15

The News UpFront (TOP STORY) as of Saturday, 13 October 2007

- A veteran journalist got the boot for what his editor claims to be Philippine News' "totally unprofitable" operations in Southern California. Three months ago, the owners of the San Francisco-based paper also dismissed the editor-in-chief over issues of press censorship.


Financial Losses Prompt Firing of Veteran Journalist


SAN DIEGO - Philippine News, the oldest Filipino newspaper in the United States, has fired one of its top editors just three months after its owners had unceremoniously dismissed its long-serving editor-in-chief.

The casualty of the latest expulsion was veteran journalist Raul Valino, the paper's business editor. He was reassigned as associate editor for Los Angeles after his position had been deemed "redundant". However, even that post had been scrapped.

"I was not given a formal letter of termination and a separation pay," the Los Angeles-based writer told the Philippine Village Voice. Valino has been financial reporter and business editor in several Manila dailies for many years before his abbreviated stint with Philippine News.

The current editor-in-chief, Beting Dolor, had told Valino that one of the reasons he was being let go was the paper's "totally unprofitable" operations in Southern California.

Valino said that if Dolor's claims were true, then "I am really afraid that Philippine News is about to die a natural death if the financial bleeding doesn't stop."

Dolor took up from Lito Gutierrez who was fired for what he claimed was his staunch refusal to be censored by the paper's owners, the family of Ambassador Edgardo Espiritu. The Espiritus had denied Gutierrez's accusation.

The reasons for Valino's dismissal were quite different from what Dolor had told him and what he explained to the Philippine Village Voice.

In his letter to Valino, Dolor wrote: "You should also know that the position of business editor was not in our plantilla at the time my predecessor availed of your services. The position of associate editor for LA will, for the time being, likewise be dispensed with given the nuances of that market. The LA market has been so ruined by the disposable and/or throwaway free newspapers distributed there as to make our SoCal operations totally unprofitable."

But in his response to questions from this reporter, Dolor cited what seemed to be Valino's apparent negligence in as simple a matter as returning phone calls or answering emails.

"He (Valino) was not 'unceremoniously' dumped," Dolor explained. "He simply did not do what was expected."

While the paper is doing well in Northern California, specifically in its home base in San Francisco, its situation in the southern areas like Los Angeles and San Diego is "far from ideal," Dolor said.

Independent journalists said a "power struggle" among the paper's editors could be a major reason for the current instability. In that context, Gutierrez, and now Valino, are seen as victims. This view, however, could not be immediately confirmed with either of the parties.

The 46-year-old paper was founded in 1961 by journalist-turned-political-lobbyist Alex Exclamado who also founded the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA).

Under his stewardship, Philippine News became a propaganda and lobbying arm to advance his NaFFAA agenda. Esclamado later sold it to its present owners, the family of Ambassador Edgardo Espiritu.

Even as Esclamado has retired and Philippine News has taken a different policy, the paper's identity remains questionable because of the presence of writers and columnists identified with NaFFAA.

PHILIPPINE VILLAGE VOICE - Redefining Community News
Issue No. 76 / News Without Fear or Favor /

. . . . . A community service of San Diego's Philippine Village Voice ( or at 619.265.0611) for the information and better understanding of the public. . . . . .

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Last Updated on Sunday, 14 October 2007 11:33

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