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The Danger of a Single Story

The Editor-in-Chief Bicol Mail Naga City, Philippines

“The Danger of a Single Story”

Dear Editor:

This has reference to the very controversial article, “Army Admits Using manipulated “photo,” where the some press people from the media commented “the photo-shopped picture released by the AFP might just be, “tip of an iceberg” on the alleged fake surrenderees and bounty collection racket among military officials.” The Philippine Army has already admitted its “honest mistake” in releasing said photos to protect the safety of former rebels and their families. Partly, we can blame the Philippine Army for the said blunder, but for me whose father and my two uncles are among the 306 rebels (NPAsj who surrendered to the folds of the law in Masbate last December 26, 2019, I still give credence to the army’s admission.

I am 22 years old, a fresh graduate of Journalism and a freelance writer. It is sad to say, but sometimes those in the media could also be very adversarial in their press releases (print, broadcast, online news and other media platforms). To know the truth, there should be a balance of stories. Not control single conversation, this for me is the ethics of journalism. The Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct of the Philippine Press Institute III. Writing a Story states that:”. All efforts must be exerted to make stories fair, accurate and balanced. Getting the other side is a must, specially for the most sensitive and critical stories. 2. Single-source stories must be avoided as a rule. There is always the imperative to get a second, third or more sources, the contending parties to issue, the expert source, the affected party, the prominent and the obscure, in the story. We must arrive at all times to ascertain the truth of our source’s assertions”

I lived an unusual life, being a daughter of a member of the communist group, the New People’s Army or NPAs. I and my brother (now 15 years old), grew up without him. We spent our graduations, birthdays and other school and family activities with only my mother present. Though reluctant to forego all manner and celebrations during Christmas, we are compelled attributed to his absence, as he is always in the mountains with his other NPA comrades fighting for their own ideologies, which they believe as keys in attaining the long-sought after peace and bring reforms to the social ills in the country. No family visit were either paid to friends and relatives on many occasions as he rarely visits us, and if he does, he always has a companion who acts as his security-buddy.

My father’s 20 years with the NPA group brought us so much hardships, though I believe that no matter what the hardship, we need to face it and come out of the darkness feeling confident and hopeful.

I finished my studies with the benevolent financial assistance from my aunt as the help from the NPA whom my father called as Suporta sa Pamilya amounting to P2,500.00 monthly is not sufficient to finance my study, and most of the time delayed. The money is only sent to us through the NPA’s courier.

My father is so tired of running, hiding and fighting and he wants to live a normal life with us. The 306 rebels who surrendered in Masbate reflected in the news are real...not fabricated. There are other rebels who I believe will follow the bandwagon of surrenderees and live life’s normalcy.

I am now confident, hopeful and cheered life for my father’s return. This is my narrative and I will continue writing one good, truthful...approved story.

Please hide my identity for security reasons

Sincerely yours,

Daughter of an ex-rebel from Masbate

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