Of fake news and endorsements PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 November 2018 14:05

Editorial Desk

Liza A. Jocson

Electoral season is fake news season, no doubt.  But not all news items can be considered fake.

The reported statement of Hugpong ng Pagbabago political officer Jeffrey Tupas which have cast doubts on the veracity of Mayor Sara Duterte’s endorsement of Congressman Celso Lobregat as Zamboanga mayoralty candidate coming out in a website unfamiliar to some might understandably be branded as fake news.

The reported statement of Hugpong ng Pagbabago political officer Jeffrey Tupas which have cast doubts on the veracity of Mayor Sara Duterte’s endorsement of Congressman Celso Lobregat as Zamboanga mayoralty candidate coming out in the Philippine News Agency website could be branded everything else but fake.

To brand a certain news item as fake during this merry political season is the easiest  way to elude painful allegations which affects one’s candidacy, or of saving one’s candidate from the machinations of the opposite camp.

Instead of hurting oneself in the process by insinuating that the Philippine News Agency is a fake website, supporters, oppositionists and the public might be more inclined towards questioning the story behind the story.

What was discussed during the meeting among politicos in that Quezon City restaurant?

Had Mayor Duterte and Congressman Lobregat entered into the endorsement agreement without the knowledge of political officer Jeffrey Tupas?

What led to the act of both parties raising their hands in an apparent and now misunderstood act of endorsement?

And for the undiscerning, do endorsements even matter at all?

Congressman Celso Lobregat is a very calculating politician whose actions are always  backed by figures and data.  To announce the Duterte endorsement without being certain of the fact is uncharacteristic of someone who has walked the halls of power for more than two decades.

To be accused of having misinterpreted a political act is downright embarrassing if not humiliating for someone of Lobregat’s stature.

As journalists we are tasked to report both the story and the story behind the story. In this time of fake news, ambiguity and skepticism, I have absolutely no doubt that the second is forthcoming.