Bagak Bataan Scandal

June 16, 2009 § 1 Comment

ABS-CBN Channel 2 just featured what it described as a scandalous incident in Bagac, Bataan where a group of young men were shot on film playing basketball, “half-naked”. The video was reportedly shot last April 2008. Allegedly, it was during a festivity when those young boys did the “unthinkable”.

What ABS-CBN channel 2 deplored, especially self-absorbed moralist Karen Davila, was the fact that the boys were allegedly “coerced” by Bagac Mayor del Rosario. Reportedly, the boys were told that for every shot they make, they earn 1,000 pesos. At first, it was just 500 pesos per shot. But, for those who shoot the ball wearing nothing but their briefs, the mayor gave 1,000 bucks.

In defending himself, the Bagac mayor said that he was not the one who ordered it. But, that’s beside the point, really.

Is media turning to be a moralist crusader? I mean, it’s not really unusual to see half-naked boys playing basketball. When I was a teenager, I play ball with my fellow kanto boys wearing nothing but my briefs. And no one see anything wrong with that. We’re having fun doing it and that’s more important.

Is ABS-CBN acting like a prude? I see nothing wrong with young boys playing ball with only their briefs on. Come on guys! It’s normal to see half-naked boys playing basketball.

How about the “antics” of the mayor who gave money for every shot made by those boys? That’s exploitation. That’s immorality. And that’s scandalous.

Why, you little twerps. Is it really scandalous? Come on now. Is it unusual to see mayors giving money to young boys playing ball? No. It’s as normal as seeing the sun rise in the east and sets in the West. It’s a common practice in the cities and provinces all over the Philippines. We even do it in my small village in Antipolo City.

How about giving 1,000 pesos to boys wearing nothing but their briefs? That’s scandalous right? Come on, get real. It’s a common practice and the mayor did that because the basketball game was all for fun. Let’s not think beyond the facts. It was a fest. People are having fun. And everybody was in on it.

Is ABS-CBN Channel 2’s job of making a moral judgment about this? They devoted 1 minute and 30 seconds of reel for this one. Is ABS-CBN  now donning a bishop’s cap and thinks that it is now responsible for the moral health of this nation?

Come on now, guys, get real.

It is not the responsibility of ABS-CBN to say that this is immoral and this one is not. In this issue, it went beyond its journalistic responsibility by already pre-judging the action of the mayor of Bagac. What if that act was a culturally-rooted one? That’s not immoral. That’s not illegal. Yet, ABS-CBN already prejudged the action by highlighting the angle that the mayor “exploited” those young men. Clearly, the mayor did not. They were part of the fun. If the people thought that it was really scandalous, then, why only now that they showed the video, a few months before the May 2010 elections? If that was really scandalous, people from Bagac would have complained about it a month or a few days after the incident. It took a year before the “scandalous” video was shown to the public. 

What is so immoral and so scandalous is to allow entities or personalities to exploit us by saying that we can’t do this and we can do that. Whose to say that this thing is scandalous and this thing is not? Of course, the law ascribes it. But, was the act of the mayor violative of the law? Clearly, it was not.

It is a scandal and immoral when media entities go beyond their responsibilities and think of themselves as moral crusaders. When media entities start to prate and turn a blind eye on such naked show of immorality and scandalous behavior like what those Congressmen did in House Resolution 1109, that is worse than this Bagac video scandal.

When they don’t even report on those rip-offs made by Meralco heaped upon helpless consumers, that’s immoral. When they stay their hand and report not those billions earned by telecoms for eating up pre-paid loads, that’s a scandal. Scandalous even when they report stories peddling those justifications for price hikes from oil companies or when they kill stories on how Senator Manny Villar got his billions off the C-5 road project. These are the true scandals of our age.


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