“Ethical standards apply to all or none at all.”
Raul Lambino, deputy secretary general of Lakas-CMD, issued the statement on Thursday as he accused a major television network of “de facto electioneering” by featuring the life story of Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential bet Leni Robredo in a popular primetime drama three days before the start of the campaign period.
“The media like to hold elective officials to high ethical and moral standards, and are quick to point out what they believe are issues of impropriety,” Lambino said.
“While ABS-CBN may not have technically violated the law by showing the Robredo biopic before the beginning of the campaign period, the timing of the episode is highly questionable and is indicative of the network’s bias,” he said.
He cited the Fair Elections Act that stipulates that “No movie, cinematograph or documentary portraying the life or biography of a candidate shall be publicly exhibited in a theater, television station or any public forum during the campaign period.”
Lambino stressed that major networks should “shun such questionable practices” as these “destroy the credibility of an institution the public relies on for information.”
The lawyer added that this was not the first time ABS-CBN had shown bias for or against the subject of its news stories.
“I’ve always found the network’s handling of news stories involving the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) questionable,” Lambino said.
“It appears they always provide a venue for the church’s critics to throw accusations at the INC, but don’t exert effort to verify or validate these accusations before airing their stories,” he added.