Inaccurate commentary
(The Philippine Star) - October 12, 2018 - 12:00am

We are writing to bring to your attention the column of Ms Carmen N. Pedrosa that appeared on Oct. 7 entitled, “A letter to the President that should be in mainstream media.”

Ms Pedrosa’s commentary refers to a letter allegedly signed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff and major service commanders. It purportedly intends to bring to the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte that “there is enough ground already to dissolve Congress and declare RevGov.”

 First, the AFP or any of its subordinate unit did not write, sign, or release any correspondence on the matter. The letter cited by Ms Pedrosa was written by a certain Paulo Jose Misa and posted on his Facebook page on Sept. 13, 2018. 

 In his Facebook post, Mr Misa wrote a disclaimer which reads: “I must confess that I was the one who wrote the letter ‘for them’ out of frustration. I merely wished to help them come to their senses.” Mr Misa reiterated this in a comment to the same post as shared by a certain Gerard Dacudao, in which Ms Pedrosa commented: “The letter was written by Paulo Jose Misa and that he wished the AFP Chief of Staff and Major Service Commanders would write to PRRD.” However, this same annotation did not appear in Ms. Pedrosa’s Oct. 7, 2018 column.

 Ms Pedrosa, while initially describing the letter as “purportedly signed by the AFP Chief of Staff and the Major Service Commanders,” referred to the same matter-of-factly in subsequent paragraphs as if it existed as an AFP-signed letter.

The AFP has time and again firmly stated its position not to engage in partisan politics and to focus on its mandate as protector of the people and the state. The shoddy, if not inaccurate and irresponsible, commentary written by Ms Pedrosa is uncharacteristic of the quality of journalism espoused by the Philippine STAR and that may have cast serious doubts on our position of impartiality and non-involvement.

In this regard, we are hoping that your office will take appropriate measures to rectify the matter and put the column to the right context. We value the actions that you will take to protect the credibility, values, and aspirations for free and responsible journalism mutually advocated by our institutions. — Col. Noel J Detoyato GSC (INF) PA, Chief, Public Affairs Office, AFP

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