A news program on the Net 25 TV channel enraged viewers and was criticized for airing an unprofessional news segment calling out Vice President Leni Robredo’s daughters Aika, Tricia and Jillian. kulang sa pansin (attention seekers) for posting social media updates featuring their mother.
Mata ng Agila (Eagle’s Eye) decried the girls’ social media updates, particularly those from the family’s recent trip to New York for Jillian’s New York University graduation.
Net 25 is owned by Eagle Broadcasting Corporation, a for-profit affiliate of Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ), a popular Christian sect in the Philippines that backed the tandem of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte for their bloc vote in the May 9 election.
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The news segment, reported by Vin Pascua, featured egregious comments and a number of unsubstantiated claims.
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“Vice President Leni Robredo’s daughters, Aika, Tricia and Jillian, seem like celebrity wannabes who are viciously diligent in elevating their mother’s and themselves’ image online,” began brazenly the segment in Filipino.
“Vice President Robredo and her daughters enjoy posting images of humility and kindness on social media or displaying their simplicity, such as flying economy class, traveling to New York and taking public transportation, while their camp boasts of the high level of education of the girls,” he continued.
To be fair, Robredo is far from the first high-level official to ride a coach on a personal trip abroad: Indonesian President Joko Widodo also rode economy class to attend the graduation ceremony of her son in Singapore.
Not stopping at the Robredos’ recent trip to New York, Pascua also took a look at the Robredos’ personal superstitions and mythology, and featured a fake sex video purporting to feature Aika that has been making the rounds for campaign season, claiming without evidence that it was part of a scheme by Robredo’s camp to smear their opponent, presumptive president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
“It will be remembered that Aika Robredo boasted that her mother was followed by butterflies, met by rainbows at the airport and surrounded by a breeze, as if Leni were an angel or a prophet. Yet the image of kindness they try to project goes against their camp’s smear campaign against the Marcos. They haven’t stopped defaming the Marcos, and even blamed alleged chairman Bongbong Marcos (BBM) for posting a lewd sex video of Aika which was obviously made up by the Robredos because no one else is doing it. ‘sight,” he alleged.
Fake sex videos of Aika and Tricia circulated on social media during the campaign period, prompting the girls and their legal counsel to seek help from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the perpetrators. Contrary to the report, Robredo’s camp did not name Marcos behind the smear tactic.
The report didn’t stop there and went on to compare the Robredo siblings to the sons of Marcos Jr.
“Meanwhile, BBM’s sons Sandro, Simon and Vincent are silent on social media. They live quietly without any arrogance and never said anything negative about anyone. They were clearly brought up with good values and Filipinos see that in real life, not just on social media.
Sandro, the eldest of Marcos Jr., won his first congressional seat in Ilocos Norte First District.
The segment went on to claim that Sandro even greeted retired Comelec commissioner Rowena Guanzon at an event, despite the latter being a fierce critic of the Marcos – yet Guanzon admitted to herself that she knew the Marcos personally, having been a former classmate of Bongbong’s sister. Imee, who is also a senator.
“Robredo really wants his children to be in the spotlight – but do the Robredos really want to improve the lives of the people of this country, or themselves?”
The news segment drew criticism among netizens, especially for its unprofessional reporting.
Professor of Journalism and Election Watch Contra Daya (Combat Cheating) founder Danilo Arao called the report “not news or opinion reporting, but a shameless piece of hacking,” adding that as a member of the Kapisanan of Brodkaster of Pilipinas (KBP; Association of Broadcasters of the Philippines), Net 25 may be subject to penalties for violating the KBP Broadcast Code.
According to the KBP Broadcast Code, violations of Section 3 on fairness and objectivity may result in a penalty of PHP 20,000 (US$382.46), a reprimand for the individual, a fine of PHP 40,000 (US$764 .96 USD) and censorship for the station. for a first offence.
Arao also encouraged the public to report the segment to KBP and publicly denounce the network for its wrongdoings.