Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bagac Bataan Scandal: A scandal or a PR ploy?

ABS-CBN Channel 2 just featured what it described as a "scandalous incident" in Bagac, Bataan.

A video shows a group of young men playing basketball, "half-naked". The video was reportedly shot last April 2008. Allegedly, it was shot during a festivity. And reports say, the mayor was the one who "ordered" the "scandalous" basketball game.

Self-absorbed moral crusader Karen Davila of ABS-CBN Channel 2 deplored the incident, even hinting that the boys were allegedly coerced by Bagac mayor Ron del Rosario to do the "deed". And what "deed" is Davila referring to?

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 it really unusual to see half-naked boys playing ball? No. As a teenager, I play ball with my friends with all of us half-naked. We even play with only our briefs on. So, was it unusual to see half-naked boys acting the way they did in that video? No. I see nothing scandalous or even "immoral" about it.

Is it immoral to incentivise those boys for shooting the ball to the hoop wearing nothing but their briefs? No. My uncles and aunts do that. Is it exploitation? Maybe. But, that's really thinking beyond what the entire thing really is--it is simply a fun activity and probably the mayor did not mean to "demean" the boys by giving them money for each shot taken to the hoop. Don't tell me Attorney Harry Roque that what my aunts did were violations of the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Law? Do you want to put on a Bishop's hat, Atty. Roque?

What is immoral and scandalous is the way ABS-CBN Channel 2 is behaving. Look, is it the role of media to prate and cast judgment on a very mild prank such as this? Is ABS-CBN Channel 2 turning into a moralist prude? I hate to say this, but, ABS-CBN should not debase itself with such trivial matters.

There are more scandalous and more immoral things that ABS-CBN 2 should devote that precious 1 minute and 30 seconds to. For example, the immorality of those Congressmen calling for a Constituent Assembly. Or that scandalous rip-offs that Meralco is doing to its millions of customers. Or, that vanishing loads that PLDT, Globe and Sun are doing to the behest of their subscribers. Or that very scandalous things that those oil companies do and the ineptitude and apparent "helplessness" of the Department of Energy in averting such oil price hikes.

These are scandals which ABS-CBN channel 2 should focus their attention to, not play into the hands of political PR operators who just claims to be very close to an ABS-CBN 2 insider.