Jan 15, 2021 @ 10:28

Ordinary libel na pinalaki: Rappler chided for writing about Benilde student complaint as national news

A parochial concern in a small private college – which should not have otherwise merited space in national news – is now the source of yet another cyberlibel complaint against Rappler.

Professor Robert Montaña, PhD from the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters chided journo Maria Ressa for greenlighting a small-town story on an alleged “thesis for sale” complaint against Benilde official Ariel Pineda as a large exposé in the national scene.

“If it is a private dispute, or is an internal affair of the school, why publish it in the first place?,” Montaña wrote in his Facebook post.

Rappler journo Rambo Talabong said he is standing by the story, which he “investigated” for days all on the basis of a student complaint to the school administration. The accusation is heavy, saying that Pineda’s students are paying their way to graduation at P20,000. The supposed proof: a BDO bank statement and personal accounts of several students quoting their classmates.

“As an academician, I have seen countless administrative cases filed and resolved. Should journalists create stories from all these cases and publish them in national newspapers?,” the UST professor added.

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