By Alex P. Vidal
“Logic is the technique by which we add conviction to truth.”—Jean de la Bruyere
MY sympathies will always be for colleagues or former colleagues in the mass media when it comes to controversies involving libel or cyber libel cases regardless of who the complainant is.
I have been there; I mean, I know how it felt to be harassed through libel cases by onion-skinned and crybabies who pretend to be elected public servants.
Politicians who easily get pissed off by a slight criticism from any member of the Fourth Estate don’t deserve a minute longer in public office.
They are worse than Omicron because their actuations are tantamount to muzzling the freedom of press and expression in a democratic society.
No journalist will criticize a public official with the intention to destroy the public official’s reputation unless the journalist is “double-edged” or a person working as a media practitioner and at the same time dyed in the wool extortionist (we acknowledge that in every paradise there is a serpent and in every forest, there is a snake.).
So, if a politician receives criticism from a working journalist (newspaperman or broadcaster) it should be job-related or constructive criticism meant to call the politician’s attention for his shortcomings and transgressions, not because the journalist harbors a personal grudge and wants to get even by inventing lies and hitting the politician below the belt out of spite and retribution.
The arrest of Iloilo City mayoral aspirant Salvador “Jun” Capulot by operatives of the Iloilo City Police Station 3 (ICPS3) Captain Eduardo Siacon Jr. at the parking area of a building along B. Aquino Ave. in Mandurriao, Iloilo City on February 17 made him more popular and like a whipping boy.
In the eyes of his fans and political supporters, the former radioman from Bacolod City, who is running for mayor against incumbent Iloilo City Mayor Geronimo “Jerry” Treñas, was a victim of persecution.
Seeing Capulot in handcuffs made them think he looked like an underdog, and someone being made to suffer from injustices for being a small fry.
And Ilonggos always loved the underdog, especially that Capulot appears to personify the image of a poor man with brown complexion and who looks like an ordinary servant and victim of oppression.
Fans and political supporters won’t give a damn about the cases that made members of ICPS3, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Iloilo City Field Unit, and the Iloilo City Mobile Force Company collar Capulot, especially if they see him act like a normal person being arrested and manacled by a group of numerically superior lawmen for stealing a piece of bread to feed his starving family.
Incidentally, Capulot’s arrest came at a time when he was a candidate for city mayor.
This made critics of Treñas, as well as Capulot’s political backers, link the arrest to the former broadcaster’s political career. Enemies of Treñas have found a good opportunity to lash him for “persecuting” Capulot.
If you hate Treñas, the issue is swashbuckling; it’s a perfect time to finally unleash the molotovs against a “vindictive” mayor, who has been receiving heavy criticisms from Capulot himself, who still maintains a radio “blocktime” program and a hard-hitting Facebook account even after he has “left” the broadcast industry as an employee to focus on his new-found career.
But if we look beyond the trees and examine the entire forest, blaming Juan for Pedro’s actions would be illogical and unpalatable, to say the least.
Capulot’s warrant of arrest for six counts of alleged violation of Republic Act 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012) docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 22-3519 to 22-3524 was issued by Judge Rosario Abigail Magay Dris-Villanueva of the Regional Trial Court Branch 65 in Jordan, Guimaras on Feb. 15, 2022.
And the cases were filed by former Guimaras lone district representative and 2022 gubernatorial candidate JC Rahman Nava.
Guimaras is not only a separate congressional district, it’s also an island province with separate courts and jurisdiction.
Some whip smarts asserted that because Nava belongs to the National Unity Party, where Treñas is a member, ergo, the city mayor could be behind the arrest.
Why would Treñas “flex” his muscle that far for an opponent he can easily beat? And what power does he wield against the court?
Why would the court allow itself to be influenced by a politician if the cases had merits?
The link is totally preposterous if not right away freakish.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)