The word “bulay-og” hit the nail in the head, a fellow journalist said. He referred to my use of the Cebuano term in describing the seeming incompetence of the police force in Cebu City in solving two sensational crimes: the assassination of assistant fiscal Patrick Osorio and an Iranian student.

The Superbalita editorial was written after acting Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama told the local press that he wants the city’s police force to compare notes with their colleagues in neighboring Mandaue City. The Mandaue police took only a few days in solving two sensational crimes — the gory killing of call center agent Lynn Vi Ebarita and the textmate rape-slay of one Emily Nuneza.

It captured the public’s sentiment over police performance on the two recent sensational crimes.

Immediately after the editorial came out February 5, 2009, Cebu City Police Office Director Patrocinio Comendador called all his station commanders to attend a press conference. The press conference was held to convey the following messages:

  • That they are not “bulay-og”
  • That they have a lot of accomplishments
  • That media should not try to demoralize the police

The reaction was such that even police beat reporters got cowed. The president of the defense press corps, who writes for Superbalita,  even tried to apologize for the editorial.

The police reaction immediately triggered heated discussions in radio commentary programs and local coffee shops.

The next day, a brother who has friends with the police called me asking about the editorial and how it has gotten the ire of the city’s top police brass. Meanwhile, regional police chief Ronald Roderos came out in defense of Comendador.

The police reaction was bad crisis PR management.

Instead of acknowledging the sentiment, asking the public for patience as they have achieved considerable progress in the investigation, and reserving the press conference when they finally solve the cases, the local police went into a rampage against the editorial.

Instead of defending the articulation of a legitimate public sentiment, the defense press corp. apparently feared more the ire of their sources and losing the goodwill they have established.

Unfortunately for the police, until they actually solve the two sensational cases, they have maneuvered themselves into becoming a fixed target for more criticisms.


18 Replies to “Bulay-og”

  1. Have you ever considered Philippine Journalists as bulay-og, too?

    One of the glaring example of Philippine Journalists bulay-ogness is the Ces Drilon News Blackout. Of course, you may be scratching your head why asked the question? You thoughyt Philippine pekeng-peryodistas were in the correct.

    Now, can you say that to the mob-ruled pekeng-peryodistas masquerading as 4th estate?

    I hope I get to see that in your column. But that is a BIG DOUBT!!!!!




  2. Good example is Pachico Seares Right to Reply Flawed Motive. Quote

    “They don’t genuinely want to protect press freedom and promote a robust public debate on issues of public interest, as they falsely claim.”

    Operative word there is “… press freedom and promote a robust public debate on issues of public interest…” Yet your “Comment” tab is heavily censored under the guise of moderation.

    Try commenting on news in ABCNews.com or NYTimes or big board civilized newspapers in America. When you make a comments it get posted real time and debate ensues.

    Sun*STar editors, and columnistas and journalistas who claimed to be intellihentes of the 4Th estate must be in the medieval times.

    Can you attack this bulay-ogness ….


    It’s a challenge not to deleete my post!!!




  3. Dude, that was fast!!!!!

    Here’s another question for you.




  4. Yup, maybe we’re still medieval here in Cebu. We’re still learning this online thing and we value our prerogatives as blog owners or as newspaper editors.
    But one thing I don’t like about unmoderated comments are spam messages. I don’t mind nasty comments though because these gives me a sense of how strong sentiments are especially from emotional readers.
    As for attacks on the administration, many also defend it. Publication and respect for each others’ views (even if nasty) are some of the things I like about democracy.


  5. I would just like to advice those who want to interact. Others would be able to read your reactions so be careful with your grammar and the general way you would want others to perceive you lest you appear like somebody interacting in MIRC … medieval indeed.


  6. In civilized world, they didn’t have Rights-to-Reply Bill because on-line readers can post comments real-time without heavy moderation and censorship. Journalists there gets facts, hints, leads thru interaction of on-line readers.

    Most of all they hear both sides of the coin. They don’t plant innuendos and suggestive gossips and THEY SURE DO KNOW THEIR TRADE, limitations and laws and ethics.


  7. The Ces Drilon News Blackout was pure misinforming Filipinos.

    We, you and I and the the journalists, know that Abu Sayaff wanted publicity. They publicize their beheadings. Calling in journalists. Journalists jostling for good head shots of beheaded soldiers and priest.

    Ces Drilon News Blackout was made so not to ANGER Abu Sayaff. WHAT????? And majority of Philippine journalists called heed of news blackout!!!



  8. Here’s another that incensed me. GLORIETA BOMBING!

    Ayala doyen of industry, insisted it was terrorist contrary to scientific findings of FBI, CIA, Chinese and Australian intelligence agencies.

    “Journalists” are “fully aware” that terrorism is bad for economy and yet they didn’t redicule Ayala’s insistence of terrorism angle.

    Why would Ayala insist terrorist angle on Glorieta bombing? Must be good for the economy?

    And then, Supreme Court came into play to decide a scientific findings by CIA, FBI, Mossad. Naku, po! We cannot even invent life altering inventions how much more Supreme Court decide whether it was a terrorist bombing or spontaneous combustion.



  9. Does anyone know most of our PMA superintendents were trained in FBI in Quantico? Let’s ask around. Because I know several PMAer Superentindent was trained in Quantico.

    Did we get our moneys worth in sending them there?

    Let’s look at Ces Drilon Ransom delivery. The accusation of one of superintendent policeman against the Mayor was so LOW-IQ that I couldn’t stop laughing. I showed it to some Low-IQ white folks, they rolled their eyes and after a long pause rolled out laughing.

    I don’t have to tell the journalists. It’s them to find out. That’s their project why the report was funny and why the accusation was so BULAY-OG!!!!

    Chicago rookie cops who had no college degree and was not trained in Quantico would never do. If you want to kill all Policement in America, all we have to do is show the accusation and news report. This way will kill all American policemen die laughing.


  10. Another Bulay-og instance how inept our policemen are. Remember Lozada was sprung by kung-fu NUNS and PRIESTS who flutter down on hapless Presidential Security in their ninja outfit? THAT WAS REALLY BULAY-OG!!!!


  11. The journalists were also BULAY-OG. REmember that Penensulares coup-coup-roo-coup-coup?

    The media just screamed COUP-DE-T’AT. Intelligently, the foreign wires ignored the COUP-COUP-ROO-COUP-COUP because in the Philippines COUP is seasonal and mostly a failure by our adorable, brave, intelligent PMAeyers.

    When the foreign wires ignored media’s scream of COUP they downgrade it to STAND-OFF (Thanks to stand-off in the political office of Hillary Clinton in Massachussets If t did not happened Philippine media would be scrambling for words to re-brand Penensulars coup as something else)


  12. Another exemplar of peryodistas BULAY-OGness is the attack on Justice Sabio by pekeng-peryodistas.

    I don’t need to point out the contradictions. It’s their PROJECT.

    What is the difference between whistleblowing of Joey de Venecia III and Justice Sabio?

    Why attack Justice Sabio wheeas they lovingly embraced Joey de Venecia?

    First, Color of Skin of the accused.
    2nd, Power of of the accused.

    Brown-skin-punkejd-nose Justice Sabio accusing the katsila MERALCO.

    Brown-skin-punk-nose Joey de Vencia accusing an equally brown-skin-punk-nose GMA.

    So if the accuser is brown-skin against white skin, pekeng-peryodistas cower behind legal goobleydegook.

    If the accuser is brown-skin versus brown-skin all hell breaks loose. Here, there is no rule-of-law.

    Figure that out.


  13. Ayala’s Glorieta Bombing terrorists angle, Justice Sabio, ZTE Senate invistigation, Senate bombing, Ces Drilon News Blackout, PMA Suprentendent accusing Mayor Isfanjani of pocketing ransom money … etc, etc…. these were banner stories that showed conspicious ignorance.

    If only there are high-iQ people in the editorial board they’d have had asked questions. WHY? WHY SO? IS THIS POSSIBLE? IS THIS HOW LEGAL SYSTEM WORK? IS THE SENATE FOLLOWING EVIDENCIARY PROCEDURES?

    If only they have real-time on-line comments without self-censorship and moderation would these pekeng-peryodistas learn. Problem is they heavily censor because they want to be the greatest.

    If these are the knowledge of the 4th estate I wonder what iQ level the rest of the reading public are. Once someone know this answer then it would not be surprising why we are in this economic and corrupt messs.


  14. You’re reactions to Philippine journalists in general reflect dissatisfaction with how some events were covered. I don’t think real time reactions is the solution. But the existence of the 4th estate is one reality we must accept and defend as check and balance in the present imperfect Philippine democracy. The Internet though presents potential outlets for people like you. Aside from commenting in my blog, you could even put one out yourself though many won’t because of the time and effort in maintaining one. The phenomenon of ordinary citizens putting up news and reaction blogs is being discussed right now by media leaders in the Philippines. I am not just quite updated on this subject on civic and citizen’s journalism though I have been involved in an initiative in CEbu years ago re organizing NGO workers to become “barefoot journalists.”


  15. FYI, one person who is not satisfied with the coverage of Sun.Star on issues regarding Capitol is Rep. Pablo John Garcia. Note that is part of the Garcia family that has a stake in Sun.Star. He put up a blog to be able to critically interact with Sun.Star editors and columnists.


  16. I’m thinking about creating a blog. I created one with Wired Journalist yet not posted anything. I decided riding with journalists’ blogs. They have a name. They have the following. They are blog-rolled. Most of all they may be the ones that can see the light because they are the proud and few 4th Estate.

    Take Garcia for example. If you didn’t tell us he has a blog we wouldn’t know and read his “right-to-reply”. There are millions and millions of bloggers in cyberspace. It’d take a fortune teller to know someone who has one and their intent.

    I like the initiative of reaction blogs and comments. I’m leery about citizen journalists. Because, Filipino as we are, loves gossips, intrigues and sensationalize news that’s how our media survive. An notarized affidavit, a whisper is enough to land someone in the front pages.

    What I’m pleading is, please assign an economic major to cover NEDA, Finance anything economic in nature. Assign a law graduate to the courts. Assign a law-enforcement graduate to NBI, police and the military.

    Assigning someone just because he/she is a journalism graduate who speaks and write good english and never question like, “Sir, which is more important the habitat of dolphins or food on the table for the children” They should also have the courage to confront their editor “Sir, let’s not publish the allegation of Joey de Venecia let’s bring this to NBI this is major” “Sir, why we accept as truth the allegation of Joey while we attack Justice Sabio on whistleblowing?”

    Above questions don’t need realtime reaction bloggers and commenters. An Editor worth his salt should know these questions before publication.


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