Pia Cayetano accuses reporter of misquoting her. Here’s the video.

May 28, 2020 - 2:05 PM
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Sen. Pia Cayetano during the Senate hearing posted on Facebook (Senate of the Philippines/Released)

Sen. Pia Cayetano called out a news reporter for allegedly “twisting” her manifestation during a virtual Senate hearing, saying that he was “malicious and unethical” on his tweet.   

She was referring to Philippine Daily Inquirer reporter Marlon Ramos who livetweeted her remarks during the Tuesday Senate hearing.


“During my manifestation, I was explaining how urgent the health bills I filed were and was giving context by saying that historically, health infrastructure and health needs were not prioritized. But this time of COVID-19 opened people’s eyes and gave us the opportunity to use the crisis to improve our health care system,” Cayetano said in a statement. 

Cayetano perceived that Ramos “chose to maliciously twist” her words and gave it a different meaning.  

She speculated that the reporter did not listen to her “short” speech or read the transcript of it.  

“Clearly, he chose to maliciously twist the sense of my manifestation, when he tweeted that I ‘welcome’ the negative impacts of the pandemic on our economy, as well as on Filipinos’ lives. Who in their right mind would wish this upon anyone?” she said.  

Cayetano then went on and recalled the death of her child, who died of birth defects several years ago.  

She then expressed hope that “intelligent” Filipinos would be more discerning to whose message to give value to.  

“It saddens me and at the same time outrages me that a reporter would choose to twist words and confuse people and impute malice on a statement urging support for better health infrastructure all over the country. I trust that the intelligent Filipinos know better than to give value to his twisted words,” she said. 

Was Cayetano taken out of context or not?

At the Senate committee on health hearing, Cayetano admitted the national government’s lack of investment in the country’s health care system, which she said became evident as Filipinos cope with the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

The lawmaker attached screenshots of her full statement on this and juxtaposed this to the reporter’s tweets.  

However, the screenshots showed that the remark she alleged the reporter took out of context was quoted correctly in the latter’s posts, wherein she “welcomed” the novel coronavirus pandemic as a “window of opportunity” to improve the country’s health care system. 

Screenshot by Interaksyon

Ramos only added a context to his first tweet: “Sen. Pia Cayetano said she “welcomes” the #COVID19 pandemic, which has already crippled the economy, killed hundreds of Filipinos and left thousands hungry and jobless.” 

He then added the rest of her message in the succeeding tweet. 

“I welcome-I do say it-this unfortunate event known as #COVD19 because it opens our eyes and gives us that window of opportunity to provide necessary funding, attention and efforts that our healthcare (system) deserves,” Cayetano was quoted as saying.  

The same message was also shared on Senate’s Facebook page on the same day. However, it did not include the word “welcome.” 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has opened our eyes and gave us a window of opportunity to provide the necessary funding, necessary attention and efforts that our health care system deserves. Health facilities should be included in the government’s flagship projects,” part of the post read.  

CAYETANO URGES GOV'T TO INCLUDE HEALTH FACILITIES IN FLAGSHIP PROGRAM:Sen. Pia Cayetano urges government to include the…

Posted by Senate of the Philippines on Monday, May 25, 2020

 

Filipinos further criticized Cayetano for calling out Ramos when he was only doing his job.  

Ramos later also advised public officials to simply apologize for wrong statements instead of passing the blame to journalists.  

“Dear public officials, if you realized that you just uttered something insensitive or cited wrong information, you can simply apologize. It won’t make you a lesser person,” Ramos said 

Insensitive opinion?

Other Filipinos addressed Cayetano’s use of the word “welcome” in referring to the pandemic which cost the lives of hundreds of Filipinos and affected the livelihood of thousands more.  

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. also criticized the senator for her view on the global health crisis. 

“It’s a good message but pandemic as the inspiration for a universal health care system happened already in 1918 with the Spanish Flu that killed 50 million and the among the first to adopt it was Soviet Russia making a compelling argument for communism to anyone with a brain,” Locsin said.  

Last March, the Department of Transportation similarly came under fire for posting a music video of a Polish singer who expressed appreciation on the consequences brought by COVID-19 to the people.

As of Thursday, more than 5.6 million COVID-19 cases were recorded in 188 countries and regions affected. Of which, more than 355,600 deaths and over 2.3 million recoveries were logged globally.