This has been a rough couple of weeks.
We came under fire for a story that we did in the wake of Vhong Navarro getting mauled at a condominium unit in Taguig City.
Specifically, a lawyer for a militant women’s group accused us of twisting her words to make it look like her group was supporting Deniece Cornejo, the woman who is one of several people Navarro has filed charges of serious illegal detention, serious physical injury, grave threat, illegal arrest and coercion against.
Cornejo has accused Navarro of rape, and the lawyer was one of two who were interviewed for a TV report that we based our online story on. At the time, I thought it was a simple story about a women’s group supporting another woman who was saying she had been raped.
Until I came to work the next day to find out that I would be spending the next couple of days dealing with the accusation of handling a report that was “DELIBERATELY MISLEADING and MALICIOUS [emphasis in original].”
I took it on the chin, of course. I edited the story and it was my responsibility.
I responded to the complaint rationally, explaining my side without emotion. I got no response from any of the three e-mail addresses I sent my response to. Why, it was like I did not exist at all.
The apology has been made public and the lawyer has since acknowledged it (online, not privately), but no mention was made of the charge of being deliberately misleading or malicious, and that is something that still stings.
And the thing is, I don’t do spin. I have been careful about how I do my job, and I play by the rules of this profession. I’ve kept my nose and family name clean until now, and to have my integrity put in doubt over a simple misunderstanding is a bitter pill to swallow.
That the accusation came from that group is just icing on this un-fun cake, really. I honestly thought I was just doing my job and that the narrative was of a group of fearless women supporting a victim despite people calling her a liar and other names.
As always, scars earned and lessons learned.