Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I was surprised to read in a local daily about an alleged "sex scandal" in Argao involving a number of high school students. It saddened me to hear that such an incident would add negativity to my town especially in a time when everyone has had nothing but praises for Argao because of the many projects and activities it has done and accomplished.

But I was even more appalled at the fact that various newpapers in the city have splashed the so-called scandal in their pages just like they would any scandal involving politicians and movie stars. Upon comparing the write ups of various local dailies and tabloids, I saw very obvious glaring differences in the reportage. I am bothered by the fact that these reporters have immediately sensationalized this incident without actually verifying their sources. By all means the incident could be true or not, but the way the newspapers have carried the story already points the finger at these students as being guilty as charged.

THE FREEMAN and its tabloid BANAT reported six (6) students, 3 boys and 3 girls, who were involved in the scandal. They reported that an SPO2 Manny Flores chanced upon the students when he heard the phrase "atong videohan" at past 2 in the afternoon.

SUNSTAR and its tabloid SUPER BALITA reported that there were eight (8) students, 4 boys and 4 girls, involved in the incident. They reported that the policeman who chanced upon the students, Manny Flores, heard the word "sex" , prompting him to investigate what was going on. They also reported that Flores is an SPO1. The incident allegedly took place at 4 in the afternoon.

In the same article, a mention was made about the radio station DYLA reporting that 10 students were involved in the alleged scandal. DYLA also reportedly made mention that SPO1 Flores found used condoms in the building.

I am not so naive to think that our youth now are all virginal, innocent kids who know nothing about the birds and the bees. But when I read about an alleged sex scandal from various newspapers involving the youth from my hometown that don't even give me the exact number of kids involved, the exact title of the police officer who apprehended them, and the exact time the alleged scandal occured, I am going to be extremely skeptical. I have no idea who started the issue, and how it became so sensationalized. I believe issues that involve the youth should be given the appropriate attention. But we cannot simply accept as gospel truth the allegations about kids barely out of their teens having an orgy from these news reporters, especially considering that their reports are conflicting and seemingly inaccurate. I therefore enjoin everyone to give these children the benefit of the doubt before we draw conclusions.

Secondly, I also hope that news reporters be more accurate in their reporting in the future. Irresponsible journalism has led to many people's reputation being ruined before, and I pray this new display of irresponsible reporting does not damage the lives of these children. Finally, I hope the Catholic church would allow the inclusion of sex education in the curriculum of all elementary and high schools so we can make sure our students are properly schooled in all aspects of human reproduction.

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