"On honest reporting and raffle prizes"

When we reported about the raffle draw that transpired during the Walk For Life event at the Quirino Grandstand on Saturday, February 18, ...

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When we reported about the raffle draw that transpired during the Walk For Life event at the Quirino Grandstand on Saturday, February 18, we followed the usual way of reporting the news—we gather the data, have them verified, and then file the stories.

So when anti-Duterte parties started attacking our source, MJ Quiambao Reyes, Prof. Antonio P. Contreras, and us about our report, we wondered where the complaints rooted. We were merely stating the fact.

 "On honest reporting and raffle prizes"
Composite photos from Manila Bulletin, MJ's Facebook and VOVph
The article “EXPOSED: P300K raffle prize given during 'Walk For Life' event?” never stated a fact that, indeed, an amount of P300,000 was doled out during the event. We made use of a question mark to spark the curiosity of our readers to investigate on their own as we believe the public’s ability to find out for themselves, too.

Here are our facts:

On February 18, Senator Leila de Lima, together with priests, nuns, and other religious leaders took to Quirino Grandstand to protest the rampant alleged extra-judicial killings in the country. They also stood against the resurfacing of the death penalty.

Unfazed netizen MJ Quiambao Reyes posted on Facebook about an intelligence report about a certain religious group offering a raffle prize to their members who would attend the said protest. Emphasis of Reyes' FB post is the positive change she noted among Filipinos--that despite the raffle, many members of the religious group still did not attend the event.

When the news broke, anti-Duterte accounts started accusing and attacking Reyes for allegedly spreading “fake news.” By fake news meaning false, unverified, fraudulent content aimed at making fools of the public.

But to them we ask: if what we’re publishing is, indeed, fake news, then why are there outright facts to support our stories.

A YouTube video of a religious gathering on the said date revealed that there was indeed a raffle draw that transpired. Fifteen minutes into the video, the male emcee reminded those who were in the audience to drop off their tickets to a point person.

To quote, “Yung mga nabigyan ng ticket sa Luneta kanina, kung hawak po ninyo ng buo, kinakailangan mapilas yung isa doon nyo po dadalhin sa AVR, sa audio-visual room, sa bigayan ng tites at hanapin si Bo. Armand Tomahig. Sa kanya po ihuhulog yan para po sa ating raffle mamayang gabi.”

It was openly mention, in front of a microphone amplified by a public address system, that later that night, a raffle draw is to happen.

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