Americas News

Consul General Badajos, TJ Manotoc rally FilAm journalists in LA

LOS ANGELES – Veteran broadcast journalist TJ Manotoc and Philippine Consul General Edgar Badajos warned against the inroad of AI (artificial intelligence) and fake news as they challenged journalists to continue to be truthful and responsible in their calling.

Manotoc and Badajos made the call during the well attended induction and launching of a new group of journalists, the Philippine Global Media Group, at the Double Tree by Hilton in Norwalk, Los Angeles on February 10.

Among the guests in the event were Councilman Ollie Cantos of West Covina, former Cerritos Mayor Mark Pulido, Johnny Itliong, son of the late labor leader Larry Itliong; FilAm candidate for California Assembly Jessica Caloza, Philippine News Today editor in chief and former. National Press Club president Alfred Gabot and others.
Other elected officials public who attended the event were Artesia former mayor and current Councilmember Melissa Ramoso and Carson Councilmember Arleen Rojas.

Badajos, a lawyer from Abra who is winding up his three-year term in Los Angeles and territories under the Los Angeles-based Philippine Consulate, swore in the PGMG officers led by US and Philippines veteran journalist Val Abelgas of Philippine Post, president; Manny Ilagan, freelance writer and former Department of Tourism director in Los Angeles, chairman; Nimfa Rueda US Channel director of ; Lydia Solis, associate editor of Philipine Post and Weekend Balita contributor, vice presidents; and Dan Nino, freelance journalist, secretary.

Other officers of PGMG are Rick Gavino, photographer of Philippine Post, treasurer.;

and the members of the board are: Ruben V. Nepales, Rappler columnist; Meh M. Guevarra, editor of Philippine Tribune; Bobby Crisistomo, chief photographer of the Philippine Post; Marc Pijuan, publisher of San Gabriel Examiner; Julian Oriel, publisher of Philippines & Asian Reports (San Diego); Abner Galino, former news editor of Weekend Balita and now associate editor of the Post; Donnabelle Gatdula Arevalo, correspondent of Asian Journal; Joe Cobilla, photographer of Philippine Post; and Ella Wagner, former Editor of California Examiner and freelance journalist.

Badajos also gave the inspirational talk, congratulating the group for a “great start,” adding it is sure to succeed in its goals as it is composed of seasoned journalists known for dishing out good quality and well rounded news and information to the public.

The lawyer-diplomat warned against fake news and manipulated information, saying they undermine the society and democracy.

The public should help in fighting misinformation by firstly evaluating the credibility of the news sources and being able to distinguish facts from opinion.

He rallied the PGMG officers and members to help guide the public and educate them for common good.

The journalists should also assist the Filipino migrants by helping preserve their identity and culture and inspriing them.

“I hope that journalists use their power for the sake of truth, justice and freedom,” Badajos said.

Manotoc, head of the North America bureau of ABS-CBN, called on his fellow journalists to do something to help reverse the trend especially in social media that leads to misinformation and disinformation.

“We should not ignore and forget our responsibility as journalists and do something on the bad influence of AI and social media,” Manotoc said.

“Filipinos play a very important role in the US and in other countries all over the world, and it is paramount that the Filipino media professionals come together and help inform their countrymen in the global diaspora of news developments in their respective communities and in our homeland, the Philippines,” said Val G. Abelgas, a 52-year veteran newsman who heads PGMG as its first president.

“By sharing a common goal of rallying fellow Filipinos to play an even more pro-active role in their communities, Filipino journalists can help improve the image of Filipinos before the world and, at the same time, support the Philippines’ development goals,” Abelgas added.

The PGMG plans to hold seminars and workshops to uplift the professional and ethical standards of its members, launch scholarships for deserving Filipino journalism students, hold press forums for community organizations, Filipino-American local officials, and visiting Philippine officials in coordination with the Philippine Consulate General. (Alfred Gabot)


(Alfred Gabot)