Saturday, January 22Multi-awarded Filipina blogger, publicist and social media specialist
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Iligan City councilor, a Liberal Party candidate, attacks broadcaster on air

This piece of news pretty much made my day today. Mindanaoan thought that what happened between an anchorman of a local radio station in Iligan City and an Iligan City councilor (who’s seeking re-election, no less!) was controversial, wacky, weird, funny, interesting and well…basically a sign of what’s to come in the next few months. Yup, the campaign season really DOES bring out the LOLs!

According to news reports, Iligan City Councilor Chonilo Ruiz, a Liberal Party (LP) candidate, attacked DXRJ anchorman Albert Loyola while the latter was inside the announcer’s booth and was live on air. Ruiz allegedly barged into the station Wednesday morning and punched Loyola.

Ruiz is seeking re-election come May 2010. Ruiz is seeking for a third term.

Amid the commotion, Loyola was allegedly heard shouting repeatedly over the microphone that he was being punched by Ruiz. Meanwhile, Ruiz was also allegedly heard on air saying “salbahe ka, salbahe ka.”

Reports didn’t say if Loyola was rushed to the hospital for medical tests.

Ruiz, however, engaged in an interview with another Iligan City radio station. He claimed that Loyola repeatedly called him “botboton” or liar in Visayan. Ruiz said that he tried to call the station in order to air his side but he was ignored.

Loyola, for his part, explained that he was just “asking” Ruiz how the city council is spending the budget on committee hearings. He claimed that he “wasn’t served snacks” during public hearings even though Ruiz said that part of the expenses included snacks for attendees.

Loyola reportedly said he will file appropriate charges against Ruiz. Ruiz said he will face the charges but also appealed to media practitioners to practice professionalism.

So here are my thoughts about this.

First off, both parties must acknowledge that neither of them come out “victorious” because of this controversy. IMHO, media man Loyola may have his 15 minutes of fame but at the end of the day, he will be remembered as the man who complained because he didn’t get SNACKS and who got punched in his very own lair. I’m not sure if Loyola was even able to retaliate but that does not matter. What people will think of and talk about is the fact that he got whacked inside his very own announcer’s booth.

Secondly, re-electionist Ruiz will now be forced to face a major PR disaster. For someone who’s seeking re-election, this type of publicity is the last thing that he needs. He may have been “hurt” by Loyola’s accusations and he may only be human…but for someone who’s been in politics for at least two terms, shouldn’t he be used to all these by now? Also, people’s minds will now be tickled — why was Ruiz so angry at such a seemingly small accusation? If the council did spend the money wisely during committee hearings and if there really is legal basis for the committees involved to spend a part of the expenses for “snacks,” then what’s there to worry about? Loyola is probably just another media practitioner who wants to magnify things plainly because…well…maybe because that’s what he does and that’s what he needs to do. Plain and simple.

As for Ruiz — sir, my unsolicited advise — extend your patience further. Keep your heart in check. And perhaps you can employ a staff member who will always remind you of PR and media strategies. Remember, media practitioners may be your enemies for now…but at the end of the day, there will come a time when they can be your allies as well.

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