MARAWI CITY — Judge Wenida B.M. Papandayan of RTC Branch 10 in Lanao del Sur said that the journalist who is gathering information in the field has great responsibility than the outfit carrying his story.
In her keynote address during the First Induction Ceremony of Sarimanok Press Club, she said the journalist in the field tries to get the facts and the truth of the incident being covered. She said the journalist investigates to get the truth by validating, verifying and checking the information to ensure that it is accurate before reporting the incident for public consumption.
She said when the report is published and picked up by national media, the incident is magnified and enlarged when reported in national media which has greater coverage and audience reach, so if the report has inadequacies, the inadequacies are also magnified and enlarged which may create more harm than good.
She said this is a great responsibility of the journalist in the field. She said the responsibility of the journalist in ascertaining facts in the field is the same responsibility observed by judges in ascertaining the truth in legal cases. She said the judge come across with the litigants during hearings and sees their emotions and passions. She said the judge makes all efforts to ascertain the truth so that the judgment will be fair to all litigating parties and ensure that justice prevails. She said when the case is elevated to higher courts, like the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, the case is reviewed by the higher court based on the transcript of the proceedings and the order of the court, without having the privilege to see the feelings, the emotions, and behavior of the litigants. She said the judge after ascertaining the truth makes sure that the judgment he or she makes is based on existing laws and jurisprudence relative to the case.
Judge Papandayan, who administered the oaths of office of the new set of officers of the SPC, said that she cannot annul, revoke or recall the oaths of the officers. She said the officers made their oaths before God to perform their duties with utmost responsibility, commitment, loyalty, dedication and sincerity without any thought of absconding, evading or abandoning their sworn duties. She said the officers who made the oaths have the power to annul, revoke or recall the oaths of office.
Judge Papandayan told a story about a political leader who had been replaced. She said the second in command took an oath to perform the duties of the position vacated. She said she was the administering officer of the person who took his oath of office. She said the following day the political leader who was adversely affected by the oath taking asked her to annul, revoke or recall the oath of office. She said she had no power to annul, revoke or recall the oath of office because she was not the one who made the oath of office. She said she was only there as witness and not as oath-taker. She then told the political leader who was adversely affected to ask the oath taker to annul, revoke, cancel or recall the oath of office because it is the oath taker who had the power to annul, revoke, cancel or recall the oaths of office. The New Ranao STar