|Top photo shows IPC interim president Rommel Ynion and members sign
the covenant. Above:Iloilo provincial information officer Marylou B. Sumbing
(left), Nelson Robles (c) and Larry Locara (r).
ILOILO CITY, PHILIPPINES (February 14, 2011) – Two factions of the feuding Iloilo media sign today a “Covenant of Solidarity” pledging unity and an end to a decade of strife that periodically erupted in mutual flinging of barbs.
A paragraph of the manifesto rallied media people to support Lemuel Fernandez, publisher of the Daily Guardian and principal protagonist in the intramurals, who was injured in an attack.
Fernandez was assaulted one late night last month when he was preparing his car to drive home after putting to bed his paper. He was hit with a hard object that injured the right side of his lower head close to his ear. He nearly fell but he still managed to turn around and saw the back of his fleeing attacker.
The other faction is led by Daniel Fajardo, publisher of Panay News. He and Fernandez have been trading barbs for over a decade. The latter was former editor of Panay News, Fajardo’s paper.
“Fighting one another no longer makes sense,” says Fernandez. “I find the temptation of solidarity and peace irresistible.”
“Trading unkind words for long taxes my conscience,” admits Fajardo. “I am also bothered everytime I attacked colleagues because I would receive torrents of calls and text messages from members of my family expressing their displeasure.”
Fajardo in todays issue of Panay News runs a letter expressing apologies to Fernandez.
“I must clarify that this is not a surrender by Lemuel Fernandez,” explains Ynion. “I was the one who surrendered. I talked to Danny Fajardo to ask the cause of the quarrel.”
The bickering is just petty only that everybody’s ego has been wounded. “With factionalism, the media can’t be expected to perform its obligation of comforting the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” says Ynion.