Is it 12 or six people killed?

A day after a deadly bombing in Makilala, North Cotabato on October 11 took place, a number of media outlet, including the Inquirer, have published reports 12 people were killed.

The following day, October 12, the report on a number of victims killed was reduced to six. As I was not at the crime scene, I got confused which is which–and perhaps the readers would agree.

I find Inquirer’s reporting relatively reliable until this conflicting report incident took place.

I do not believe this error was intentional and perhaps the report was filed in haste, as it usually happens to beat deadlines.

I was a media practitioner before and had covered a number of bombing incidents in Mindanao, including my hometown General Santos City. But fortunately I haven’t been guilty of committing such errors.

To others, maybe who are not residents of Mindanao, to have this report change was simply fine. But at least to me, it was something and the impact was irreversible. The people of Mindanao deserve an apology.

For years, Mindanao, despite it being a relatively peaceful and potential island, had been tainted with violence and wars. As a Mindanaoan, I feel sorry for this.

If you go to Mindanao, wars and violence does not actually carpeted the entire island as what others are trying to project.

With this violence and bombing once again occurring in Mindanao, and there are threats of an escalating violence due to stalled peace talks between government and the Muslim rebels, I appeal to the media to take extra careful with their reports.

Media practitioners may need not to embrace development or peace journalism, but at least of being a responsible journalist in this time of crisis is fair enough. As we upheld freedom of expression and press we must maintain commitment and responsibility to the society.

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