(Manila) -Â While the entire nation was busy tracking proceedings at the first SONA of president Rody Duterte at the Batasan today, little did Bohol Ist district Rep Rene Relampagos realize that negative news regarding him was spreading like wildfire .
It started reportedly with a news that Relampagos’ aide was caught with a live bullet near the Batasan premises. The one line news stream was reportedly carried by Dzmm and the news smoldered across social media reaching as far as the USA where some residents expressed concern and contacted their friends in the Philippines .
Reportedly , the tale went , Relampagos who is member of the Congress majority coalition supporting president Duterte , was reportedly arrested .
The media concerned did not allegedly bother to contact the solon.
Thus when the CHRONICLE tried to inquire on the news, relampagos was unaware of the gravity of the hasty conclusions resulting from the news.
The visibly irked Relampagos thus issued the following official statement.
As always, security at the House of Representatives (HOR) is at its pinnacle every State of the Nation Address (SONA). This is the expectation with the first SONA of the newly-elected President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
Rep. Relampagos of the 1st district of Bohol, on July 25, 2016, came promptly past 8:00 in the morning in preparation for the pre-session to elect the House Speaker and other officers of the HOR.
â€œWhile at the plenary, I was surprised when people started texting me about a certain incident involving a bullet and me. They said that it is already all over the news that there was a bullet in my bag and the worst I heard was that I was arrested,â€ he said.
â€œWhile I could just shrug off this news knowing that there is no iota of truth to it, it made me reflect on responsible journalism. News spread like fire in the quadmedia without anyone, from the media, confirming with me nor my office about the incident. This was exactly what was pointed out by the president when he spoke of bonafide media.â€
â€œWhat happened was that my close-in security, a member of the Philippine National Police, forgot to check his bag when he entered the premises of HOR. There was an old bullet underneath his bag which would necessarily appear in the scanner used by the security. As is the protocol, said close-in security was asked to dispose of said bullet by returning it to his car which he promptly did,â€ the third time lawmaker explained. â€œIt was really a non-issue. I was surprised when it was picked-up by media and blown out of proportion.â€
He continued, â€œWhat is funny now, and frustrating, is that, news of that sensational incident spread so fast in the media but, I tell you, not one media is going to correct that misinformation. Not now, not ever. It is unfair.â€
Unfazed, Cong. Relampagos said that this will not distract him from pushing for legislative measures that will ensure transparency, accountability and responsible governance and hopes that the media, in their reporting, will follow, too. â€œChange has come.â€