I REFER to the erroneous report in the Post-Courier recently where it claimed that there are 16,000 Filipinos working and living illegally in the country.
Initially, the newspaper’s editor said he stood by the report.
The next day, the newspaper admitted that the report was inaccurate, but still tried to justify it by laying blame on the source of the information, Philip Kikala, who is said to be a member of the Parliamentary Bipartisan Committee looking into the so-called anti-Asian riots in May.
It is regrettable that the Post-Courier could have run such a story when logic and common sense would have told the editors that the numbers were simply impossible.
Perhaps it was one of those days when the editors fell asleep.
Also of concern is the credibility of Mr Kikala.
How are we now able to trust such a person to be on the committee if he can get such information wrong?
The Philippines Ambassador has made it clear that she did not testify before the committee, but Mr Kikala chose to say otherwise.
Under normal conditions, this could amount to a lie.
In view of this incident, which should be taken seriously by the committee if it views its task in the same manner, should Mr Kikala’s position not be reviewed?
Could Mr Kikala’s opinion also be tainted?
Already, there is the question of the move by the chairman, Jamie Maxtone-Graham, to discuss the investigation over FM100.
He explained that he did so to diffuse any anti-Asian sentiments.
I find the explanation hard to believe.
His main responsibility is to ensure that the committee conducts the investigation fairly, efficiently and professionally, without any undue influence.
Any opinions expressed outside could jeopardise this task.