Reports have been circulating online that TV Patrol news anchor Korina Sanchez was suspended for one week for the remarks she threw to CNN journalist Anderson Cooper’s story on the striking absence of Philippine government in Tacloban City.
The news behind Sanchez’s alleged suspension first came out on the news portal of the Philippine Star. According to the report, the network would like to make it appear that the seasoned news anchor was gone for a vacation. The network, however, is yet to confirm the news.
Sanchez-Cooper virtual catfight
Sanchez’s comments on Cooper’s report on Wednesday, November 13 became a hot topic on social media.
Through her radio program, “Rated Korina,” she remarked, “Itong si Anderson Cooper, sabi wala daw government presence sa Tacloban. Mukhang hindi niya alam ang sinasabi niya. (This Anderson Cooper. He said there was no government presence in Tacloban. It seems he doesn’t know what he is saying).
This was immediately answered by Cooper through his CNN report, “A radio broadcaster named Korina Sanchez has taken issue with some of my reporting. She also is not just a radio broadcaster; she also happens to be the wife of the Interior Minister (Secretary Manuel Roxas II) who is overseeing the relief effort on the ground. Miss Sanchez seems to be under the mistaken impression that I said I saw no presence of Philippine government on the ground in Tacloban. I never said that.”
He added, “Here’s what I actually said: As for who exactly is in charge of the Philippine side of operation, that is not really clear. I am just surprised. I expected on this Day Five, I thought I may have gotten here very late, that things will be well in hand; it does not seem like that. People are desperate, they do not have any place for shelter. It’s very difficult for people to get food, neighbors are helping out neighbors, water is in short supply, it is a very very bad situation here.”
Cooper then urged Sanchez to go to Tacloban so she can see the real situation there.
With this virtual catfight between Cooper and Sanchez, netizens have also shared their thoughts through Twitter.
“It’s embarrassing for Filipinos that the wife of a high govt official is the source of so much division at a time when we should be united,” said netizen @Article8Jester.
“Korina Sanchez should have the guts to go to tacloban and see the disaster for herself. Because saying something without the proof is BS,” said netizen @LanceLim27.
“She reported in ormoc not in tacloban. She should do her reporting in tacloban without a face mask and smell the stench like Mr. Cooper.,” said netizen Jay Labayo.
“Bashing Korina Sanchez doesn’t make you a better person. Helping “Yolanda” victims does. Move on, people,” netizen @albacharlyn posted on Twitter.
“@andersoncooper gets all emotional as he talks about how strong Filipinos are. Just wanna go to him right now and hug him,” said netizen @NickeyyDees.
Even Sanchez’s fellow anchor Karen Davila expressed her take on this issue, “I believe, Anderson Copper was reporting exactly what he saw and got news first hand from those waiting for relief.”