Just saw the hit piece another Filipino columnist wrote criticizing my reporting on the lawsuit against Beverly Hills Bakery owner, Ana Moitinho de Almeida, her husband, Goncarlo, and their corporate entities.
Just want to point out, that my reporting included three of the principals involved, the people who filed the suit and their stories. I didn’t pass judgment. That’s what the courts are for.
But the critic puts much weight on the fact that these former employees who are suing are much closer to the family. So that puts them in a different class? Or makes them easier to manipulate and to be taken advantage of?
The critic also makes it sound like I made up the stories.
It’s all public record in the lawsuit. I just humanized the story by actually reaching out to talk to real people–on both sides.
The Moitinho de Almeidas were contacted and declined an interview.
The critic seems to make a lot about these former employees gambling and going on trips in the U.S., as if that alone proves anything besides their personal preferences. They weren’t free to leave the country or their jobs by their visa, and they did talk about real threats to their families back home.
But the bottom line seems to be the critic’s concern that I invoked the name of Juan B. Santos, the head of the Social Security System in the Philippines, and the former head of Nestle in the Philippines.
He’s the father of Ana, the baker. He also had some financial involvement with the bakeries of his daughter. No charges are against him, but the actions of his daughter, and their relationship is newsworthy.
If Ana is as innocent as the critic claims, what difference does it make to mention Santos, who was one of the Hyatt 10 who pressed for honest government during the Arroyo era.
We know what happened in the Arroyo era. It was Marcos Lite. So Santos should be a hero, somewhat.
I can’t fault the critic for wanting to defend his friend. But my reporting is sound. Other U.S. news organizations reported the story. The facts are all there. If they omitted Santos’ name it’s because they are U.S. based media and not Philippine-based as was my original column for Inquirer.net.
I took an extra step by talking to the employees who sued, who told me their stories. But I also gave the Moitinho de Almeidas a chance to respond.
The subsequent story is even more telling, that the Moitinho de Almeidas are in a second legal battle about the bakery with their own relatives. The relatives say its intimidation. The Moitinho de Almeidas once again declined to comment.
I reported this last week, based on legal docs that are public record. But my offer stands: I would love to tell the Moitinho de Almeida’s story objectively and without the bias shown by my critic.
My interests are only in the truth.
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