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Anatomy of A Kuryente: The Alleged Abduction And Rape of A PDEA Agent’s Daugther

July 22, 2009


So it is that we are being told that it was a non-story, a kuryente as it is called in Philippine journalism – the Inquirer banner report on the alleged abduction, drugging, and rape of the 13-year-old daughter of an agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

All around the reaction to the story break was one of condemnation for the alleged perpetrators, sympathy for the supposed victim, and anger over government’s failure to crush the illegal drug trade.

Among journalists there is a saying that w are only as good as our last story and there have been several instances in the past that this writer, having practically grown up in a newsroom, stumbled upon ‘kuryentes – with even the most reliable of sources getting, and sharing errors in fact.

It does come with the territory – the crush of deadlines (which in today’s new media world is a new cycle running 24/7), the intensity of competition, and the search for truth about issues that impact on national life, on the national psyche.


So it is that we get bum steers and red faces despite best effort to givce the story enough legs to stand on and guided by our gut feel, our ‘nose’ for news.

What do we do when kuryente strike?

Hide under a rock?


We move forward and strive to get it right next time, always acting in good faith that our sources will not mislead us or get the facts wrong the next time around.

The Inquirer is now revealing the full dope on how it ‘confirmed’ the story about the PDEA agent’s daughter , revealing that PDEA boss Dionisio Santiago was THE source.

So there.

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