Day 16

This is my second to the last day of internship and my second day in a new beat. The EcoWaste story was used by the Philippine Daily Inquirer but it was not my story. I found out later that such stories belonged to the other reporter of Manila, Alcuin Papa. I feel alright even if my story wasn’t used. At least I knew which stories could land in the newspaper.

Sir Marlon Ramos left early today because his brother was arrested for traffic violations. I was on my own on my second day at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines press office. Another Inquirer reporter took over Sir Marlon’s post for the mean time. She’s also a graduate of the University of the Philippines and a former writer of the Philippine Collegian. I didn’t get her name but Sir Marlon said she’s among the youngest reporters of the Inquirer.

The reporters at the CBCP were busy with the Commission on Elections story on the computerization of the 2010 elections. They were waiting for a statement from the commission regarding the possibility of bidding failure after none of the participants passed COMELEC’s standards. At the same time, they were waiting for comments on an alleged signing of procurement documents inside a COMELEC bathroom to bypass the procurement process. The raw video of the alleged signing was uploaded online, generating uproar from netizens and the media.

I did not join the throng of COMELEC reporters, however. Instead, I concentrated on the Bureau of Customs stories because they were assigned to me by Sir Marlon. Besides, I had just been in the beat for two days so I’m starting with the easier stories. In addition, my partner reporter also asked me to monitor the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Department of Labor and Employment while he was away.

I wrote a story on illegal aliens today after receiving a press release from the BI. The PR was actually well written except for the lead. I rewrote the story and called the Paranaque City police to confirm the information on the arrest of the aliens.

In my story, two foreigners were apprehended after they were caught cheating slot machines with a gadget. They did this scheme for several days at a Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. casino in Barangay Sto. Nino. One of the aliens was a Korean and the other was a Japanese and they had been under police custody from April 29 until today.

The BI agents moved to transfer the two after they learned that they were about to post bail for their temporary release. BI officers are already preparing the deportation papers of the two.

Putting this story together was relatively easier because most of the needed information were already available in the PR. I only had to confirm the other details by calling the Paranaque police and the BI itself. The police was accommodating, but the press officers of BI refused to add further details saying the release was already complete.
I finished the story and sent it to Sir Marlon via email. He said he will edit it and send it to the desk. I think the story has a good chance of being published. I hope it gets published.
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