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EXPLAINER: Why did 2 Cebu radio anchors receive backlash?

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 19,2024 - 12:25 PM

Cebu radio anchors Brigada News FM

A screenshot of the controversial Tira Brigada program of Lawyer Juril Patiño and Dennes Tabar on March 13, 2024 | Screenshot from Brigada News FM – Cebu / Facebook

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A public apology.

This was what the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines in Cebu (NUJP-Cebu) asked for the two anchors from a local radio station here who faced backlash over their unethical interview involving a minor.

NUJP-Cebu’s statement was the latest that condemned anchors, Lawyer Juril Patiño and Dennes Tabar of Brigada News FM – Cebu.

Cebu radio anchors Brigada News FM

The two media practitioners came under fire for interviewing a minor victim of sexual abuse, live on air.

In response, Brigada News Station FM had launched an investigation into the matter. They had also implemented administrative sanctions, said Raul del Prado, area manager of Brigada News – Visayas, in a statement.

However, it was not specified who would be subjected to these penalties. But as of Monday, Mar. 18, Patiño was not seen during his regular early morning program with Tabar.

What happened?

The controversy first arose last March 13.

In their Tira Brigada program, Patiño, together with Tabar, interviewed a child victim of sexual abuse and even made her recount the traumatic experience during the broadcast.

The child was still inside the police station when the interview was being conducted. The anchors connected with her via phone through one of the station’s field reporters, Jonalyn Jumabis.

The interview was not only broadcast on radio but also on Brigada News FM – Cebu’s official Facebook page.


The Cebu Federation of Beat Journalists (CFBJ), the coalition of beat and field reporters in Cebu, was the first to publicly call out Patiño and Tabar.

Cebu radio anchors Brigada News FM

“No empathy was shown towards the young girl who was already going through a difficult time. The aggressive and insensitive line of questioning only added to her distress and may have hindered her healing process,” CFBJ said in a statement issued on March 14.

Other concerned stakeholders, like the Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC), STET Women in Media, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkster ng Pilipinas (KBP) in Cebu, the Children’s Legal Bureau, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD-7)  also made similar calls.

All pointed out that the privacy of minors and children victim of crimes, especially sensitive ones, should be respected, and that they should be spared from further trauma by not sharing details of their suffering publicly.

KBP statement BRIGADA News FM

KBP-Cebu, in its official statement, will be conducting its investigation since Brigada is a member of their organization.

“KBP Cebu is not convinced that by shattering our ethics as a resort to obtain broadcast supremacy. For this reason, KBP will conduct an impartial investigation to get to the bottom of this issue,” they said.

The group also reiterated the Broadcast Code of 2007 which outlines how to properly conduct interviews, particularly in sensitive cases like sexual abuses.

“Children should not be required, coerced or bribed to recall and narrate traumatic experiences, demonstrate horrific acts, or describe them in graphic details,” portions of the Broadcast Code of 2007 read.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines in Cebu City, for their part, took note of the ‘inappropriate and offensive behavior matter’, and reminded lawyers to uphold ‘always dignity and integrity.’

IBP Cebu City Chapter statement

In a separate statement, CLB also warned that individuals might face legal consequences when sharing traumatic details of sexual abuses made against children.


Last March 15, Patiño and Tabar defended their decision to do such interview despite the growing criticisms.

During the Tira Brigada edition that day, both claimed the interview was done out of ‘public service’ to help the victim’s family in seeking justice.

They also said that it was also part of their duties as radio anchors.

But on Monday, based on Brigada’s official statement, the two anchors seemed to have backtracked on their previous stances.

“Both Atty. Juril and Dennes Tabar have expressed profound regret for any inadvertent harm caused and have publicly expressed their sincere remorse as well as willingness to accept responsibility for any errors that may have been made,” Del Prado said.

Brigada Statement

“We at Brigada remain to be steadfast in our commitment to protecting the welfare of women and children – which lies at the heart of our mission to serve the public. We will uphold the highest standards of broadcast decency and will continue to be a voice for the voiceless,” he added.

ALSO READ: Guidelines on ‘discernment’ for cases involving minors set by SC

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TAGS: NUJP-Cebu, Patino, Tabar

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