Motives, social media and the World Bank leakage

Reading the World BanK Report regarding Supreme Court’s Judicial Reform Support Project(JRSP) (criticizing Chief Justice Renato Corona and Court Aministrator Midas Marquez) didn’t feel right. Speak of perfect timing. It was only when @benign0 posted World Bank report on Supreme Court ‘ineligible funds’ inappropriately leaked to Rappler? that I should have stuck to my gut feeling. @benigno pointed out to a facebook comment:

Over at the Get Real Philippines Community group on Facebook, member Belinda Gozon Madrid had this to say about the above “report”…

It seems that [the above request] was not supposed to be published publicly as yet but it was leaked to RAPPLER.COM. It is alleged that Andre[w] Parker husband of Presidential Management Staff chief leaked the paper to RAPPLER. This is the report which seems to insinuate and fuel anti [Chief Justice Renato Corona] sentiments before Monday’s trial.

The following day, Manila Bulletin posted that Word Bank disowns JRSP report

Erika Leann Lacson-Esguerra, World Bank program assistant for external relations, said Monday the bank did not release to the media a supposed memo regarding the “unsatisfactory” progress of the high court’s loan.

“This email message did not come from the World Bank. Any official statement from the World Bank will be posted online (,” Lacson-Esguerra said.

Ellen Tordesillas says in her post “Philippine media fell for hoax WB report?” In other words, “Philippine media has a term for it: kuryente”. She adds that it looks “like a number of Philippine media organizations were victims of a hoax”.

(Update : News of the Philippines Judicial Reform Support Project is now posted at the website dated January 17. Take note that the complete report was not posted at the World Bank site.)

Though it was not an official statement coming from the World Bank, I needed to clarify the motives from Maria Ressa herself who is CEO of She says “it’s authentic. Just not officially “released” by WB but verified by them and recipients.” shows the Full text: WB Aide Memoire on the Judicial Reform Support Project. Gleaning from facebook comments and blog posts, the question raised it is the release of the report.

A facebook comment in Blog Watch notes the cover letter.

” On the cover letter, it says ” the attached cover memoir is classified as FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY for the purpose of project monitoring and management, and will not be disclosed to the public. ” why is Rappler sharing this information.

Maria Ressa says that to her ” I would say the public — for me, it’s an inside look at what’s going on behind the scenes. Why don’t we know abt it?” I added that “this would have been OK if there was no CJ on trial. Public deserves information . timing of your source is just questionable ” . There was more than one source, she says.

Maria Ressa says there are motives for asking questions. @FrancisAcero adds “That’s the hard thing about motive. Easy to allege, impossible to prove, so ordinary folk assume motive” I took note that these questions were raised by ordinary citizens not used with how media sources their news.

@juned raised a good point about motives. “Question who leaked the report and who would benefit by it? It is all in the document.” (See document) You will see the list of person given carbon copy of the report.

Over at our Facebook page, a similar question is raised:

I understand the freedom of information” Philippine Bill of rights” but this is a world bank Official document? has there been a written request made by Rappler to access this information from the world bank directly? the world bank denied it. or Rappler requested this information directly from Philippine authority? Is it moral or ethical to release information that can directly affect the pending impeachment? is this good for the country?

It is good for the country. Maria Ressa explains ” it’s hard to fight power and it takes courage. When enough people get it, it snowballs. Then you get change.” She adds that courage ” needs to be harnessed to hit tipping point. That’s why we have rappler!” Her statement caused me to raise an eyebrow where I reminded her bloggers came way before Rappler arrived. @juned must have read my mind “I hope you dont mean without Rappler the tipping point wont be reached.” She explains that “Being redefined as we write. Bloggers helped move it. Moving from age of authority to age of authenticity.”

I believe there is no lack of courage. People speak up and have different avenues to share. Rappler is just one among online media sites. Citizens gravitate to communities they trust. It will take some time for us ordinary citizens to understand how traditional journalist work and be themselves as they write the news or commentary. @benign0 gives it more context “Indeed, has so far been silent on the obvious question given these sorts of observations made about the way it “reports” the news and presumes to be a “social news network” made up of a clique of “online journalists”…

I believe disclosure is needed as to source of funds. Who are these friends? Political affiliation is not limited to political parties alone.

@plsburydoughboy asks if “a news item more authentic when it comes from the heart, or when it’s based purely on verified facts?”

I use curation to source diverse news and ideas . It is important to know credible sources of information to add substance to our commentaries. Blog Watch complements various forms of media because citizens are interested in analysis and opinions.

There is more to discuss about social media and news coverage.

Here is our earlier twitter discussion between Maria Ressa and others.