The following statement from Malu Fernandez appeared in philstar.com today–an apology for the things she wrote in her column.
Statement from Malu Fernandez on the OFW controversy
Friday, August 24, 2007
I am humbled by the vehement and heated response provoked by my article entitled “From Boracay to Greece!” which came out in the June 2007 issue of People Asia. To say that this article was not meant to malign, hurt or express prejudice against the OFWs now sounds hollow after reading through all the blogs from Filipinos all over the world. I am deeply apologetic for my insensitivity and the offensive manner in which this article was written, I hear you all and I am properly rebuked. IT was truly not my intention to malign hurt or express prejudice against OFWs.
As the recent recipient and target of death threats, hate blogs, and deeply personal insults, I now truly understand the insidiousness of discrimination and prejudice disguised as humor. Our society is bound together by human chains of kindness and decency. I have failed to observe this and I am now reaping the consequences of my actions. It is my fervent hope that the lessons that I’ve learned are not lost on all those who through anonymous blogs, engaged in bigotry, discrimination, and hatred (against overweight individuals, for example).
I take full responsibility for my actions and my friends and family have nothing to do with this. To date I have submitted my resignation letters to both the Manila Standard and People Asia, on that note may this matter be laid to rest.
I hope she’s sincere. But then again, the damage is done. She should have thought of her words before putting them to paper and her editor should have read through her article before having it published. Journalists have resposibilities to the society. Freedom of expression has certain limitations. And freedom is not an excuse for carelessness.