Written on 11:02 PM by isko b. doo

Communist rebels finally released 1st Lt. Vicente Cammayo on Tuesday after nearly two months in captivity when he went missing (the military version said he was abducted; the New People's Army claimed he surrendered) in Monkayo, Compostela Valley on November 7 last year.

But I'm not going to write an entry about the circumstances behind his release so for a full report, read here. However, there were some observations that warranted this entry.

We had a correspondent cover the event and it was an interesting experience for him. The coverage was no problem since we had full confidence on his capacity to write in intelligible form whatever transpired during the turnover of the captive soldier from the hands of the NPA, to the International Committee of the Red Cross and finally, to government authorities.

At the Eastern Mindanao Command headquarters, Cammayo was wheeled towards the waiting throng of journalists, government officials, military officers and hangers-on for the ministerial press conference.

During the brief interchange, a military official distributed copies of the NPA statement and being wet behind the ears and because nobody knew him from Adam, our writer was naturally excluded. When he asked for a copy from the writer of a rival paper, he got snubbed instead.

There's something to be said about entitlement. Our correspondent is certainly not entitled any favors from a rival writer. It's their nature to compete and to out-scoop each other. In the same vein, the public is entitled to whatever information that NPA statement might contain. I could not blame the writer for his actions and in the same vein I also could not chide the newbie for his reaction. These are the kind of things he will learn along the way.

We all go through these initiations and there's a good side to that: whatever respect you get later, you are sure you earned it. I just hoped things like these should be taught in schools to fully prepare would-be journalists for what should be expected once they are thrown into the fire, so to speak but how can you expect students to learn when the teachers have not burned a single candle to learn their craft outside of classroom walls? Oh well, c'est la vie.

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