To PhilStar: Malabon’s Vice Mayor is actually a MAN

Tito Oreta, Malabon Mayor, dies at 73

Malabon City Mayor Canuto “Tito” Oreta died of lung cancer Monday morning at the St. Luke’s Medical Center. Oreta, 73, has battled the disease since 2007. He is on his third and last term as mayor. His nephew, Vice Mayor Antolin “Len-len” Oreta III, will officially succeed him in the coming days.

The younger Oreta, who will turn 41 on September 16, has served as the acting mayor of the flood-prone city since his now-deceased uncle went on a medical leave early this year. He is the son of former Senator (and presidential aunt) Tessie Aquino-Oreta.

Philippine Star’s epic fail

The Philippine Star published the story of Oreta’s death at 10:50 AM, 37 minutes ahead of GMA News Online did and over an hour ahead of its rival Philippine Daily Inquirer. However, the Philippine Star’s article carries at least three factual inaccuracies. Curiously, the writer of the brief article is not identified.  (Corrections had not been made even after three hours. – TFS)

First, they initially misspelled the late mayor’s surname as “Ureta” before belatedly correcting it.

The PhilStar initially misspelled the surname of Mayor Tito Oreta (click image to enlarge)

Secondly, the story says that the Vice Mayor is a woman and that he is a daughter of the elder Oreta. If the article writer and his or her editor bothered to check out the website of the Malabon city government, they would have found out that the Vice Mayor is actually a man (despite his ‘feminine’ nickname) and that he is a nephew of the deceased mayor.

philippine star tito oreta
To PhilStar: Vice Mayor Lenlen Oreta is a man, and he is not a “daughter” of the late mayor. (click to enlarge)

It is a given that media outlets will do all they can to get ahead of others in running a story (e.g. “You got it here first!”). The competition had become fiercer nowadays because of the social media, where sites such as Twitter are used extensively for disseminating breaking news.

Nevertheless, a very brief article with three glaring factual lapses as in this case is unforgivable especially since information verification can easily be done online. As humor blogger Professional Heckler once wrote, “Naimbento na po ang Google. Libre po ito. Gamitin n’yo.”


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Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here:

3 thoughts on “To PhilStar: Malabon’s Vice Mayor is actually a MAN

  1. Can’t believe someone put that through. Medyo understandable yung “her” (kahit mali pa rin). Pero pati yung relasyon sa namayapang Mayor mali, nakapagtataka.

    1. Kuya Anjoy, you’re right. Palagay ko walang pinagdaanang editor ang istoryang ito. Fact-cheking pa naman is very easy di ba? I informed PhilStar about this through Twitter but I don’t know kung inayos nila.
      PS: Twitter contacts said I should have used “male” and not “man” daw since the former can refer to both sexes. Gender neutrality, please 🙂

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