In the aftermath of Cristy Fermin’s word war with actressNadia Montenegro, ABS-CBN suspended the TV and radio contracts of Cristyyesterday, October 15. She is a host of TheBuzz and of her radio show on DzMM.
The ABS-CBN statement declares that Cristy Fermin “did not conduct herselfwith due regard to social conventions and public morals. Her statements wentbeyond the bounds of decency as they involved innocent children who are notparty to their personal dispute. Ms Fermin's statements violated the higheststandards of professionalism and journalistic integrity.”
“The act committed by Ms Fermin brought her and The Buzz to public disrepute, jeopardizing the name and goodwill ofboth the show and the network.”
Effective immediately, Cristy will no longer be heard on herDzMM program, Showbiz Mismo, and willnot host the Sunday TV show, The Buzz,until December 31, 2008.
The controversial tri-media showbizreporter is still not available for comment.
PEP (Philippine EntertainmentPortal) was able to interview Cristy Fermin last October 9 at the HotelRembrandt. Although it was for a quick profile of her life, we were able toobtain her views on entertainment journalism. (Click HERE for related story)
It may be observed that CristyFermin’s style of questioning on both radio and TV tends to be unkind at times.
A case in point was when sheinterviewed Pinoy Dream Academyscholar, Apple Abarquez: “Itsura-itsura mo pa lang talaga, Apple, ang tingin kosa yo mukha ka ng mang-aagaw. Kundi mo lang ba naging kaibigan is Bea dito sa PDA, posible bang naging kayo niMiguel?”
In her columns, Cristy does notmince words either. TV host Willie Revillame commented on this during her birthday celebration in The Buzz,although he phrased it in a positive way. “Bakit lahat ng pinansin mo [Cristy] sadyaryo, ako for two years sa MTB (Magandang Tanghali Bayan), wala kang ginawakundi tirahin ako, ‘Mayabang ka’, ‘Hambog ka’, araw-araw mo ‘kong tinitira. SiSenator Bong Revilla, si Piolo [Pascual], si Osang [Rosanna Roces], marami pa,pero sobra ka naming mahal, anong meron ka? Bakit ganun ka?”
In PEP’s interview with her, sheanswered our query on her questioned credibility.
"Kasi napakapangit kung akoang magtanggol sa sarili ko, e. Siguro naman kung wala akong kredebilidad, diako tatanggapin ng mga publikasyon… Nagpapaalam na nga ako sa iba, pinipigilnaman ako," she defended. (Click HERE for related story)
She also cited the fact that shealways has lots of sources and that she does not fabricate her stories. “Mgaartista mismo ang lumalapit, hatinggabi may iiyak na artista sa kin.Hatinggabi, may magsusumbong na artista. Katanghaliang tapat may tatawag, naysa ‘yo ko pa pagtatapat ‘to bahala na kayo.”
She also said that she does not visit or approachcelebrities to ask for money or ‘tokens’ for glowing articles she writes aboutthem, "Hindi ako nagpipresenta ng mga ginawa ko sa artista, ‘yung pupuntaako sa isang lugar, uy..wala pa yata akong matandaan!"
"Ako'y hindi di rin naghuhugas kamay. Ako man ay hindiuma-attend ng presscon, may mga artista namang nagpapadala sa akin ng ‘reward'kapagka ako'y nakagagawa ng maganda. At ‘pag birthday ko at pasko, marami dinnamang nagreregalo sa akin. Kung sakali namang ang artista ay nakita na magandaang nagawa ko, hindi naman ako maghuhugas kamay na ibinabalik ko. Nung una[oo], nagpapabalik ako. Masyado pa kasi akong nakakulong sa paniniwala na pagkamerong tinanggap, puwersado ka or may kompromiso.”
Cristy Fermin believes that she is only doing her duty as ajournalist. She noted, “Sa isang mundo na puro kaplastikan at pagpapanggap angnamamayani, ang isang totoong manunulat ay hindi welcome."
Controversies.Her spat with Nadia Montenegro is not the first time that Cristy has foundherself in a bind.
In October 2005, actor Hero Angeles filed a libel caseagainst Cristy after she stated that the actor’s family was getting in the wayof his career, and then implied that Hero was gay.
Said Hero then: “Sinasabinila bakit kailangan mong magdemanda e artista ka lang, e sila matagal na silasa industriya. Sinasabi nila, dati si Piolo [Pascual] sinulat din n’yan perongayon okay na sila. Naisip ko tuloy, kasali ba si Cristy Fermin sa proseso ngpagsikat ng isang artista?”
Ms Fermin brushed off Hero’s case and merely told PEP: “Ay,na-dismiss na ‘yun. Wala na ‘yun.”
In January 2007, Cristy Fermin wrote on the Revillas:“Bryan’s use of ecstasy, kabit ni Bong Revilla, pambubugbug ni Jolo sa ina ngkanyang baby at anak ni Rosanna Roces na si Grace Adriano…”
That controversy was crushed only when Lani Mercado, Bong’swife and Bryan and Jolo’s mother, reached out to Cristy and forgave her byshowing up at the hospital where Cristy’s mother was ill. Lani was quoted assaying: “Hindi na kailangan humingi ng paumanhin [Cristy]. Yung mere fact natinaggap niya ako nang bumisita ako sa nanay niya, na sana magaling na ngayon,is one big thing for me.”
In December 2006, it was VJ host KC Montero’s turn to wailabout Cristy’s columns when Cristy called Geneva Cruz [KC’s wife], a “lousyperformer” and “Retokada.”
KC Montero hit Cristy with, "As a journalist, you aresupposed to be responsible…You should be careful with what you're saying."
According to the FilipinoJournalist’s Code of Ethics, this should be the journalist’s conduct:
I shall scrupulouslyreport and interpret the news, taking care not to suppress essential facts norto distort the truth by improper omission or emphasis. I recognize the duty toair the other side and the duty to correct substantive errors promptly.
I shall refrain fromwriting reports which will adversely affect a private reputation unless thepublic interest justifies it.
I shall not letpersonal motives or interest influence me in the performance of my duties, norshall I accept or offer any present, gift or other consideration of a naturewhich may cast doubt on my professional integrity
I shall conduct myselfin public or while performing my duties as journalist in such manner as tomaintain the dignity of my profession. When in doubt, decency should by my watchword.
Cristy Fermin, when asked whether she was okay when reporters are givenmoney or ‘tokens’ for their writing, said: "Depende naman ‘yan sasitwasyon. Sino ako para magsabi ng dapat at hindi dapat?"
"Ay, okay sa akin yon," she stressed. "'Wag lang makakasirasa porma ng magazine. Wag lang masyadong magagamit ang kanilang mga columns saganun. Okay ako sa ganun. Manunulat iyun, eh. May laya.”
Legal battles. Cristy Fermin isnot a neophyte in legal battles. She once faced 37 cases of Estafa because ofthe trust she had given freely to a friend. "Ewan ko ba, pinagkatiwalaanko ng dalawang booklets ng tseke," Cristy narrated.
Aside from Estafa, she gets sued for libel.
Only last April 2008, the Supreme Court affirmed the libelconviction against Cristy Fermin and ordered her to pay P806,000 to coupleAnabelle Rama and Eddie Gutierrez, instead of serving the jail term slapped on her by a lower court.
The libel conviction stemmed from Cristy’s article insinuatingthat Anabelle and Eddie left the U.S. because they were running away from anestafa case.
When asked by PEP, Cristy said that she still has to file aMotion for Reconsideration before the verdict of the Supreme Court isfinalized.
And then last October 7, former Caloocan City mayor Rey Malonzo, filed atwo-million libel case against Cristy for an article she wrote in July,accusing him of threatening the life of businesswoman Cristina Decena.
But Cristy informed PEP that said case is unlikely to materialize in court,"Sinabi na niya [Rey Malonzo] on air, na humihingi siya ng dispensa saakin... kaya lang kailangan na isama ako dahil ako ang nagsulat. Pero sabi niyawala na ‘yun.”
"Meron pa raw padating," related Cristy, referring to NadiaMontenegro's warning that she will file a case against her. "Naghihintaynaman ako....Ako naman, di ko siya iniimbita. Pero kung dumadating, hinaharapko.
Recently, Nadia made a move against the embattled TV host by filing a complaintwith the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). (Click HERE for related story)
Nadia’s next stop, if reports are to be believed, is in court to file a caseagainst Cristy Fermin.
Will there be an end to Cristy’s woes?
When Anabelle Rama guested in The Buzzright after the Supreme Court ruled in her favor against Cristy, she remarked:"Ang message ko kay Cristy Fermin, Cristy, sana matuto ka na. Madala kana… Ang daming mga artista, marami siyang tinitirang mga artista na nagti-textsa akin na tuwang-tuwa sila sa nangyari. Kasi sila, kasi hindi sila puwedenglumaban kasi nga mahaba ang proseso…
"Sana Cristy, matuto ka na. Huwag ka nang... Kung sumulat at leastdahan-dahan lang, huwag yung pabigla-bigla. ‘Tsaka, you know, huwag mo namangsiraan ang isang tao na below the belt. Puro pang-imbento. Kasi kawawa namankami. Siya, may radio siya, may diyaryo. Kawawa yung mga artista na hindipuwedeng lumaban…dahan-dahan ka sa pagsusulat mo.”
During her interview with PEP, Cristy emphasized that nobodycan make her leave showbiz. “I will die a writer.”
“Passion yan eh. ‘Pag passion di ka humihinto. At sumasabayka sa panahon, di ka nagpapaiwan,” she said.