Korina angers netizens over Typhoon Ruby comments

Natashya Gutierrez

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Veteran anchor Korina Sanchez hopes the typhoon hits Japan instead of the Philippines because the Japanese can handle it better

CONTROVERSIAL. Anchor Korina Sanchez says Filipinos can still pray away Typhoon Ruby and expresses hope it hits Japan instead of the Philippines. Screengrab from YouTube

MANILA, Philippines – Just a year later, broadcast journalist Korina Sanchez again finds herself in the spotlight after making another controversial comment in relation to a typhoon about to hit the country.

On the Wednesday, December 3, newscast of ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol, the network’s chief correspondent and veteran anchor said she hoped Typhoon Ruby (international name Hagupit) would hit Japan instead of the Philippines, and that Filipinos could still pray the typhoon away.

In a clip posted on YouTube by user Danny Luke, Sanchez is heard conversing with her co-anchors Noli de Castro and Ted Failon, as images of the then coming typhoon were flashed on screen.

The clip starts with Failon saying the next few days are “critical” in determining the path of the typhoon, to which Sanchez reacts, “Kaya pa natin idasal yan para lumihis.” (We can still pray it changes direction.)

De Castro then remarks, “Sana ay hati na lang tayo.” (I wish we could split [the typhoon’s impact.])

Kalahati sa Pilipinas, kalahati sa Japan (Half to the Philippines, half to Japan),” De Castro said, to which Sanchez responded, “Puwede bang sa kanila na lang lahat?” (Can’t they just get all of it?)

De Castro said hopefully not, but Sanchez pressed on, saying, “Sa kanila na lang lahat. Parang mas kaya nila.” (Let them have it all. It seems they can handle it better).

Netizens’ reactions

Her comments angered netizens.

In a response to a post by Chismobiz on the story, netizen Raul de Vera Jr said, “No one has the right to wish ill of another…no matter how better or worse the situation it. Such an attitude can only attribute to the most ill-educated persons humanity can contribute to any given society.”

He added, “Sad they had a strong influence on the many. Even as a jest, such stupid words should not have been uttered out in the open. How sad.” His comment received 115 likes.

Another netizen, Val Pinlac, commented, “Very irresponsible, unreflective, insensitive…Korina seems to be very consistent on these! But she lasted this long in the industry??? Is this not indicative of the kind or quality of the Philippine journalism? Does ABSCBN have any standard? Very unprofessional and unethical!”

Meanwhile, on the YouTube post of the clip, user BJhun defended Sanchez, saying, “Grabe naman kayo guys mkapang husga, tao lang din naman si Korina. Maybe concern lang sya sa Pilipinas nang nasabi nya yan, in a wrong way nga lang.”

(Why judge so intensely, Korina is only human. Maybe she was just concerned about the Philippines which is why she said it, just in a wrong way.)

He added, “Pagpasensyahan na natin, hindi naman magugunaw ang earth. Imbes manghusga at mabwisit kayo, ipagpray nlng natin na safe ang bansa. Gosh, guys ang dami kaylangan tulungan, pray na nga lang makakaya natin, ibubuhos pa ba natin sa hatred sa issue na to? Pasko guys. God bless us all :)”

(Let’s just forgive her, the world isn’t going to end anyway. Instead of judging and getting irritated, let’s just pray for the country’s safety. Gosh guys, so many people need help. Prayer is the only thing we can afford. Do we have to pour our hatred over this issue? It’s Christmas guys. God bless us all.)

Not the first time

This is not the first time Sanchez has found herself in hot water over comments she made on air. In November of last year, the Internet blew up after Sanchez said CNN’s Anderson Cooper didn’t know what he was talking about, in reference to Cooper’s criticism of the government’s response to Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan).

Cooper was on the ground in Leyte when he reported on the shortcomings of local relief efforts, while Sanchez was reporting from the studio in Manila.

Apart from being one of the country’s top anchors, Sanchez is also the wife of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the presumed standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party in the 2016 presidential polls. Roxas and officials of the Department of the Interior and Local Government were in Tacloban, one of the areas hardest hit by the typhoon, to supervise government response when Sanchez made the comments last year. Roxas was heavily criticized for what many perceived was subpar work in handling the impact of the Super Typhoon.

This year, Roxas is again in Eastern Samar where Ruby first hit land. Typhoon Ruby made landfall in Borongan, Eastern Samar Saturday evening, December 6, and is expected to leave the country on Wednesday, December 10. It packed maximum sustained winds of 195 km/h near the center and gusts of up to 230 km/h. – Rappler.com

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Natashya Gutierrez

Natashya is President of Rappler. Among the pioneers of Rappler, she is an award-winning multimedia journalist and was also former editor-in-chief of Vice News Asia-Pacific. Gutierrez was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for 2023.