Friday, September 23, 2005

Angelo de la Cruz, erstwhile media darling, loses job

I was quite shocked when columnist Federico D. Pascual Jr. of The Philippine Star wrote last September 20 that former Iraqi hostage Angelo de la Cruz lost his job as a rockloading operator that the government, through labor secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas, had arranged for him at Clark Field.

Pascual said in his article, "Angelo, GMA's favorite truck driver, now jobless": "Remember Angelo dela Cruz, the truck driver whose kidnapping in Iraq led to the early pullout of a Philippine military-police contingent from that war-torn country in 2004 and soured the Arroyo administration's relations with the White House?

"Angelo is now jobless.... From a daredevil driver in the Middle East and later rockloader at Clark, the 48-year-old father of eight from Mexico town is now down to being an occasional jeepney driver plying the Angeles-Magalang route."

Is this the same De la Cruz who, just a few months ago, was the object of a much-frenzied and criticized press coverage?

At the height of the Angelomania, I recalled traveling to De la Cruz's Pampanga hometown, Buenavista, in time for his return to reunite with his family and townmates. And boy, did media spare nothing and no one in its coverage! As I noted in my article in the inaugural issue of the PJR Reports, "Overnight... the village became a media battleground, with journalists, camera persons, and photographers staking out the area, hounding Angelo's relatives, friends, and neighbors. The result was media overkill, and a public drowning in a sea of information overload. A reader or viewer could not be faulted if all s/he could recall afterward was the picture of the De la Cruzes' pet dog rather than the reason for the kidnapping."

Later, with the media limelight away from him, Angelo tried returning to his normal life. But with his current problem, I won't wonder if he wants to return to Iraq, even if it means risking his life again.


Ederic said...

Wawa naman siya. :(

bryant said...

oo nga e. i'm almost sure his plight would remain unnoticed, given the state of our political affairs now. ba, y should they save angelo? si gma muna! hehe. :P

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