Saturday, December 08, 2007

Media’s way

Nuong nakaraang Linggo, kitang-kita ng buong mundo ang tahasang PAGYURAK, paglabag sa karapatan ng malayang pamamahayag sa bansa. Limampung (50) mga journalists, kasama ang ilang malalaking broadcast journalist na kabilang sa Abs-CBN Network, ang walang habas na pinosasan, pinag-aaresto, trinatong mga terorista, tinakot at parang ipis na tiniris-tiris (PNP-AFP) dahil lamang sa salang pagsubaybay sa “pagbabangon at pag-aalsang" isinagawa sa pangunguna ni Senator Trillnes, Brig Gen.Danilo Lim at ilang Junior Officers ng AFP sa Manila Pen. (Larawan sa taas: www.abs-cbni.com/.../dzmm_prog_desc_bandila.html)

Hindi pa nakontento sa mahigit siyamnapung (90) mga media practitioners na pinaslang, sinalvaged dahil lamang sa pagtatanggol ng demokrasya, sa kalayaan sa pamamahayag na ipinaglaban matapos maibagsak ang diktadurang Marcos noong Edsa 1 1986 people power revolution.
Ayon sa National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), bukud sa malupit na
cersorship na pinairal sa Philippine media, "ang garapalang pagsasara ng Philippine Tribune, ang kaliwa't kanang LIBEL suit, ang pananakot sa Newsbreak, ABANTE at iba pang mga pahayagan" ay palatandaan lamang na handang gumamit ng kamay na bakal ang Malakanyang, mailigtas lang si Ate Glo't manatili lamang sa poder kapangyarihan sa Malakanyang. Sa kabuuang 90 napaslang, limampu't tatlong (53) casualty rito ay sa ilalim ng rehimen ni Ate Glo.

Bagamat walang diklerasyon ng "emergency rule," ang pangitain at anino ng Martial Law ay nananatiling nakakubabaw sa country. Walang dudang may tendensiyang pasista't authoritarian ang naganap na "Gestapo" type na assault sa Manila Pen kung saan ang "Estado ng Kapulisan (police state)" at AFP ang mukhang nanaig at hindi ang rule of law. Kung patuloy na bubusalan, kokontrolin, hahawakan sa leeg ang kalayaan sa pamamahayag, ang karapatan ng mamamayan sa inpormasyon (tunay na kaganapan) at patuloy na tatakutin ang MEDIA, mukhang "babalik ule ang sikat na panawagang nuong panahon ng diktadurya, ang "pasista ng estado, ibagsak!"

Kung ganitong klase ng demokrasya ang papairalin ng palasyo, lalabas na mas matindi pa tayo sa Burma, Afghanistan at North Korea. Tulad nuong panahon ng Martial Law, nuong diktadurang Marcos, kung saan ang unang tinamaan ng kalupitan at pang-aabuso ng estado ay ang kalayaan sa pamamahayag (media control at censorship), ang kinalabasan, imbis na bumuti ang sitwasyon at kapanatagan, mas lalong lumala, mas tumindi ang sitwasyon, ang ligalig at nanaig ang extremismo, ang rebelyon at insureksyon.

Hindi na natututo sa kasaysayan ang Malakanyang. Ang tanong ng marami ngayon, sino ang tunay na TERORISTA at nagpapairal ng DESTABILIZATION?

-Doy Cinco / IPD
Dec 8, 2007

COMMENTARY
Media’s way
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/cebudailynews/opinion/view_article.php?article_id=105458
Cebu Daily News
Last updated 01:29pm (Mla time) 12/07/2007
Journalists, particularly broadcast journalists, have received a thumping from the public for protesting their being rounded up and questioned after the Peninsula Manila caper. More often than not, you hear media critics thunder, “Why? They were warned, so now they complain? What are they, special?”

Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ, from whom most sensible people take their cue on the correct approach to exploring constitutional questions, says: The media have no special rights, because any freedoms they can claim are freedoms to which all citizens are entitled. This is not an extremist opinion.

Cornell University Law School’s Wex Site says, “Despite popular misunderstanding, the right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the First Amendment is not very different from the right to freedom of speech. It allows individuals to express themselves through publication and dissemination. It is part of the constitutional protection of freedom of expression. It does not afford members of the media any special rights or privileges not afforded to citizens in general.”

What is guaranteed, then, is that the freedom we’re all entitled to, is a freedom members of media are firmly entitled to, too, even if the ordinary citizen doesn’t engage in exercising those freedoms on a constant basis, the way the media do. If the media are entitled to special treatment, it comes, as developed by American jurisprudence, anyway, from the development of the idea that what media are entitled to, as a special protection, is freedom from what’s called “prior restraint” on the part of the authorities.

The problem, of course, is that freedom from prior restraint is something still being developed, both in the United States and in our own legal thinking. The evolution of this doctrine necessarily involves, not blind, unthinking submission to the authorities, but challenging the authorities, which of course tends to upset those who uncritically accept, say, our colonial and undemocratic Revised Penal Code.

The arguments of journalists, I think, basically rely on another part of the Bill of Rights, namely, Section 7: “The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.” And also, on Section 17: “No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.”

Now, you may be irritated by our local media, but let me ask you, why did the BBC correspondent stick it out to the end, too, along with the NHK correspondent and the camera crew of the Associated Press? What were they thinking that was so different from the natives? – Manuel L. Quezon III, Inquirer

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