Saturday, December 01, 2007

ManilaPen 2007:The Journalist Suppression

The metropole was shocked after Senator Antonio Trillanes has tendered another attempt to overthrow the government. November 29, 2007 at around 4:oo in the afternoon, many universities and colleges announced the cancellation of classes after learning the destabilization plot that was currently happening at that time in Manila Peninsula, Makati. The presence of major opposition personality like former Vice President Teofisto Guingona made that crate in a sense of great wave. Not to mention other Magdalo soldiers, civil society groups' support and of course the backbite actions of the assigned government officers in favor of Trillanes and company.

As they were saying, everyone was caught unaware of that seemingly for a second thinking to call for mass action. Senator Trillanes can be noted of doing alike actions utilizing hotel premises in 2005.

As to that, media entities and other broadcast personalities were expected to be there. Ces Drilon whose duty was only to cover the Magdalo trial was forced to lengthen her story to midnight news. That fallen plot was with no doubt a pressing concern that the Filipinos must know. After all, it is all the public's right to know.

At around 5:30pm, the airwaves were flooded by this media footage capturing the media organizations placed under cuffs. ABS-CBN's technical team, DZMM Radyo Patrol No. 38 Noel Alamar, Ampil and company, GMA7 Correspondent, anchorwoman Ces Drilon, Pinky Webb and Ricky Carandang were all alledged not only as witnesses to that considered rebellion and banditry but also suspects.

I just can't assess the overkill the government imposed with much attention to the journalists. It seemed like from the angle of political personalities the focus drove toward public's only way to know. They have been saying that it was an executive order to interrogate all who were included in the vicinity, for there could have existed Magdalo-dummies. But the point must still be remembered, that journalist are only doing their jobs and that is upholding their mission to serve the public and make them informed to the current situations.

If these manifestations were signs of martial rule (media interrogation, confiscation of their broadcast medium,curfew hours, direct muster of force, etc.) today must be really the scariest episode in Philippine Journalism. Remember, martial law is not yet declared, how much more if it is already executed?

Here are some discussions that must be noted:

1. An interview, Umagang Kay Ganda(Punto por Punto): A. Taberna, "Naku, sir...Ces Drilon? E, bagong panganak na lang ang may di kilala diyan!"
2. Dateline Philippines ANC27: Pinky Webb arguing to a police officer regarding the media's right to enter the premises.
3. News Patrol ABS-CBN2: Korina Sanchez and Ted Failon, (not the exact words but the idea goes like this)
"Hindi ko naranasan ang ganitong sitwasyon.. dahil nung mga panahon na'yon mga bata pa tayo, Ted.."
"Sa tanang karanasan ko bilang mamamahayag, ito ang unang pagkakataon na nakita ko ang aking mga kabaro na nakagapos. "
4. Ted Failon (Tambalang Failon at Sanchez, DZMM), "Nahuli ba kayo kagabi? .. ng mga MetroCom?" (pertaining to policemen of Martial era)
5. Maria Ressa, Head of News and Current Affairs declaring ABS-CBN's official statement regarding the safe release of their frontline correspondents.
6. The confiscation of technical equipment of media. (Buti na lang may cellphone pa rin si Ampil at may nakalusot na video camera habang pinapasok sila sa bus nang sapilitan)
...and many more.

Whatever, they argue, this is obviously a case of "harrassment" for the media were forced, first to stop their job, and second to be with the armed authorities right away.

For that another destabilization plot, the government is not only suppressing Philippine journalism but also trying to suppress the public's right to know. Too bad for us, Filipinos.

"There are times that we don't know. And the times that we don't know is a real test, whether we will sit back and protect ourselves or give the public what it needs. And I think, we passed that test." -- Maria Ressa on the role of journalism/broadcast media to the development of Philippine landscape.


Anonymous said...

Why'd you change your picture? You're such a lover.

Anyway, we've long been in a state of de facto martial law.

theporsche02 said...

de facto martial law it is!

Railey! said...

oo nga. parang gusto ko tuloy maging journalist.