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The ones who got in the way
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on December 6, 2007 143 Comments 8 min read
More clear-eyed than her enemies Previous Colonial legislation, apologia for police actions, and the battle of the letters resumes Next

In Spain, Arroyo gets Medalla de Oro for defending human rights (stupid comment by ignorant Philippine ambassador, comparing the university award with the US Congressional gold medal; in the study of these things, that would be like comparing a Rotary award with a Royal Knighthood, there’s no comparison). In Mindanao, Catholics afraid of Muslim homeland deal. And in business, Is a deal looming with Danding?

Manila Peninsula files complaint with police over looting by the cops. Overseas, even as Thais wear yellow to mark monarch’s 80th year, read about Thailand’s Royal Shirt Industry.

And After Hugo Châvez’s defeat in a constitutional referendum, where next for Venezuela? A particularly relevant article is Venezuela Is Not Florida, which explains the virtues of the electronic voting system used in Venezuela.

See also an interesting Slate blog entry on how old pros in American politics are abandoning their political careers to become lobbyists.

My column today is The ones who got in the way.

It makes reference to Freedom of Expression: Is There a Difference Between Speech and Press from the Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute website; see also the Wex article on the First Amendment to the US Constitution. In Nouriel Roubini’s blog, Financial Crisis and Economic Hard Landing Outlook.

See also ABS-CBN news execs claw at gov’t officials in dialogue and Gonzalez ups pressure on defiant TV networks and the more circumspect report, Media warned of ‘next time:

Puno said under present laws, that appeared not to have been implemented in previous times even during martial law, “mere presence” of journalists in a crime scene may be seen as “obstructing justice.”

But the media executives fired back, asserting that the presence of journalists in a crime scene is in the performance of their “duty to the people” and that journalists are empowered by the Constitution in its freedom of the press clause as well as the Bill of Rights.

In a conflict between the Constitution and laws enacted by Congress or any lawmaking body, according to legal observers, the Constitution always prevails.

Puno mellowed his stand, saying that while law enforcers fully respect the rights of the press, “both sides should recognize that there is a need to strike a balance between the exercise of press freedom and the government’s duty to protect the citizenry from lawless elements such as those behind the Manila Peninsula siege.”

He said the police upholds the right of the press to inform the public “subject to its standard procedures in police operations, that is why members of the media who were brought to Bicutan were immediately released after they were properly identified and no charges were filed against any of them.”

He also asserted the police ‘had not curtailed the right of the press to disseminate information, but only restricted the gathering of information that could compromise ongoing police operations following the surrender of Trillanes and his group.”

Puno also noted that journalists taken to Bicutan “were those who had insisted on surrounding Trillanes, which provided him with a protective cordon even after police officers were already implementing a lawful order to arrest him.”

He added other journalists who left the hotel when the police appealed to them to do so “were allowed to leave the hotel and not taken to Camp Bagong Diwa for processing.”

“Several Magdalo rebels,” Puno said, “took advantage of the confusion that reigned following the surrender of Trillanes by removing their military uniforms and wearing press IDs to elude arrest.”

He noted that under PNP Memorandum Circular 2006-09-01 issued last year, the processing and debriefing following a crisis situation should include all hostages and victims, perpetrators, witnesses and key participants in the incident.

The PNP circular on crisis management likewise states that “the rights and duties of media personalities in collecting information shall cease the moment a lawful order for them to vacate the crime scene is given so that legitimate police operation will be able to step in to solve the incident.”

The circular further states the venue of the processing and debriefing and investigation “shall be at [sic] friendly ground and secured place, preferably at the police headquarters to be determined by the Ground Commander.”

Puno said the above quoted circular was the reason why, instead of immediately releasing the journalists at the scene of the Manila Peninsula siege following the surrender of Trillanes, Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and their cohorts, the PNP transported reporters to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan for processing, after which they were immediately released.

Incidentally, the above answers the questions raised by reader Geo in a long discussion we had in yesterday’s entry, one which exasperated reader ay_naku. A veteran’s take on the matter was in the column of Amando Doronila earlier this week. A very eloquent blog entry is by Miko Samson, a student journalist. In his column, Tony Abaya asks why no one went to the Peninsula:

The Filipino electorate has matured substantially. In the 2007 senatorial elections, movie stars fared badly and candidates who spent lavishly were not necessarily elected. Voters no longer attended political rallies to get to know the candidates. Instead they listened to public affairs talk shows on television to see and hear what the candidates had to say about the issues of the day.

Trillanes was the exception that proved the rule. Despite his almost total absence from the talk shows — because he was in detention for the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny — he was elected because he was young, he was good-looking, and he had the credentials of a rebellious underdog, all of which connected him with the generally young electorate.

But after that, he settled into relative obscurity, once in a while issuing predictable statements against the corruption in the Arroyo government, without really emerging as an exciting new force in Philippine politics. Unlike his glib kuya Gringo Honasan, Trillanes never mastered the art of public speaking and his oral statements, even during the stand-off, came out flat and uninspiring.

Together with two friends, I had the opportunity to talk to Trillanes for more than an hour in the Marine brig in Fort Bonifacio about five months ago. I tried to sense what it was in him that enticed 11 million Filipinos to vote for him last May, and frankly I am still not sure I know…

What he had and has is youthful idealism and a sincere abhorrence of the moral bankruptcy of the present order, but which, however, are fatally tarnished by his lead role in the Oakwood Mutiny of 2003, which was meant (didn’t he know?) to restore to power the then accused (now convicted) plunderer Joseph Estrada.. If he did not know that he was being used then, has he grown any wiser since? How does he reconcile this moral dichotomy?

Not having any original ideas of his own — other than generic ones about corruption and poverty and injustice — he would be totally dependent on his advisers in the highly unlikely event that he became head-of-state of this country. And who would these advisers be?

Judging from the civilian company that he chose to keep during his Moment of Truth, this would include lawyers J. V. Bautista and Argee Guveara… And there is Dodong Nemenzo, former president of UP and former associate member of the Politburo of the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas.

Juan Mercado eloquently presents People Power as tide of history but also, a genie that can’t be summoned at the drop of a hat.

Contrasting views on the Alston Report from Philippine Commentary and Torn and Frayed (I totally disagree on the issue with Philippine Commentary, just as we disagree on the worthiness of national security as a concept, on the value of the “presumption of regularity” when it comes to government officials, etc.).

Phoenix Eyrie, Reloaded, on the divisions within the Liberal Party. Shrewd observations (again, full disclosure: I’m a member of the LP think tank, NIPS, though I’m not a party member). In her blog, smoke says the candidates need to become very, very specific.

[email protected] Holdings on the Sumilao farmers’ futile visit to the Senate.

This made me laugh: blogspotting.

Senor Enrique goes to the Rizal Shrine with one of the hero’s grandnephews.

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  1. dina,

    sorry for indeliberately editing it out–but on hindsight, having included the subsequent statement does not diminish my point that you tend to rub in the kanya-kanya mentality as being exclusive to being pinoy.

  2. what if in your blog/website you announced to the world that you are a journalist, complete with LINKS to the newspapers you are affiliated with? – Dinapinoy

    It is still her personal blog which she maintains on her own. We can avail of her (or any blog owner’s) hospitality but we shouldn’t acquire a sense of entitlement. You can always put up your own blog.

  3. or in bong austero’s or the cook’s?

    hey there’s a million constellation in cyberspace. why limit your journey to ellen’s personal domain?

  4. mlq3, publication is not enough whether in the official gazette or in the papers. a government cannot reasonably expect its citizens to follow the law when the citizens do not even have the opportunity to know what the laws are, especially in our case where many people are more occupied with working for or worrying what their next meal would be. government does not maintain even just one set of complete laws in all the municipalities in the country.

    and here we are mouthing the mantra “ignorantia legis neminem excusat” as if majority of the Filipino people agreed to that when that maxim was true only during the times of the romans who had slaves working for their daily bread and not in these modern times when old laws/maxims are being used as a tool of the powerful to perpetrate them in power and we hear people hailing the rule of law as if the ordinary man on the street know what that means.

    and how to address that? certainly not by increasing the budget of the military, the police, congress or the judiciary or incurring more debts for infrastructure projects.

  5. bong austero’s commenting feature has been out of service. as for sassy lawyer, that’s indeed an option although i notice that over there, the commenters preface their comments with a compliment to the host, especially when they’re about to give a slightly dissenting opinion.

  6. ine, i’m not that brave so i never tried, but i’ve seen what happened to DJB, who became the proverbial canary in Sassy Lawyer’s mineshaft. i’ve also seen how she dealt with manuelbuencamino, who seems to harbor masochistic tendencies.

  7. “publication is not enough whether in the official gazette or in the papers. a government cannot reasonably expect its citizens to follow the law when the citizens do not even have the opportunity to know what the laws are, especially in our case where many people are more occupied with working for or worrying what their next meal would be.”

    Beancurd, what ought the government do then?

  8. dina:

    it’s still a blog. manolo has a brief description of his media work somewhere here, but this is still his blog.

    seperate the blog, which is an extension of the person’s private persona, with his/her work as a journalist.

  9. Beancurd, below is one argument in favor of the legal principle. What do you think?

    “The statement ‘ignorance of the law is no excuse’ is an ancient legal doctrine: Ignorance of the law excuses no man; not that all men know the law; but because ’tis an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to confute him.

    If a defendant were allowed to escape legal responsibility for his acts, merely by saying ‘I didn’t know it was wrong/illegal’, the system of using law to regulate human conduct would collapse. So the doctrine is a practical necessity.”

  10. David, what do you think?

    people have no access to these things and what do you do so that they will have access to it?
    people have no time to read because they are busy looking for work or working, what do you do in order to alleviate their plight so that they will have time to read?
    people do not read simply because they do not know how, and what do you do to address that?
    people do not understand what they are supposed to read and how do you make them understand or better yet, how do you bring the matter (laws) to them in a manner that will be understandable to them?

    in the end, we are faced with that anecdote on Rizal knowing all the major languages in the world and fluently talking to foreigners (impressing them even) yet unable to communicate with the bisaya, tausugs, cordillerens, ilocanos, etc. in that ship. there lies the disconnect and the elites as well as the government are disjointed with the common folk.

    the task therefore is to bring the government to the people for the purpose of shaping the government the people want and not to coerce the people to come within the framework of the government that they did not help shape.

  11. “the task therefore is to bring the government to the people”

    And, concretely, this means what?

  12. A seminal moment occurred in the Philippines and in the U.S. and yet very few people noticed.

    First the BSP led by Rey “the magician” Tetangco introduced warrants for holders of ROP dollar bonds. These warrants are actually option derivatives to allow domestic holders of these bonds to have an insurance policy vs. further deterioration of their total yield on their bonds in dollars due to the massive dollar devaluation. These warrants have a pegged rate of exchange. Meaning there will be no more movement of the exchange rate between peso and dollar bonds. Our main proponent of market fundamentals Rey “the magician” has moved quietly to introduce price controls on the collapsing prices of ROP bonds. This could have wiped out valuations in many banks financial statements next year when tougher standards of valuations of banks assets come into play. Billions are at stake. Why stop the decreasing value of our foreign debt from decreasing further? Fewer pesos will be needed to pay dollar loans. Someone should ask Rey ‘the magician’
    why he did this.

    A limited fixed rate of exchange guaranteed by the BSP which is short for us guaranteeing valuations. A form of price control on the exchange rate. Some insiders would have cleaned up on this move.

    At the same time W. and Paulson in the U.S. have announced that they will order price controls on mortgage rates for a select number of mortgages to stop the increasing number of foreclosures and defaults to try to save the bank run in the M3 component of the banking system. Also to try to stem the collapsing prices of homes that could wipe out many banks in the U.S. and could probably bring the world back to 1929.

    Selective price controls to save the big guys and off course the guys who are going to loose their homes.

  13. look at government’s appropriations, look at its priorities, look at where its officials are, look at who goes to whom. for that matter, look where our bright minds are and you do not see them in the slums and in the countryside. it is only when elections come that you see the government (?) and government officials going to the people, to the whole lot of them. the answer lies in the problem and it cannot be solved by ignoring the problem or failing to recognize it.

  14. and you know, it is crucial that the constitutional provision limits itself: “as may be provided by law.” precisely, the law’s never been passed, and again, it’s come closer to passage in the senate than it ever has in the house, which is thoroughly controlled by dynasties to an extent impossible in the senate.

    Manolo,

    was there any law passed in relation to the constitution provisons that you mentioned in your columm that will protect the media?

  15. actually, Manolo, Im having an impression ( bencard has beenpointing this out) that you only resort to the law and the constitution if it suits your goals. Pag favorna ang consitution at ang batas kay Gloria binabalewala myo na.

    So I find your column soooooooooooo full of hypocrisy!

  16. isn’t it majority, including filipinos equate democracy with america?

    It’s not colonial mentality to recognise that the Chinese invented gunpowder. Or to want to imitate or copy other country’s values. Including, even the US’.

    Its only colonial mentality if the statement is made in reference to two entities which share a colonial past, where one is culturally deemed inferior to the other. There exists a power relation between the two.

    Its our colonial mentality to equate democracy with America even when “democracy” as in ideal has been around looong before there was even an America. Americans also have this fantasy built-in their national mythology. They like to justify their imperial ventures abroad based on this myth.

    And please, America hasn’t been a real democracy in years.

  17. Just to close the loop and set the record straight (since you referred to yesterday’s back-n-forth), here is what I wrote on the previous thread.

    P.S. Thanks for the details of the law(s), Bencard. It seems that what I heard from the lawyers and what you wrote match-up well.
    ———————————————————

    Ay naku –

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear. In sum, there is a law that allows the law enforcers to establish a yellow line; a no go zone. That is common in many countries. And it is very logical, as well.

    What is NOT clear is what is the law when some people (like media) are already INSIDE the zone? MUST they come out?

    After talking with several lawyers at a get-together last night, it seems the police can dictate MANY things at a crime scene, especially DURING the commission of a crime.

    They also have quite a bit of latitude in detaining anyone who was at the scene of a siege, hostage-taking, etc.

    That is not a carte blanche to make whimsical arrests, however. The ultimate decision would, of course, depend on the judiciary…if ever a suit is brought to court.

    If anyone ignores the commands of an officer in these cases (for ex — doesn’t come out voluntarily when the opportunity is presented), they might now be considered innocent, unwittingly obstructing justice (which can simply be the serving of a warrant), aiding and abeting the criminals, or as being one of the criminals.

    Having a media ID doesn’t clearly point to which category a mediaman belongs to. Those who aren’t even media will have a harder time claiming innocence and non-participation in the crime.

    NOTE: This info still doesn’t give a final answer. That’s why there are lawyers and courts. The nature of the crime and the level of participation of each individual will have to be argued. The actions of the police can be judges as well, of course…especially regarding the media arrest/non-arrest question.

    We can argue til blue in the face, but it’s the courts who will decide. The authorities have rights to enforce the law, but these rights have limits. Civilians (incl media) have freedoms, but these are also not limitless.

  18. If members of the press violated the law, let them suffer the consequences. If the police abused their power or whatever, let them suffer the consequences.

    But as a citizen who’s got no other source of information but the media, I’m thankful that information on what happened in Manila Pen got out not just from the police/military but also from the account of the media men. – jon mariano

    My sentiments too. These are also the sentiments of a lot of people I know.

    That’s why I have a slight quibble with MLQ’s opening line in his column, which goes: “Filipino journalists, particularly broadcast journalists, have received a thumping from the public for protesting their being rounded up and questioned after the Peninsula Manila caper.” I thought that sentence was a bit one-sided and made it appear that the “public” was more or less in agreement regarding this issue. Many of the people I’ve spoken to about this are appreciative of the media’s “till-the-end” coverage of the Pen incident, and I’ve read many similar sentiments in blogs and forums I visit (including this one.) Of course this is indicative of the circles I move in and the blogs/forums that I choose to haunt, but the same restriction applies to those who’ll claim that public sentiment is decidedly against the media. I guess only a scientific survey can determine the breakdown of those supportive/critical/whatever of the media’s conduct in the Pen incident.

  19. “We can argue til blue in the face, but it’s the courts who will decide. The authorities have rights to enforce the law, but these rights have limits. Civilians (incl media) have freedoms, but these are also not limitless.”

    This is a concept that seems to be chronically beyond the grasp of Pinoy intellectual faculties.

    Rather than allowing the courts to decide, there is this huge public relations frenzy amongst parties involved to get people on one “side” of the matter or the other.

    The only folk benefiting from this is the SWS who are making a lot of money out of this moronic situation as are a lot of journalists who sell their “editorials” to the highest bidder the ad space marketers and, worst of all, the publishers who auction out actual “objective” news space and air-time to well-funded PR consultants.

    There is a huge competition for public opinion but none for ACTUAL JUSTICE which in our hallowed democratic way of life is only for the courts to dish out.

    This is what makes Media so powerful. Because Justice is contested in the court of moronic public opinion.

    The only people laughing all the way to the bank are those who are able to capitalise on the vacuousness of the Pinoy mind.

    – 😀

  20. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. In sum, there is a law that allows the law enforcers to establish a yellow line; a no go zone. – Geo

    Nope. The best Bencard could do was cite a law from the 1930’s about obedience to authority. Nothing about your ‘virtual police line’.

  21. @Jeq

    “So yes, the media is another entity to fear, but I dont think that’s an altogether bad thing if they dont abuse their power and not see themselves as members of an elite.”

    They already see themselves as elite, and many don’t know journalistic ethics. They don’t police themselves, they cannot regulate other journalists and suing them is too expensive. Only rich people can sue journalists. For every Ricky Carandang there is a Mon Tulfo.

  22. “Brian, the better question is, do we stomp down the media to subservience just because its agents are arrogant and ill-bred?”

    I’d like to see and hear more critics of journalists.

  23. “There is a huge competition for public opinion but none for ACTUAL JUSTICE which in our hallowed democratic way of life is only for the courts to dish out.

    This is what makes Media so powerful. Because Justice is contested in the court of moronic public opinion.”

    My God, this is why I don’t approve the censorship of trolls like Benig0; he is the wisest of us all…. Oh wait, I though what he was saying is that only the media can provide real justice because it is the closest thing we have to a jury trial, and where all evidence is admitted.

  24. agree with BrianB.

    But journalists are reluctant to criticise one of their own….
    Parang mga politiko din, mahirap makita kung sinong pwedeng pagkatiwalaan.

  25. BenignO:
    Rather than allowing the courts to decide, there is this huge public relations frenzy amongst parties involved to get people on one “side” of the matter or the other.

    Wow, sounds familiar. Schapelle Corby case? Channel 7 vs Channel 9. A Current Affair vs Today Tonight!

  26. rego, there’s two ways to approach this.

    1. the constitution can decree something, full stop, no ifs and buts: “free speech and the press will be protected.”

    2. the constitution can say something is the policy of the state, but state that to make it come true, a further law is required: dynasties are prohibited as determined by law. in other words, the constitution says dynasties are bad, but you need a law to define what they are and in what ways they are to be limited.

    also, there are established freedoms and rights, and new ones. for example, not just the 1987, but the 1973, the 1935 constitutions all guaranteed freedom of speech and of the press. you can wade into a whole swamp of legal opinions, etc. to define what the two are, and don’t you think it’s interesting the constitution is specific: “of speech” and “of the press.”

    and you have the sotto law, and so forth, specifically about the media.

    Why don;t you read this, which I think is a very good discussion of the anti-dynasty provision and how we should approach the constitution establishing a policy, but leaving the policy toothless until congress passes a law:

    http://inquirerbloggers.net/eleksyon2007/2007/03/21/republicanism-democracy-and-political-dynasties-balancing-interests/

    (also, here: http://jaydejaresco.blogspot.com/2007/03/repblicanism-and-political-dynasty.html)

    in particular, it reflects my point of our finding out what the framers of the constitution intended. look at the closing paragraphs of the piece:

    There are at least two other Senator bills that have been reflective and responsive of the intention of the framers of the Constitution. That is to prohibit the political dynasties among the local elective positions.

    We refer to the bills of Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago and Alfredo Lim. Both bills focus on suppressing the perpetual fiefdoms of mini executive officers in the local governments. This was the thrust of the author of the provision against political dynasty, Commissioner Nolledo.

    The people, the sovereign, decide on what constitutes a political dynasty. Lawmakers, as agents of the sovereign, must enact a law prohibiting political dynasties that is consistent with, and within the parameters that have been laid down by the sovereign in their exercise of direct democracy.

    According to the piece, the person who proposed that provision on dynasties, had local governments in mind. so my approach is not an extremist one. now you disagree with me, and dislike the fact i don’t attach importance to something you considered of utmost importance. but if you have a basis for your action, so do i.

    you may also want to consult then senator lim’s sponsorship speech, where he quotes commissioner nolledo and defines things, too:

    http://fredlim.com/POLITICAL_DYNASTY.pdf

    and this is an academic paper that’s interesting:

    http://www.unav.es/filosofia/ajsison/publications/journal/18.pdf

  27. rego, that is a very disturbing impression and so, please tell me why you have this impression, perhaps i should have a chance to respond.

  28. “We can argue til blue in the face, but it’s the courts who will decide. The authorities have rights to enforce the law, but these rights have limits. Civilians (incl media) have freedoms, but these are also not limitless.”

    This is a concept that seems to be chronically beyond the grasp of Pinoy intellectual faculties.”

    for people claiming to have the intellectual capacity to supposedly grasp the concept above, they do not even know the difference between right, freedom and power. The authorities do not have rights, they have power; citizens and all persons for that matter have rights and freedoms and the exercise of those rights and freedoms may or may not translate into power.

  29. mlq3, there are also self-executing provisions int he constitution and provisions that are merely expressions of policies and need legislation in order to be effective. The bill of rights are self-executing; otherwise, as is the impression of some people here, we would need a law for us to exercise our right to life and liberty. Hold your breath people, there is yet no law for you to live and live freely.

  30. I think he knows it already, just does not have the decency to admit that he may have been mistaken, or maybe he is arguing on another plane.

  31. “Aside from this, the commissioners also found loopholes in the conduct of the arrests and berated officials, particularly on their failure to cite the Miranda rights before any arrest was made.

    “I know that very few among you (PNP) could even recite the Miranda rights,” Quisumbing told the PNP officers.

    When asked if the police read the journalists their rights, Coronel said they thought it was not needed.
    However, after a few more queries he said it was done in Bicutan.”- GMANEWS as of 3:29 p.m.

  32. mlq3,
    That is what the Commission of Human Rights told Sr. Supt. Joey Coronel during the hearing this afternoon.

  33. MLQ3

    I think with all the opinions flying fast and furious in this comment section of your blog….rego may have confused you for someone else already. I find you the most fair minded here…I suppose it’s because you need to be neutral in a sense.

  34. cat, again: if you review what puno’s said, he’s pointed to other things and not the revised penal code.

    Well what I am saying is they are at the crime scene. In the investigation, people are in the crime scene are usual suspects so what is it a question whethere they obstructed the justice or not.

    The mere fact that they refuse to go and they protected Trillanes, they ought to be processed.

    And they were freed before the 36 hours of deadline lapsed.

    What’s illegal?

  35. Puno’s statement is still referring to the Revised Penal Code. This part which has never been implemented because with Fidel Ramos and Enrile, they were successful in their coup. Just think if they did not win. Kaya nga kinuha nila mga international press people.

    Any person not in the government service who participates, or in any manner supports, finances, abets or aids in undertaking a coup d’etat shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period.

  36. Cat

    I think media really believes in their being above the law? Unfortunately, for the most part, the comments I am seeing reflects basically the commentators attitude towards the powers that be. If they are pro GMA, their answer reflects the view that the authorities did the right thing. If anti-GMA, the media is being muzzled.

    The right answer really may be somewhere in between….

  37. Ellen Tordesillas wanted to become Jessica Soho. Soho gained the respect of both sides because of her objective reporting.

    Bishop Labayen wanted the role of Cardinal Sin.

    They want to repeat history. History never repeats itself with the same characters and actors in the scene.

  38. Isn’t the Miranda Rights read before questioning? (“You can have a lawyer here during questioning because whatever you say is for keeps”)

    I don’t think the spiel has to be recited during an actual arrest. It’s only required when/before the comments of the arrested are “recorded”. I think anything said before the Miranda rights are read is inadmissible.

    The slapping on of the handcuffs and the “you have a right to remain silent…” is more of a TV thing.

  39. In my opinion, the problem at the Manila Pen between the Media and the police should have been settled by a court of law and thus creating a precedent for future police operations.

    The police wanted to find out and force the issue by arresting the said Media personalities. The use of the word “process” was a ploy of the police but at the back of their minds it was really an arrest, this explains the handcuffing of the Media concerned. It was an S.O.P. for the police that whenever you arrest a suspect, you handcuff him.

    But the plan went awry,someone from Malacanang called up the police and told them not to file charges against the Media concerned. “Napasubo na ang mga pulis” hence the snafu.

    By the way, that someone is none other than GMA, so, I don’t blame the police, they just want to do their job but they were prevented by their boss.

    The news articles below I think will buttress my opinion:

    1)
    “The chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Director Geary Barias, was the one who gave the order to arrest journalists covering the Nov. 29 Peninsula Manila standoff, a police officer said Friday.

    The admission was made by Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) official, Sr. Supt. Joey Coronel during the hearing by the Commission on Human Rights.”

    2)
    “But he admitted that the police were really prepared to charge the newsmen who did not heed to instructions to leave the Manila Peninsula Hotel last November 29 while the hotel was occupied by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and his companions.”

    “The logical conclusion is for a case to be filed in the court of law but we all are aware that the President said not to file charges anymore and focus on the real problem instead,” Pagdilao said.”

  40. ace, so this means our own police are required to read miranda rights to anyone they apprehend?

    That is the for the protection of the suspect. Isn’t it?

  41. Cat,
    I think Geo’s take on the miranda rights is correct. I think, the reporter in the news that I quote missed the point. The police officer was just being polite with the commissioner (“they thought it was not needed”),when he said “it was done in Bicutan”, he actually meant when they started the questioning in Bicutan. Again the news report:

    “When asked if the police read the journalists their rights, Coronel said they thought it was not needed.
    However, after a few more queries he said it was done in Bicutan.”

  42. Brian, the better question is, do we stomp down the media to subservience just because its agents are arrogant and ill-bred?

    is this arrogant for you. This was reported by Ellen’s companion in the Manila Pen.

    Then members of media were told move to the right side. They started handcuffing non-journalists. SAF’s Gen. Santiago was apologetic as he was supervising the hand-tying of Nemenzo. “I’m sorry, sir. I know that you have lectured me against suppression of human rights but I just have to do this.” Nemenzo kept silent.

    It seems it is the media who are arrogant.

    BTw, do you read the news or you want to read what you want to read. read them and not scan them. Sheesh.

  43. If they are pro GMA, their answer reflects the view that the authorities did the right thing. If anti-GMA, the media is being muzzled.

    SW,

    i wonder what these people would do if a group tresspassed in their properties. baka lahat ng makita nilang nasa kanilang property ay ipaaresto rin nila.

    Ganyan lang kasimple yan.

    At yong nagtatanong kung bakit sasampahin pa ng kaso yong mga inirelease na. Ganito ang sabi ng mga chipmunks, para iwasan ang kasong illegal detention pero hindi ibig sabihin ay absuwelto na sila sa kaso dahil pag may mga ebidensiya na kasama sila (obvious naman di ba) ay pwede pa silang iaresto.

    Aren’t the chipmunks smarter than humans?

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