Why defend the press?

Pulse Asia survey says: Arroyo’s ratings unchanged.

Very interesting, since the survey covers the eventful period between the People Power anniversary and the Fort Bonifacio brouhaha -which means, much of the period of “national emergency” (the survey covered Feb. 18 to Mar. 4), is the way the survey attempts a snapshot of public opinion on her actions.

1. First of all, her performance rating (as with all figures, survey results are plus or minus numbers). On a national level:

Approve: 26% (in October it was 24%)

Disapprove: 50% (in October, it was 52%)

Undecided: 24% (the same as in last October)

Pulse Asia says: with margin of error, it means things haven’t really changed.

2. The President’s trust ratings, nationally:

Big Trust: 22% (21% in October)

No/Small Trust: 50% (55% in October)

Undecided: 28% (25% in October)

3. Performance and Trust ratings “before and during presidential proclamation 1017”


Approve- before PP1017, it was 23%; after PP1017, 27%
Disapprove- before, 49%; during, 50%
Unsure- before, 27%; during, 23%

Trust- 24% before PP1017; 21% during PP1017
Distrust- 45% before; 51% during
Unsure- 32% before; 27% during

4. Performance ratings “before and and during presidential proclamation 1017” (Nationally)

Approve- 23% before, 27% during
Disapprove- 49% before, 50% during
Undecided- 27% before, 23% during

Pulse Asia concludes,

However, there are a few notable changes before and after 24 February 2006, specifically the drop in the President’s approval (-17 percentage points) and trust (-15 percentage points) ratings as well as the increase in her disapproval (+17 percentage points) and distrust (+19 percentage points) ratings in the Visayas. The differences in the responses of Class ABC before and after Proclamation 1017 are also large. But further statistical analyses indicate that while the differences among the Visayans are significant, those for Class ABC are not, owing to the small size of Class ABC. [Those belonging to Class ABC constitute at most 10% of the total population.] …

President Arroyo’s March 2006 ratings are a significant improvement over her July 2005 ratings. Approval increased by 7-percentage points since July 2005, while disapproval and distrust declined by 8- and 9-percentage points, respectively. Nevertheless the President’s ratings have not reverted to their level before questions on the legitimacy of her presidency arose. These have remained at critically low levels, still lower than that of any other Philippine president in the polling history of the country.

And what do people really worry about?

A. Personally, to remain healthy: 48%; to finish schooling or have kids finish school, 43%; to have enough to eat every day, 37%

B. In terms of living, keeping inflation under control: 51%; fighting graft and corruption in government: 37%; low pay of workers: 36%

In other news…

The Solicitor-General, by all accounts a decent man, has either quit or been fired.

The government creates an “action group” for national security purposes. Not a good thing, some people say.

Exporters warn of threat from strong peso but BSP says rising peso is good for the economy. OFW’s aren’t too pleased with the appreciating peso, either, are they?

Two new possible locations for Malacañan Palace: Camp Aguinaldo or Clark Field, Pampanga.

Billy Esposo has quite an interesting column on what different groups wanted, various kinds of transitional councils, and how government is blurring information.

Dan Mariano thinks it’s an exaggeration to compare things now, to martial law -but doesn’t go as far as saying it can’t get that way in the future.

The Inquirer editorial talks of command responsibility.

There’s a splendid editorial in the Thai newspaper, The Nation, today: Peaceful revolt gains steam -Anti-Thaksin group’s approach enables it to take high moral ground

[T]he anti-Thaksin movement – made up of the urban-based middle class, civil society and a broad, growing cross-section of the population – apparently knows better than to appeal to the PM’s conscience to compel him to step down. Having endured Thaksin’s misrule for five years, they are well aware that this remorseless self-serving politician cannot be moved by reason, much less by a sense of guilt or shame.

That’s why the anti-Thaksin camp chose the non-violent path and to exercise the citizenry’s constitutional rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly to drive home their powerful, unambiguous message: a democratic ruler derives his a legitimacy from the people, and the people can take back that which has been given. Under normal circumstances, such leadership questions should and must be decided at the ballot box.

However, it cannot be emphasised enough that elections are but one of several key features of a democracy. Other important elements of a genuine democracy include functioning check-and-balance mechanisms, independent watchdogs to ensure a level playing field for political parties to compete in free and fair elections, as well as unfettered civil liberties, including freedom of the media and the right to freedom of expression.

Read, too, an account in the same paper, of what it’s like to be with the protesters: Ordinary folks roused to defend democracy.

My Arab News column for this week happens to be Filipinos Should Take Heart From Thais.

An article in the Inquirer reports, Award-winning radio show axed: PCIJ also bares harassment. The PCIJ in its blog, speaks of the curious nature of the efforts to secure a search warrant to search its premises.

An entry by the Sassy Lawyer on the PCIJ is very interesting. She and I have often differed on opinions regarding political questions, because from my point of view, Sassy tends to prefer a literal interpretation of events and law. A good case in point were our differing reactions to the Hello, Garci issue. She felt it was a violation of the law to listen to, much less reproduce, them. Others, including myself, felt it was our duty to not only listen to them, but to make them available. She advocated the strictest interpretation of the law; we advocated what we believed to be the limits and the spirit of the law -and at times, a higher law- as well. Her unpopular but highly principled stand earned her a column in the Manila Standard-Today, making her the first Filipina blogger to make the transition from online publishing to main stream media (however, she believes she is not “exactly” a part of media -mainstream, that is). So she has little sympathy for the PCIJ, which is fine, disagrees with some things they’ve done, which is her right; but overlooks the fact that what she denounced has been decided upon by the Supreme Court -which upheld the PCIJ.

In the present case, she believes that there’s a tempest in a teapot because no warrant has been issued, and more to the point, the courts have every right to issue one. Does anyone deny the right of the courts to issue a warrant? Of course not. But the proper question is, when is it proper to issue a warrant for the search of a newspaper’s premises for material that is “subversive” (under the present circumstances, a phrase to be mistrusted and at least, questioned prior to a search and not after, in a line of work requiring access to all kinds of information)? Or which the government says incites sedition (a crime that can be prosecuted with great latitude and discretion by the state)? This is a point the Christian Science Monitor makes, however parenthetically, in its report on the Philippine political situation:

“The problems of this country are so profound, there’s a prolonged impasse,” says Sheila Coronel, director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, responsible for a series of ground-breaking studies detailing the depths of political corruption, nepotism, and incompetence at all levels. “I don’t see any solution any time soon.”

Ms. Coronel avoids overtly taking sides, but investigators have asked for search warrants to look through the center’s records. It’s just the latest attempt at stifling criticism that government officials see as inciting sedition.

The state has certain rights of its own, which are duties when it comes to protecting national security; that’s a given. In the case of media, which can only properly operate when free speech is guaranteed and protected, the state’s inherent or even statutory authority, just because it exists, shouldn’t be exercised gratuitously. To do so is to stifle criticism.

Let’s take a similar example, which applies to the inherent authority of media owners, which in many ways can be considered even more absolute and unquestionable than the state’s. A good case is that of Tony Abaya, one of Sassy Lawyer’s fellow columnists in the Manila Standard-Today. His column, at one point, was ordered discontinued by the publisher of the paper, because Abaya had turned critical of the President (which was contrary to “the editorial position of the newspaper”). A hugh and cry arose, however, to the extent that the newspaper, both to keep responsive to its readers and maintain some of its remaining credibility, reconsidered the decision. Was the owner of the paper within his rights? Almost certainly. And wasn’t the paper entitled to a frankly pro-administration editorial position? Indubitably. Therefore, its publisher and staff can hire and fire on the basis of the editorial line. But that doesn’t mean they should -and in the end, they had to relent, on the simple argument that first, the readers didn’t want Abaya to go, and second, if the editorial line were to be so stringently enforced, the paper’s reputation would suffer: it might as well be published by the National Printing Office or the Philippine Information Agency.

I have heard some lawyers say that freedom of speech and expression are “preferred rights,” although I’m not sure if this is based on actual precedent or simply their opinion. However, in the case of democracies and our country’s history, the state has a heavy burden: that of self-control of its own authority, even in the face of what it views as the excesses of the media. Why is this so? Because the media are the thin, but institutional front line, in the broader public’s relationship with the government when it comes to free speech and expression. The moment any government intrudes into media, then the only thing between the government and its policies on expression and communication, is the citizenry itself. The citizenry, unlike the media, doesn’t even have the advantage of being able to band together, institutionally, when it’s threatened by the state. Each citizen wanting to assert his or her rights can be ruthlessly suppressed once media is out of the way.

And this is why governments in general, and free societies in particular, are jealous and suspicious of any poking about by the state, in the goings-on in media. You judge media by its output, not by its internal processes; intrude and interfere in those internal processes, when it comes to putting forward opinion or gathering and publishing news, and you immediately skew what is produced. That can only be unhealthy and dangerous. Ellen Tordesillas explains how journalists should handle the issues.

As Bryanton Post asks, pointing to the possibility of a raid on the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, is it now a case of libel out, raids in?

Wikipedia has a thorough article on freedom of speech.

How much is enough? thirtysomething has an entry indicating a study which shows 60% of people would rather fold than resist in a situation where government becomes repressive.

Recent comments by some readers reminds me of book titled The Vote of the Poor: Modernity and Tradition in People’s Views of Leadership and Elections. Two of its conclusions are interesting and relevant:

6. Corruption is widely seen as making a bad leader. To be good, a leader must have the following attributes: (a) God-fearing, (b) helpful, (c) loyal, (d) responsible, (e) intelligent, (f) hardworking, (g) faithful to one’s word, (h) principled, and (i) trustworthy. Rural and female participants look for intelligence, while urban participants value religiosity. Older participants give priority to helpfulness, while youth and male groups emphasize a leader’s sense of responsibility. Participants tend to cast their sight on local officials for examples of good leaders and on national officials for examples of bad leaders.

8. A leader’s legitimacy is widely seen as emanating from the people, specifically, in the exercise of the constitutional right to vote. But the youth stress that an elected official must be followed to be truly legitimate. A leader can lose legitimacy in two senses. First, acts of corruption, illegal activities, misdeeds, or undesirable traits make the people lose their confidence in, loyalty to, and affection for a leader, regardless of whether or not the leader is removed from office. Second, such events as “impeachment,” “expiration of term,” and “people power” result in the leader’s loss of legitimacy.

Now we come to a message board that asks, how many people supported the American revolution? The standard answer, which I recall, was that a third were for independence, a third loyal to Britain, and a third didn’t care or were neutral. Apparently, according to the board, the source of that view referred not to the American revolution, or even Britain, but American views toward the French Revolution.

And other that explains why a tiny minority, the Bolsheviks, won the Russian Revolution.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

67 thoughts on “Why defend the press?

  1. PCIJ has a right to be alarmed especially as this government
    is no paragon of abiding by the law.

    Well, lawyers are lawyers. One lawyer’s opinion is just one legal opinion; there are contrary legal opinions. What is always a turn off is that peacocky self-confidence they have the last word on a legal controversy.

  2. Re:Tony Abaya’s censorship…….
    Manila Standard’s owner was/is Enrique Razon

    The guy who I keep referrring to as the golfing buddy of the FG….

    The gold mine himself….
    Even though I hate bashing a fellow LSGH alumnus,I will.

    Razon is a crony of Mike Arroyo!

    Now, again to my pet peeve Sleeping…
    You keep on saying with freedom there should be responsibility…You keep on misquoting Spiderman…

    Responsibility goes with power!

  3. Like it Karl…

    It is meant to be with power comes responsibility..

    But the way you have it phrased… is

    With power “say good by to responsibility” there it goes..

    Have a good day MLQ3 and Karl.. Hows your head MLQ3..

  4. ricelander, during martial law or even when it was lifted. nobody ever thought of provoking goverment bcause marcos was solidly in control.
    there was noisy media who would be crying wolf.
    only those who lost their liberties then ca say that what we have now is a privelage.
    it seems to me that pcij thing like so many things is over acting.
    just like people accuse goverment of over acting on declaring 1017.
    i do not see business complaining when it hard to do business in the philippines because of the so many noises.
    why should pcij act any differently?
    i think media people are also human.media people are not perfect.so it’s not impossible that their work can be tainted too w/ other resons.
    an exsample is manolo’s artticle on expectations where he misquotes vp noli as one of his premises to what he wrote about.
    people would just admire him for what he writes but could care less about inaccurasies.
    items that are obviosly twisted by media so as ti saw division & intrigue & creating a story.
    is that ok for you?

  5. Don’t you just love it when lawyers confuse the issue? This is why I believe there are corrupt judges. They don’t accept bribe money to enrich themselves but so they won’t have to listen to lawyers.

  6. uh, joselu, did you read my entry? the veep was not a premise, the article was part of the news roundup. i’d have thought you’d figured out the way i write entries by now. you know, usually it goes like this:

    1. news of the day, headlines and some comments
    2. the punditocracy -what the opinion writers have to say and sometimes, what i have to say about it
    3. the blogosphere -what bloggers are saying and what i think about that, too
    4. interesting readings,tid-bits, information, corrections, etc.

    and how, pray do tell, did the entry itself have anything to do with a column written before that headline came out?

  7. sleeping,

    dude! do you know how silly you sound? in no way can Karl’s phrasing me taken as what you took it to be. “responsibility comes with power” means exactly the same thing as “responsibility follows power”. i really don’t know how you could have come up with “with power say goodbye to responsibility”.

    seriously dude, you should be checking on your own head, not MLQ’s…

  8. An entry by the Sassy Lawyer on the PCIJ is very interesting. She and I have often differed on opinions regarding political questions, because from my point of view, Sassy tends to prefer a literal interpretation of events and law. A good case in point were our differing reactions to the Hello, Garci issue. She felt it was a violation of the law to listen to, much less reproduce, them.

    but i bet she would be singing a different tune kung yung boses ni erap o lacson ang nasa laman nung tape na yan, talking about rigging elections, kidnapping COMELEC officials, or corruption.

  9. manolo, if it was a round up, then it was not an accurate round-up.
    inq. headlined the noli comment last week yet.obviously inq. twisted the news item to crate futher division & intrigue, nothing new from inq.
    i was really more of surprised why you also picked it up.
    cuz i remember in monday night news, i watched news in siete & he denied the item & even said it’s inq. who added “must” to his own words of “can”.
    since you are very particular w/ the words that you use.i’m just saying that on record you then have an inaccurate item.
    i understood it as a premiss cause in your firat paragraph you spoke of less pain, then next paragraph that there is a problems, then leave w/ it mentality.i did read the article & rread it more than once cause honestly yo write eloquently but at some points it’s magulo, so many ideas at the end what was really your point?
    i thought it was another way of your getting back at the middle class again.just making it more sophisticated.
    then you wrote the opposition mantara of “lieing…..”
    anyway, don’t take it personaly.it’s just an obsevation.
    but i do make time to read what you write.

  10. Manolo talks about the public’s relationship with government and there is indeed an issue of power that simply can’t be overlooked.

    Frederick Douglas pretty much nailed it in a quote from 19th century America that appears in my post from earlier today.

  11. i wonder what could be sassy’s logic in saying that listening to the garci tape is a violation of the law.

    when malacanang hackies spliced the alleged conversation of estrada to a certain person with alleged intention of assassinating the president, sassy lawyer did not say it was a violation of the law to listen to those or to even reproduce those cds. Pina mimigay pa nga yun ni chavit. whats the difference between those tapes and the garci tapes.

    Will the lawyer amongst us here please enlighten us with this?

  12. Manolo,

    Sassy is blind and being one relies only with senses.

    If she felt that it was a violation of the law to listen and much less reproduce them [referring to the wiretap tapes], I dont see why she cant reconize on why our own government continously procure such equipments and use them in monitoring purposes. Her lack of knowledge in the real world only displayed her ignorance and unfounded views. Her stand, is so dubious that she didnt even know on where to put her legalese argument within facts.

    It made my intestine tie into knots.

  13. MLQ3,

    To me a free press is the guarantor of the ordinary citizen’s freedom of expression.

    It allows for a venue for one and all ordinary citizens to be able to air their thoughts including their grievances.

    A free press is also the ordinary citizen’s means to check and to balance political power.

    Without a free press, the ordinary citizen loses an essential right: his freedom of expression.

  14. Gloria is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

    What she is doing today is militicking (military politicking), really nothing more nothing less.

    Her words and deeds are hollow and they don’t fool em real military guys.

    She’s dividing the military in the same manner that she’s been dividing the nation.

    That’s very very bad business. Terribly dangerous tack. It will backfire.

    A commander in chief cannot divide the nation’s military because the military is the backbone of a democratic republic and when you break that backbone, it causes them good guys GREAT PAIN.

    That great pain will translate into rebellion.

  15. You will find that history has shown us that whenever a national leader, a commander in chief “toyed” with military tenet of armed strength and wielded it like a sword of Damocles against the citizenry or against the military’s own brothers in arms, the act provoked cracks in the armed forces ranks. The cracks swelled into divisions and the divisions created a revolution.

  16. Amazing really that Gloria has not learned anything from history…

    While history shouldn’t always repeat itself, Gloria is hell bent on history repeating itself.

    It’s so uncanny but Gloria’s model of governance and rule is French Revolution’s reign under Robespierre. The 4 years of Robespierre reign was total corruption of the military and civilian components of the French Republic.

    Robespierre used and wielded the military like his own sword of Damocles. He used the Republic’s coffers as his personal piggy bank. He dismantled the Republican institutions that the Council of the French Revolution had tried to set up. He fought with and antagonized the People’s Assembly (parliament), threatened them with anything he could think of. He even had Danton, one of the major heroes of the Revolution and a firm Republican in Parliament assasinated for speaking up against him. He used his friends, members of his family to do his bidding (like Iggy Pidal and Fatman, Lulli, Mikey, etc.)

    That chapter of French Revolution history under Robespierre’s reign was known historically as the Reign of Terror.

    When Robespierre started to feel the pinch of the people’s Assembly and the mutiny of the Republican Guards (military), he sent Napoleon to quell that mutiny in one of the bloodiest military to military fightings.

    Napoleon won the day for him but in the end, Robespierre he lost his head in Place de la Concorde – guillotined. Napoleon started his climb to becoming the leader of a military-civilian junta. Later on, Napoleon just evicted all of them and MARTIAL RULE took over.

    That’s what happens when a leader plays with the military and uses it against its own brothers in arms and against the honorable citizens of the Republic.

  17. Voltaire, one of the greatest philosophers, writers, satirists and political lampoonists of the last 3 centuries was a proponent of FREE SPEECH.

    Because of this, he suffered imprisonment, exile and deprived of his liberty to live in the country that he dearly loved.

    His treatises on free speech and the tenets of a real democracy were one of the backbones of the French Revolution of 1789.

    When the Louis the 16th’s Ministers gagged Voltaire depriving him of his freedom of speech, they simply created a more formidable foe, one that helped ignite their overthrow.

    Gloria is being stupid and absolutely dumb. Human nature has never changed over the centuries, they fight for their freedom all the more strongly when their freedom is threatened…

  18. (Aha! Might Nene Pimentel be Gloria’s “Danton”?)

    Yesterday, I had to stand up on the floor of the senate to denounce the insidious attempt of Gloria to implicate me in the plots to oust her forcibly.

    I denied I had anything to do with any plot covert, overt or otherwise to topple her administration.

    Gloria and her male and female political strumpets have issued a disc that has some generals describing “operation hackle”, a so-called plot hatched by
    military putchists, communists, professionals and united opposition personalities. It was at the point when the voice over commentator talked of the involvement of the united opposition that the disk features me laughing
    with jamby madrigal at the rally on feb 24 at the ninoy Aquino monument in ayala ave., Makati.

    One thing they probably missed is that I have never been to any meeting open or secret of the United Opposition. I have always publicly declared that my role as an oppositionist could best be done on the floor of the senate. But after 1017, when she prohibited even peaceful rallies, I decided to show my face at the ayala rally, the first and only time up to this point that I
    have done so. And I dared them to arrest me openly at the rally.

    I called the contents of the disk as far as they relate to me “a scurrilous libel” and an invitation to (my) assassination by the trigger happy hacks of Gloria in the military and police.

    I don’t know how this latest caper of Gloria will play out. But I do not intend to be intimidated by this ersatz marcos pretender. In the meantime, my friend, take care. And God be with you and your people.


    Office of Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr.
    Senate of the Philippines
    Pasay City
    website: http://www.nenepimentel.org
    email: [email protected]

  19. “preferred rights”? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Article 19 states “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. i don’t see how any lawyer can wiggle out of that unless he/she treats the UN Declaration as mere guidelines.

  20. No, CVJ, nobody but nobody should wiggle out of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    Anybody that wiggles out of that should be brought to the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg or in Brussels and be judged accordingly… Gloria must not breach that with impunity.

  21. CVJ,

    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is like Moses’ Ten Commandments – no ifs and no buts…

    One is free to break the ten commandments but he must face the consequence and be man or woman enough to take the punishment.

    As the law implicitly states: “Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time!”

  22. Joselu, what happen again for your English ispeak?
    Betcha by golly, its wacha makulit again?
    Its broken by somewhat matter how come?

    But otherswise, on days other its quite clearly corecct.

    In fact, VERY clear and VERY correct.

    Maybe sometime, somedays, somebody take over your name Joselu, ha?
    Better watch-out becos MLQ3 and othrs might think your are the realy fake ones.

    Take my advcise, oh no?

  23. The resignation of Solicitor General Benipayo is a long time coming. His incompetence included the NAIA3 deal where the government lost money. The most glaring is his failure to establish a solid basis for PP1017 to defend the state from lawlessness without any new powers (giving bullets that there is no need of imposition of PP1017 at all). In fact, before his SG position, he was bypassed 3 times as Supreme Court justice. That coveted justice dream of Benipayo is now gone.

    There are two things unfolding behind the background. The President is left with only one option of suspension of habeas corpus and declaration of martial law to deal with current threat.

    Two, the passive argument of Benipayo eroded significantly the Supreme Court position of strenghtening the government hands in quelling threats. The justices questions (sounded more of exasperation) leaned towards government side. They were familiar with the dissent right and press freedom. In the light of weak government position, the Supreme Court had not eagerly embraced the people’s right to come up with a timely decision. This is to soften the damage that Benipayo has done.

    To me, people’s rights are seriously threatened at the Supreme Court as much as by the government. That is something to watch.

  24. Any talk of Transition Councils and their ‘blueprints’ at this stage just muddles the issue. Why don’t those who oppose GMA just focus on one thing at a time and concentrate on GMA’s ouster and the holding of elections? They can sell their blueprint to whoever leader comes next, or to the people during the campaign period. It certainly should not be used as an excuse for keeping power for themselves for 1000 days or whatever period of time they think they need. That would make them no better than the person they want to replace.

  25. CVJ, that is exactly right.
    We cannot jump ahead into step 10 if we cannot seriously afford to make the 1st step which is the ouster of Ate Glue.

    We have a sitting president with doctorate of economics who have squandered the billions of Agrarian Reform money into the 2004 presidential election, made mockery of the premier rice hybrid institution to keep the nation importing its rice. The doctorate in economics also set the policy for Filipinos to pay higher gas price (152 pesos per gallon) than what Americans paid for the same gas (130 pesos per gallon) imported from the Middle East.

  26. thepublicthing (with apologies to mlq3),

    When you point out Ms. Veneracion’s alleged lack of knowledge of the real world and ignorance, I hope you are not claiming that you are the expert on the real world. There are ways of disagreeing with another person’s view without putting them down.

    Speaking of unfounded views, what is the foundation for your view that Ms. Veneracion’s views are unfounded and dubious and that she does not know “where to put her legalese argument within facts”?

  27. Doesn’t the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also contain the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty?

  28. On the VP’s reported statement, if he truly said that GMA “must” explain, that IS news. If he said GMA “can” explain, I fail to see why that would be newsworthy. It would be truly a slow day for newspapers before they report that as news.

  29. Observer, yes it does in Article 12 “(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence” Assuming her case gets to court, GMA would be entitled to this.

    Probably in anticipation of governments run by people who would take advantage of letter of the law, the UN Declaration ends with Article 30 “Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth therein.”

  30. manolo, maybe the question is why does the media need to be defended.can’t their work speak for it’s self?
    is the media “above the rest”?
    is the media contributing to nation building or just contributing to have more confussed people?
    since the media most of the time works on the principle that bad news sells.is that supposed to be something to be supported?
    media people are also human.they took make mistakes.they too can be corrupted.in a way they are not any different people they attack.media too has powers just like the people media attacks.who is to say what media say is right & the others are wrong.
    maybe the problem is not really the institution per se but just like our country & the way we play we democracy.
    maybe it’s because we are more concerned w/ “freedom” & are just deadma to “responsibility”
    maybe it’s because we just think of our “individual” right first and never think about the “bigger picture” of things.
    maybe it’s because we think of only what we see now & never consider consequences.
    today insted we are paying a high price for so many things done in the past.all things done in the name of freedom.maybe a freedom so immature even.
    what i can’t figure out is why nobody ever steps forward to promissing to be more responsible.as if the word does not exsist in the dictionary.
    we are a country that has never been known for our dicipline.it’s enough to drive through the streets of manila to understand peoples attitudes.

  31. pig eye, i guess you where just trying to prove that you are magaling,will let it pass na lang cuz don’t wanna go down to a pig’s level heheheh

  32. David, (taking off from our previous discussion in Ricky’s weblog), what thepublicthing said could be taken not as a put down but as a simple observation. Sassy has chosen to use legal reasoning to prevent the hearing of the tapes – the end result for her and anyone who follows her advice is a lack of knowledge of an important aspect of the real world as constructed by those who have gone ahead, acknowledged their existence and listened (or read the transcripts).

  33. It appears that the Sassy Lawyer is saying that it is premature for PCIJ to raise hell before the actual harassment is actually done? But didn’t Gloria use pre-emptive action? She never heard of the CPR (Calibrated Pre-emptive Response) ?

    And if we were to follow her logic, a woman should wait until she is actually raped before crying out for help. Jeez!

  34. Manolo brings up two interesting points about Sassy and Tony Abaya:

    Her unpopular but highly principled stand earned her a column in the Manila Standard-Today, making her the first Filipina blogger to make the transition from online publishing to main stream media.


    A good case is that of Tony Abaya, one of Sassy Lawyer’s fellow columnists in the Manila Standard-Today. His column, at one point, was ordered discontinued by the publisher of the paper, because Abaya had turned critical of the President (which was contrary to “the editorial position of the newspaper”).

    I believe that Sassy Laywer (who announced on July 4, 2005 that she was hired by Manila Standard) was supposed to be Tony Abaya’s replacement.

    When Abaya’s June 30, 2005 article was initially spiked by Mr. Razon’s paper for being too critical of Mrs. Arroyo, Mr. Abaya tendered his resignation, as any self-respecting person would do under that situation.

    So I don’t know if it’s really just her “highly principled stand” that landed her the job or that her views are more in line with the “editorial position of the newspaper” than Tony’s.

  35. No, Joselu.
    That’s hardly my point.

    Hindi pagalingan ng Ingles ang pamantayan ng usapin dito.
    Lamang, salungat sa pangkaraniwang karanasan ang makakita ng taong paiba-iba at pabagu-bago ang antas ng kahusayan sa pamamahayag.

    Tuloy, nagiging pala-isipan kung iisa lang nga ba ang taong nagsusulat at naghahayag sa ngalan ni “Joselu”.
    Tagalog man o Ingles, sa iisang tao, general experience shows that style and fluency hardly ever changes.

    So the question, I’m asking is:
    Is that really just YOU, Joselu?

    Baka kasi hindi nyo alam..
    There seem to be two of you using the same nom de guerre as there seem to be two distinct levels of lucidness and articulation (one good, the other so-so) under one given name.

    Kataka-taka at nakagugulo lang kasi sa usapan eh, di baga?

  36. First things first

    Sabi ni CVJ:

    Any talk of Transition Councils and their ‘blueprints’ at this stage just muddles the issue. Why don’t those who oppose GMA just focus on one thing at a time and concentrate on GMA’s ouster and the holding of elections? They can sell their blueprint to whoever leader comes next, or to the people during the campaign period. It certainly should not be used as an excuse for keeping power for themselves for 1000 days or whatever period of time they think they need. That would make them no better than the person they want to replace.

    You’re right. I’ve also posted something similar to what you said on my blog last night.

    I’d just like to add na nagsimula talaga ang gulo dahil nalaman ng taungbayan na ninakaw ni Arroyo ang election noong 2004. At yan ang dapat nating unang remedyohan.

    Kapag natanggal na si ARroyo, the transition period should not be used by unelected “transition council leaders” to implement their pet “blueprints” or “reforms” agendas — but to clean up the COMELEC and prepare for the special elections to replace Arroyo.

    every potential candidate, from a biazon to a lacson, have their own ideas and platforms on how to reform the system and move the Philippines forward, and it is up to us voters to decide kung anong klaseng reporma ang gusto natin by the person we elect.

    The people who will be in charge during the transition period leading up to the special elections cannot impose their “reform agenda” or “blueprints” on all the candidates who will be running during the special presidential elections… like, hindi nila pwedeng sabihin sa Candidate A na you need to promise na you will implement our “blueprint” or else disqualified kang tumakbo… that kind of shit…

    If Candidate A wants to adopt and champion the “blueprint” or “reform agenda” as his own and use it in his campaign, then pwede yan. pero dapat, walang pilitan. Because every candidate has their own ideas on how to reform and improve our country. And the voters will decide kung ano klaseng reporma ang gusto nila by the candidates they elect.

    BUT FIRST, we need to remove the fake one out of malacanang.

    once we have a newly elected and legit president in place, then we can start helping the new president implement reforms.

  37. Phil Cruz, so what is PCIJ charging the goverment about? the instension to get a search warrant.
    seems that there is some paranoia & over reacting going on.
    why do people in this country go to the senate & media to complain?
    why not go to court?

  38. I’ll have to be honest with you David, where I stand, our government created and trained people like me to become the best; I can only learn and apply that knowledge to the extent of my ability, and if that makes me an expert, only few people can tell, but you or Ms Veneracion are not one them.

    My intention was never to disagree with her unfounded views rather I am appalled to learn that she can define a violation of the law only in a certain clause that it wouldn’t hurt the position of the state, or to this case, the government. Her being a lawyer.

    It is an argument to which breed contempt for the law by its example; and it must be clarified conclusively. None of us so far, had the occasion to pass on the collective statue of the electronic surveillance in question and determine whether its procedures and authorization comport with the standards sketched in our laws.

    Disturbing really is, one opined that listening to products of electronic surveillances and reproducing them is a violation of the law while we ignore the fact the electronic surveillance equipments hovering within like a Trojan horse used by the state is not.

    By the way, electronic surveillance is not included in RA 4200, suffice to say, there is no violation to any law, and according to my experiences in electronic surveillances, most parties involved used cell phones, not land based telephones where one can only use bugging devices and wire-tapping.If that is not ignorance, I don’t what it is, and you ask for the foundation of my views.

    She can only blabber on how to accomplish political and economic progress in our country, yet, she didnt have any idea on how to start one, a misguided journalist who influence people of her unpatriotism and personal apathy.

    You dont call it views, you call cowardice.

  39. cvj,

    Your point is fair and well-taken. Perhaps it is just me. It is my belief that, in debate or discussions and presentations of different views, it is not proper to comment on another person’s character (e.g. saying that the other is ignorant). But that is just me and I could be wrong.

  40. david, in this confused situation, you’ve done right to remind us.

    thepublicthing, djb in his philippinecommentary weblog for today seems to have a different opinion on the applicability of RA4200 on electronic surveillance equipment. from what i understand, it agrees with Sassy’s intepretation and leads to the conclusion that both the people and GMA are guilty of violating its provisions.

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