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.
Technorati Tags: constitution, human rights, journalism, media, military, philippines, politics, president, society
143 thoughts on “The ones who got in the way”
It’s interesting what a Hong Kong legislator said today as a comment regarding a TV cameraman who was hit by a fire extinguisher thrown by a man to stop TV coverage. He said “These press people don’t work for themselves. The press’ cameras are the people’s eyes and ears.” Or something to that effect …
(the cameraman lost consciousness when hit by the extinguisher and was brought to the hospital by an ambulance. The man who threw the extinguisher actually helped load him into the ambulance!)
my view about obstruction of justice is simple as I see it in the Law and Order series.
When a person tries to protect the suspect from being arrested he’s told by the police that he can be accused of obstruction of justice.
When the media surrounded Trillanes and Lim when the police
was about to arrest them, what was it?
O by the way, the Manila Pen was not sedition or rebellion. Neither it is a press conference. Press conferences needed advance reservations and they don’t have to break glasses before their entry. :p
They were there to have cups of coffee. And the large number of press people (more than 50 wow) were there not because they were invited.
The press people can lie when asked in the investigation.
But when investigations proved otherwise, they can still be slapped with obstruction of justice.
Take the case of many well known personalities in the US.
That’s a simple case of obstruction of justice. You do not have to search the SCRAs and other lawbooks. Sheesh.
Hehe, my “pagmama-asim” got special mention in the post… :p
Anyway, on face value, “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” sounds reasonable enough. In the specific context of the Manila Pen situation, whether that memo conflicts with the “freedom of the press” constitutional thingie, well, that might make for a good debate. But in any case, the PNP clearly botched and abused the implementation of the memo, with much confusion about what was going on and what they were trying to do, and with the frogmarching (MLQ’s term) and handcuffing of the mediamen.
Also, if what happened was just some “processing”, why is Ronaldo Puno threatening to have the media arrested AGAIN if a similar scenario occurs in the future?
Anyway, I do hope that if ABS-CBN believes they have a legitimate case, they should go ahead with suing the police. The outcome will probably make things clearer, at least from a legal standpoint.
oh wow. thanks for the special mention Mr. Manolo! =)
A question that seems to be on everybody’s mind these days turns out to be: Is Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the worst President in recent history?
(A recent informal, unscientific poll of this blogÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s viewers found that 80% of votes cast for Ã¢â‚¬Å“Worst PresidentÃ¢â‚¬Â rate the current presidency as a very serious contender for the dubious title.)
But how do you judge? Is she really the most morally disgusting? Have we as a people forgotten and/or forgiven the terrible transgressions of some of her recent predecessors in the Presidential seat in Malacanang?
Objectively, isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Ferdinand Marcos the most worthy candidate for worst President? Maybe the young have no memory of the brutal years of martial law regime, his silencing the free press, his dictatorial control, the imprisonment, torture, murder and disappearance of thousands and his shameless plunder of the nation’s treasury.
DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t we at least remember MarcosÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ partner in the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Conjugal DictatorshipÃ¢â‚¬Â? Maybe her pathetic look these days is deemed by our people good enough punishment for a woman whose beauty was legendary decades ago.
How about GloriaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most recent presidential predecessor? IsnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Erap, our unlucky 13th president, another more worthy candidate for the worst President? Just three months ago, the Sandiganbayan finally gave its decision, finding Joseph guilty of plunder “beyond reasonable doubt” and sentenced to Ã¢â‚¬Å“ReclusiÃƒÂ³n perpetua.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Maybe our people think that he has already been punished enough. After all, he served more than six years in detention Ã¢â‚¬â€ six years and six months to be exact. First in an air-conditioned suite at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, and then at his own well-appointed rest house in Tanay town, outside Manila. (Of course, Erap was quickly pardoned by Gloria.)
This brings us to Gloria. It’s still too early to tell, but if the current signs mean anything, she has got a lot to answer for.
How could so many scandals of an elected (?) president and her cadre remain unexplained, unchallenged, and unpunished? When? Probably never.
WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not talking mistakes, here. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not talking poor judgment or failed policies. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not talking politics as usual, with its underhanded array of pork and perks. But we are talking about very serious violations of the public trust, and very possibly the law, perpetrated by the elected (?) leader of this nation and her handlers.
Even more amazingly, we are talking about the shameful reality that not a single one of these offenses has been investigated by a truly independent, non-political, neutral commission, armed with subpoena powers and adequate funding, and answerable ONLY to the people of Philippines. Not a single one.
What ever happened to the investigation of?
* The National Power Corp. (Napocor) -CPK-Kalayaan rehabilitation project.
* The race horse importation fiasco.
* The overpriced Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard exposÃƒÂ©.
* Misuse of the fertilizer funds.
* The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. scandals.
* The jueteng scandals.
* The ZTE-NBN scandal (“Buck off!”).
* The Bribery of Governors and Congressmen in Malacanang.
* The MOTHER of ALL SCANDALS: THE HELLO GARCI Mega Scandal that influenced the last Presidential elections.
* The Extra-Judicial Killings of Activists as reported by the United Nations special raporteur on human rights.
* And many more…
One of the criteria for being worst is how much lasting damage the President did. The dictator Ferdinand Marcos for instance, did more than words can convey. With Gloria, the historical reckoning is yet to be made.
Let history judge her.
‘When the media surrounded Trillanes and Lim when the police
was about to arrest them, what was it?’
It’s obstruction of justice.
Were the media people TOLD that they are obstructing justice BEFORE being arrested? Were media people TOLD that they are being arrested for obstruction of justice?
If the answer is NO then FG Arroyo can be arrested for no apparent reason.
as the discussion i had with geo shows, those convinced the government was in the right, did so from a hunch. because, even the secretary of the interior took a week before he could publicly point to an official paper backing up his assertion.
what was the paper? a departmental memorandum, and the lawyers can discuss where, exactly, that paper lies in terms of the hierarchy of our laws. but as for me, while of course the lawyers will also say ignorance of the law excuses no one, that shouldn’t erase the obligation of the law enforcers to have everyone understand what it is that they view as the basis for their authority, and what it is, exactly, the authorities intend to use to justify whatever it is they have in mind.
notice it’s taken about as much time for the authorities to figure out what to charge trillanes et al. with, as it has for them to finally, ex post facto, figure out why they believe they’re justified in apprehending and briefly detaining the journalists.
and consider that from the point of view of this:
mlq, since nobody has been charged of obstruction, i don’t know if anyone has committed the crime. Usually the crime of obstruction involves: lying to investigators; bribing witnesses, threatening members of jury, feigning sickness to delay proceedings, (very common in the country), but any member of the media did these stuff. Abetting and aiding maybe, and that is entirely different stuff, and so far they could hardly have aided themselves in that situation.
must be noted that freedom of speech is not for the Media alone, it is equally the rights of all…
“Is a deal looming with Danding?” There have already been deals (and a few important no-deals, too 🙂 between ECJ and the Arroyos.)
You might want to look at this instead as a series of deals, some of them strategic (e.g. allowing ECJ to use Kirin’s entry to regain controlling interest in SMC) and some tactical, mainly done for political expediency (e.g. post-2004, put Gilbert at DND, while ECJ distributes NPC support across the political divide). The most strategic deal has already been done, though: by allowing ECJ to control SMC (through Kirin in 2002 and later, by not objecting to the SMC capital stock rights offering in 2003) the Arroyos have allowed Danding to not only regain all of what he lost in 1986, but to then plan his exit from publicly-held SMC with more than what he had stolen under Marcos (this explains his overseas investments and corresponding divestments from the core SMC business). The Sandiganbayan ruling legitimizing “his” 20% is relatively unimportant: the same court already allowed him to sell those shares two years ago. But he has two remaining hurdles: the Supreme Court and the inevitable appeal regarding the 20% ruling AND the next President’s attitude toward him.
The SC may be more unpredictable. CJ Puno was a colleague of Estelito Mendoza at the OSG but has taken inconsistent positions in past ECJ-related cases. The presence of J. Carpio creates an opportunity to press for an outcome more consistent with the 2001 ruling.
The Presidency? Mar Roxas is in Danding’s pocket. Manny Villar will sell his soul (and the housing projects he has left uncompleted after OFWs paid him their life-savings) to ECJ (and San Miguel Properties Inc.) But then again, Danding is getting old and his children are not getting more intelligent. The 2010 election may be important, but it is the ones after that, where Danding’s apprentices Chiz and Gilbert may be prominent, that he thinks he can decisively control. Marcos is dead, and Danding will try to do what the dictator could not: come back and retake power.
Manolo, my gripe with journalists is that they are going the way of the lawyers of this country. Just as lawyers, once they’ve gotten a job in a high-powered outfit like ABS-CBN they begin to segregate themselves from the common people just as law school students who have passed the bar and start working as lawyers segregate themselves from their old social class. My problem is not media against the administration but media against the common people. Media has become another entity of fear for the Filipino people. In your column you mentioned Bernas’ opinion that media is only an extension of common freedom of expression. I’ve said as much here in your blog. The fact that anyone can be a journalist is ignored by journalists. Most journalists believe that journalism is a specialization much like being a doctor of medicine. Their whining when they were rounded up only proves my point. The police have always been unconstitutional about arrests, always. When they are dealing with poor perps they are brutal, with rich perps they are liberal – both acts are unconstitutional. So, why complain now? A better question: if government gives media satisfaction on last Thursday’s event, do they stop complaining even though the police will no doubt go on with their old habits?
Brian, the better question is, do we stomp down the media to subservience just because its agents are arrogant and ill-bred?
And you know, we may be seeing the extinction of media corporations as we know it today. Already, bloggers are supplanting journalists when it comes to credibility. We may yet see a time when corporate media actually gives thought in exercising social responsibility vs pure banal profit.
i guess a law should be written for ‘journalists’ about ‘conflict of interest’.
let’s take for example one ‘journalist’ who has a blog that is so biased and one-sided. her blog is anti-gloria. most opposing post, even if you are lining up gloria with marcos and erap are being deleted reason being the post is ‘diverting’ the main issue at hand. but postings by her ‘choir’ are being tolerated even if it’s just being chikahan.
if you are covering the PENN ‘press conference’ and you as a journalist is so bent and looking forward to the downfall of gloria, are you there to cover the event or are you there to be part of it? do you have the right to wear the MEDIA badge?
is a coloumnist who writes mainly opinion pieces a journalist?
lol. this is the height of hypocrisy. not to mention irony.
why is it the height of hypocrisy? for a journalist protesting govt clamp down on free speech and media, this woman sure has the gall to ban me even though I have not disobeyed any of her rules in her blog. Unless she has made it illegal to “nitpick.”
second, i have never used any other aliases posting in that blog (though i have, in here, when Manolo’s website was having problem and i couldn’t post unless i changed my links and my handles) and she has never banned me before. moderated, yes. had my posts deleted, yes. but never banned. if she thought she banned me bec. i disappeared from her blog, it was bec of my own choice, and not her banning me.
then she tells me that if i want to participate in the discussion, i am free to do so, and yet how can i do that now that I am banned? unless i change my name, thereby making her accusation true that i “infiltrate” her site by using various aliases. mam, your mind has now been infected with a serious illness. it’s a condition brought on by being surrounded by the same vacuous people day in and day out. Michael Tan has wrote an interesting dissertation abt it. He called it “sipsips and sulsuleros.” you may wanna check your symptoms with the list he has provided.
your site has now but been reduced to a haven of a cult. unwary readers who may have the same sympathies may get sucked-in by the vicious nature of the people there. if i would vote for who would be the next likeliest tyrants if GMA was thrown out of power, I’d say it would be the regulars congragating on your site.
you see, this is why i admire Manolo. he practices what he preaches. that’s why dissenters here thrive. and a real lively discussion happens. his only policy for banning is if a poster threatens another poster with harm or unduly causes harm to that poster with info posted.
but you on the other hand mam, when a member of your “choir” threatened me, and even invited me to meet face to face, what did you do?
you banned me for nitpicking? or was it bec i was piquing you? you know, you are only hurt by what people say if it cuts too close to the truth.
your blog’s tagline shouldn’t be: making life worth living. it should be: making life hell for dissenters. it sure is the right description for your blog.
you know, dina. labels are just labels. ayone can be a journalist. bloggers can be considered journalists. its what people do that defines them as being worthy to be called journalists of the highest standards.
Now here’s what I got from wikipedia:
by that definition, i can consider myself a journalist. albeit an unpaid and unemployed one.
mlq3, please see my recent postings in the preceding thread re what specific law may be applicable to the media crackdown in makati. you can also bring it to the attention of your lawyers-consultants and if they care, i would gladly debate the issue with them. with due respect, i don’t think you yourself is equipped to lecture your readers on the legalities of the incident(s).
fwiw, i know that u.s. federal statutes and most state criminal laws make obstruction of, and interference with, persons in authority in the performance of duty, a criminal offense.
btw, re the media respondents mantra that they have not seen or heard of any similar arrest of media people anywhere in the world, i would surmise that perhaps the foreign press are more responsible and knowledgeable of their proper role in society, less arrogant and more law-abiding that no such kind of confrontation is necessary. in any event, the fact that there is no precedence does not negate the existing law, and the right of “persons in authority” to enforce it.
they are often expected to report in the most objective and unbiased way to serve the public good.
how can you do that when you have a blog/website that is so overwhelmingly BIASED?
how can you do that when you have a blog/website that is so overwhelmingly BIASED?
Sangayon ako sa mga sinasabi ninyo, Dina at Harion. Nagsasawa na ako sa blog ni Ellen. Halata ang favoritism. Marami ang mga sipsip duon. At bakit panay Trillanes ang topic duon, nawawala na ang mga issues against Gloria.
Wow, for the first time, Inquirer and major broadcast media stopped pandering to public opinion. Media threw support squarely behind their journalists (ever read a dissenting editiorial on the supposed supression of press freedom by the police?) — despite public opinion telling them otherwise.
The more I get to read the posts here, the more I realize media has become so biased in this issue — so biased that they swing between being defensive and being hysterical. And they are alienating readers already. Now if i want smarter and balanced opinion from both sides, I hit the blogs.
this a post of Anna (mbw, manilabaywatch) at Ellen’s blog…..
what’s wrong with this picture? why in Ellen’s blog? why not here? i didn’t mention any names (journalism’s palusot).
anna, i would rather post here at MLQ’s than anywhere else. why? here, it’s more like AMERICA. you can say whatever you want, with decency of course. in other blogs, it’s, well, like the PHILIPPINES – kung hindi ka ka-grupo, packing sheet ka (well, you know the F word and the S word). so if you want to discuss my post above, let’s do it here. you can bring your ‘group’ if you want to.
“[Trillanes] 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”
On the contrary, I think he was elected because Pinoys relate best with LOSERS.
What exactly did this bozo achieve?
Harion, you cannot compare a blog with a newspaper. it’s more like the blog-owner’s living room where s/he entertains guests. as such, our rights are delimited by the blog-owner. if tomorrow, manolo decides to close his comments section, we cannot complain that it violates our (or anyone’s) freedoms.
where’d you get this cultural stereotyping mentality? are you sure you are one of benigs’s multiple personalities?
the fact of the matter is, as in the real world, the internet creates its own niches that very well reflect human tendencies to form associations–not by accident as to the place you were born, but to conglomerate in areas that appeal to your interests and liking and in the comforts where minds meet. if mlq is more liberal in accommodating differing views, attribute that to his liberal-mindedness, not to his AMERICAN homestyle accommodation. your analogy is an insult to many PINOYS here who do not see it that way, much less feel the homeliness of american culture you so stereotypically perceive.
get real, benigs-wannabe!
bencard, thanks for that. but again, this is what i find curious, and perhaps you can show the way forward on this, too.
let’s assume you are a person in authority, and i, an ordinary citizen. you order me to do something.
when you give that order, is it necessary for you to tell on what basis or authority, besides your holding a position, you’re giving me that order? am i entitled to know, from the very start, the statutory basis for your giving me an order? and the specific penalties i will incur, if i disobey you?
if you tell me, furthermore, you are ordering me to do something, on the basis of a specific piece of legislation -a presidential decree- then am i, as a citizen, entitled to challenge your assertion and your order, and if so, how?
and then, what happens if you order me, i disobey, you then order me briefly detained, on the basis of a presidential decree, and then, a week after the fact, that is, after you ordered me, detained me, etc. you go ahead and say, actually i ordered you and detained you not on the basis of a decree, but actually on the basis of a departmental memorandum? which is a higher category of law? and if you could justify your actions on a mere departmental memorandum, why hadn’t you specifically said so at the time you were ordering me about?
and what is the significance of the authorities never relying on the penal code provisions you cited? are they ignorant, or could it be, they disagree with you on the applicability of those provisions? and even if their ignorance excuses neither them nor those who disobeyed, we go back to the fact actions were taken by the authorities, without recourse to invoking the provisions you cited. so how can they be relevant -and is there ever a case where government incurs some sort of penalty for overlooking its statutory entitlements?
it seems to me the authorities ought to be expected to know their rights and prerogatives fully; to invoke them completely and thoroughly; to inform the public of the consequences of disobedience, not on general principles, but based on specific legislation; and that officials who keep changing the basis for their actions can then be assumed to have committed a fundamental violation of the rights of the citizenry to know just why, exactly, they are being asked to pay a certain penalty for a certain kind of behavior.
Even way back in March of 2006, the self-righteousness and utter hypocrisy of media had been rearing its ugly head.
Some bozo pontificated in the PCIJ Blog that: “The Philippine press has a long tradition of resistance to tyranny. We refuse to be cowed. The press should not yield an inch of ground.”
To which I responded here:
Excuse me, but a circumstance where an institution housing POPULARLY-ELECTED “representatives” with the power to remove a president FAILS to do exactly that, DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A TYRANNY.
The press is simply doing what it does best — fear mongering and sensationalism of what is essentially nothing more than the failure of an intellectually-vacuous population to take their “representatives” to task — or at least accept that the actions of these “representatives” merely REFLECTS their constituents.
As usual, Media presented itself as some kind of pathetic underdog in this game of “intimidation”. As usual, vacuous minds lap that all up.
Its good to know that you are now resorting to the law or consitution to defended the media.
I remember when I was arguing the candidacy of of Alan Peter Cayetano you just totally ignored the provision on the consitution that bans political dynasty.
inidoro ni emilie, the reason why Benign0 has survived as an online-entity for as long as he has is that he is one among many such former-Filipinos.
cvj, yes i know that. but you have to accept that for her (ellen) to say i am free to join the discussion and yet ban me, it is hypocritical, no?
and you know, she laid out rules in her blog, none of which i broke. or to be more specific, she lays out rules in her blog ex post facto (which Manolo just now argues is craaazy) in which she bases her reason for: moderating posters, deleting posts, and yeah, banning people.
in short, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the rules she already laid out for you. if she wants to moderate, delete or ban you, she’ll do so. and cook up some wildly illogical reason after the fact.
sounds familiar? you betcha! and she claims to hate Gloria…
so where is the objectivity in there? and she does practice double-standards.
it’s like she invents her blog’s rules along the way. to fit those she dislike.
of course she can do whatever she likes with her blog. it’s her personal site at all.
which is why you find me not bothering to go back there and give her a parting shot under a diff alias.
i’m just pointing out how hypocritical ellen is.
Harion, just think of it this way, as a Blog owner, Ellen (or Manolo) is 100% dictator of his/her space because it is an extension of their individuality. No commenter has rights that are not granted by the blog owner. They do not have to give a reason to ban or unban someone. It is the blogosphere as a whole that should remain free, but individual blogs can be at various degrees democratic or dictatorial depending on the benevolence/patience of its owner(s).
Anyway, even if you grant that Ellen has made a stand on press freedom that is inconsistent with her blog policy, you cannot use that to validate attacks on press freedom. Neither can you use it to attack its defenders. To do so would be to commit the fallacy of Tu Quoque.
rego, no, my view was that it was more applicable to local positions and not to national positions, and if you look at past proposals in the senate for giving teeth to the anti-dynasty provision (proposals that got much further in the senate than they ever did in the house) that was the fundamental attitude.
again: i believe the constitution had in mind the evils of people being held hostage in their localities by dynasties, this can’t be said to be a possibility or a problem nationally-speaking, because you can’t hold a whole country’s electorate unfairly hostage the way a family can in a congressional district, a city, town, or province.
i bet if we consulted the journal of the constitutional commission, we might just find a similar interpretation -that the focus of the provision was provincial and not national.
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.
mlq3, i hate giving you a simplistic answer to all your questions but wittingly, or unwittingly, i think you supplied the solution. ignorantia legis non excusat (ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith). you are correct in pointing out that neither the ignorance of the authority nor of the alleged perpetrator is a defense.
i don’t think an officer is required to explain the basis of his official action before doing his job, especially in emergent situations. an ignorant officer may not know the exact legal provision he is implementing, or the statutory basis of the s.o.p. he is following, but that does not render him powerless to act. on the other hand, just because the apprehending officer cannot explain such basis, the arrested person has a cause to complain, and thereby prevent the arrest. that is precisely why accused persons have access to legal counsels, either government-provided or privately retained.
before a legislation becomes law, there is promulgation, i.e., publication in the official gazette. this is both actual and constructive notice to all about the existence of such law. an officer who doesn’t know the law he is enforcing may be dumb but that doesn’t help the perpetrator much, i think.
The fact that they did not leave the group of Trillanes, these 20 media practitioners are aiding the Rebels.
They were warned by the editors and other people in the media that arrests will be made. Many press people left the area. Yon lang gustong maging hero kuno ang naiwan. Tapos sisigaw sila ng freedom of the press.
Btw are you reading the news or just scanning it?
BrianB: Media has become another entity of fear for the Filipino people.
Outside the Manila Pen last Thursday, police were given the order to form a cordon around the area to, I suppose, protect the public in case shooting breaks out. The media ignored the cordon and went through and the police let them. This caused General Barias (who looked quite dapper in his blue uniform) to yell at the cops, “Dont be afraid of them [the media]! You are doing your job!” That was the only time they put in some effort at keeping the media outside the cordon, barely. 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.
mlq, copied and paste from our Charter of Rights and Freedoms concerning the legal rights of every individual in regards to arrest and detention and preceedings and penal matter:
Life, liberty and security of person 7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.
Search or seizure 8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.
Detention or imprisonment 9. Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.
Arrest or detention 10. Everyone has the right on arrest or detention
(a) to be informed promptly of the reasons therefor;
(b) to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and
(c) to have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.
Proceedings in criminal and penal matters 11. Any person charged with an offence has the right
(a) to be informed without unreasonable delay of the specific offence;
(b) to be tried within a reasonable time;
(c) not to be compelled to be a witness in proceedings against that person in respect of the offence;
Now, if the Philippines Bill of Rights has more or less the same provisions, were they done during the incidents?
Like being promptly informed of the reason of the arrest and detention?
To retain and instruct without delay counsel and be informed of that right?
From the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Constitution Act of l982….
“an officer who doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know the law he is enforcing may be dumb but that doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help the perpetrator much, i think.”
If that officer is a chief superintendent or even a cabinet secretary, we are in deep trouble.
You really re fond of twisting facts. Because my dear aiding of rebels are punishable by law:
come on guys. if someone desires a good trait, be it american, singaporean, italian, japanese – it’s not colonial mentality isn’t it? wearing jeans doesn’t mean you’re not a filipino anymore.
isn’t it majority, including filipinos equate democracy with america?
okay, i will re phrase it……
Yes what happened to the opposition senators that you elected especially Cayetano.
Didn’t I tell you na papogi lang yang mga yan. Tingnan mo si Villar, abalang pagkasunduin si Lolit Solis at si Sam Milby at Piolo Pascual. Sus. Tapos magagalit kayong walang nangyayari? Binoto na nga ng tao ang dapat iboto para maalis si Gloria dahil sa mga akusasyon. Ingay lang ang ginagawa nila sa diyaryo. Sus.
“and you know, she laid out rules in her blog, none of which i broke. or to be more specific, she lays out rules in her blog ex post facto (which Manolo just now argues is craaazy) in which she bases her reason for: moderating posters, deleting posts, and yeah, banning people.”
That’s the thing with people — and organisations — with Messiah Complexes. On one hand, they portray themselves as saviours of the common tao. Yet within the way they constitute themselves INTERNALLY you will see a complex and internally-inconsistent philosophical framework — because such people and organisations tend to be closed and biased against outside influence (almost cult-like in nature) and therefore hardly ever get an outside reality-check on their own belief systems.
Religions and cults are like that. The Catholic Church and most organised religions derive their power from convincing people to lap up their martyr-cum-saviour philosophies, then once you are in, you are psychologically shut out from outside influence.
Ellentordesillas.com is essentially a cult now. The weak-minded folk who frequent that blog are mixed up in what is becoming a really big us-against-the-world love-in. Ellen tried to do the Jesus Christ thing by being part of this show-of-martyrdom exercise at the Pen.
All this of course is brilliantly effective in a Medieval society such as the Philippines.
that’s the beauty of the internet isn’t it? you don’t even know if you’re exchanging opinions with a man/woman. what matters is the issue at hand.
dina – babae
dino – lalaki
pinoy – lalaking pilipino
pinay – babaeng pilipino
hint: di ba may kanta si gary valenciano the title of which is ‘dina natuto’?
bencard, let mer clarify that in general, my attitude towards the military and the police is supportive, in that, they are as we say “alagad ng batas.” my only beef with your statement is that how can an official be allowed to do something if what he’s operating on is a hazy notion of what his job is about?
at the very least, this would mean the official does his job half-assed, and worse, may end up sabotaging what he set out to do, because of his ignorance. a good example is how criminal cases are thrown out, because the authorities failed to gather evidence according to law, etc.
wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect of the authorities that, precisely in emergency or crisis situations, they should be armed with a clear understanding of the statutes that can be used to justify their actions? the same way that it is in the interests of the authorities not to leave any room for doubt on the part of the population, as to what the population can and can’t do, according to law.
for example, i happen to think that your enumeration of the penal code provisions is a strong argument (since the law is the law and until it’s amended, tough bananas for anyone who decides to flout it). again, i wonder why you would know and assert it’s applicable, but so far, officials haven’t done so. at which point, i think it’s eminently reasonable to challenge appealing to those provisions as an ex post facto kind of thing: if you feel you can arrest me, do so, but then, i should be able to object if your basis keeps changing as you keep making discoveries as to relevant statutes!
in that sense, we aren’t so far in our attitudes, you do after all grant the right of the citizenry to make recourse to legal mechanisms for questioning official actions -this relies, of course, on the assumption the mechanisms work and that an appeal will have a tangible effect on the enforcers in case they went too far.
there is, too, an argument familiar to you in the usa: the statute books are riddled with obscure and often silly laws; sometimes, even if the law is the law, it isn’t in the interest of the state to enforce them, either because public attitudes have changed, or a peevish insistence on the law only throws it into disrepute. again, how should we resolve the role, if you grant any, to past precedents? for example, the penal code dates to the 1930s, yet this seems to be the first time that media was handled in this way -veteran journalists point out this didn’t happen under marcos, who used every legal recourse available to him; it didn’t happen in more serious situations such as the 1987, 1989 coups and edsa tres, oakwood, etc.?
i am all for publication of laws and in fact i am critical of the law that substitutes publication in the official gazette with publication in the papers, because it is fleeting, only serves as political patronage for the papers favored for publication purposes, and does not leave lawyers or the public with a ready reference: it is easier for me to find out official appointments and executive issuances prior to martial law, when the official gazette was faithfully and thoroughly maintained, than since, when the official gazette’s been spotty.
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.
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?
cat, again: if you review what puno’s said, he’s pointed to other things and not the revised penal code.
you edited my post. you deleted the part after PHILIPPINES. without it, it’s not complete and WILL be mis-interpreted. below is the complete one:
“i donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think an officer is required to explain the basis of his official action before doing his job, especially in emergent situations. an ignorant officer may not know the exact legal provision he is implementing, or the statutory basis of the s.o.p. he is following, but that does not render him powerless to act. on the other hand, just because the apprehending officer cannot explain such basis, the arrested person has a cause to complain, and thereby prevent the arrest. that is precisely why accused persons have access to legal counsels, either government-provided or privately retained.”
Here is a comment worthy of an official under GMA. Why? The argument uses the standards expected of the common tao relating to the actions of a government official, particularly the police in order to justify such actions. While indeed an officer is not expected to EXPLAIN the basis for say, an arrest of a mediaman, the officer is nonetheless required to state the cause for his arrest or the crime for which the mediaman is being arrested and to read to him his rights.
And “that does not render him powerless to act” applies only to the common tao not to officials of the government because under our system of government, no official of the government is free to violate the law. A government official in the performance of his functions, by definition, is faithfully executing the laws not violating them.
and here reveals your twisted sense of colonial mentality–because that’s what we’ve been hammered to us, right? when in fact, democracy is a universal ideal no longer as alien as was handed down by the greeks and romans, and thus should be pursued without the cultural baggage of appropriating it solely to your uncle sam.
hmm, on the way but not yet. you see, marcos, erap and neither gloria is the philippines. try ghettoism. [which is abundant in cyberspace as it is in the u.s. of a.]