Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Press Freedom in the Philippines

Recent news info about the ranking given by a new york based Freedom House:

UNABATED MEDIA ATTACKS VS GOVT PROOF RP PRESS FREEST IN ASIA

MANILA,
MAY 3, 2006 (STAR) By Delon Porcalla - Contrary to observations made by an international watchdog group, the Philippines’ press remains the freest in Asia, borne out by exposés of alleged corruption and ineptness of the government, President Arroyo’s allies in Congress said yesterday.

"The fact that Arroyo critics and the press can liberally criticize the Arroyo government proves that press freedom is very much alive in the country," defended Eastern Samar Rep. Marcelino Libanan.

Libanan, vice chairman of the House committee on justice, along with Rep. Douglas Cagas of Davao del Sur, rectified the observation of the New York-based Freedom House that the country has a "declining press freedom."

"Freedom House’s unfair assessment does not reflect the real situation in the country where press freedom remains unabated," Libanan and Cagas said in a joint statement where they branded as "unfair and inaccurate" the foreign organization’s evaluation.

Full Article

And another news about the tightening of security measures imposed to media men while inside the GHQ at Camp Aguinaldo:

AFP RESTRICTS MEDIA COVERAGE AT GHQ

MANILA,
MAY 3, 2006 (STAR) By Jaime Laude - The already "secretive" Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) appears to have clamped down on media by restricting coverage inside General Headquarters (GHQ) at Camp Aguinaldo.

The new media restrictions are contained in an April 20 memorandum issued by AFP Public Information Office (PIO) chief Col. Tristan Kison.

Kison told reporters they should confine themselves, while inside Camp Aguinaldo, to the Defense Press Corps office or the Public Information Office (PIO).

Other media activities, unless they have prior approval from his office, are barred, Kison said.

Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Generoso Senga was the one who directed Kison to issue the memorandum at a time when the military establishment was hounded by controversies.

Among these controversies were the partial release of the Mayuga report and the investigation on suspected leaders of the failed Feb. 24 coup.

Except for the PIO and DPC offices and the grandstand, all areas inside the camp are "off-limits" unless there are events authorized for coverage by the PIO, Kison’s memorandum addressed to the DPC and to all military offices and the military police, stated.

Full Article

The media should also put into mind that press freedom does not mean that they can just barged into any government office, employee, and even us citizens just to get their story. Media is not regulated in any form (except pornography) by the government, but i think the media should possess professionalism during at work..during coverage of certain stories, and in making stories..The media should not be used as a tool for chaos, the media should not be used to promote violence, the media should not create panic, and the media should not always show negative news..most news programs are mostly airing negative news...which is unproductive to the country..and i hope the media will not be used again as a tool to oust a government..


COLUMN: THE OPPOSITION'S ROLE

MANILA, MAY 3, 2006
(STAR) SKETCHES By Ana Marie Pamintuan - The markets reacted with glee yesterday to the peaceful conduct of rallies on May Day. Are we finally getting our act together? Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

If sobriety can be sustained, we might yet be able to catch up with our neighbors in economic development.

The political opposition should not be discouraged, and it should continue playing its role in our democracy.

Sobriety does not mean an end to healthy debates on matters that affect the nation. It simply means keeping the debates civilized. That heckler of President Arroyo who graduated from a university in Cavite got her 15 minutes of fame for bad manners; among youths, boorish behavior and emotional outbursts may be disappointing but are not unexpected. Rudeness, however, cannot be carried over into adulthood, and it must not be turned into a national trait. At a certain point, one must outgrow shouting and learn the art of persuasive argument.

Sobriety means debates based on intelligent arguments. Politicians should stop insulting the intelligence of Filipinos by offering simplistic, unrealistic solutions to complex national problems.

Such unworkable solutions have turned off people from the divided opposition, whose tack in working for regime change resembles that of the young heckler from Cavite. The only common refrain we hear from the numerous opposition factions is that they all want to assume power.

The administration, for its part, should also stop insulting the public’s intelligence by going on with business as usual. After five years in office, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should be thinking beyond political survival. What will be the legacy of her administration? Surely the daughter of Diosdado Macapagal does not want it to be cheating, lying and stealing.

If we want long-term economic progress, we need transparency at all levels of government. We need to develop the integrity of institutions. Good governance is the best way to weaken the political opposition.

Full Article

Can everyone read this!!!! Especially the opposition....and learn from it!!! Not learning to destroy..but learning to promote development and transparency within the government...


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