Philippine media’s rights threatened by RP Government?

October 23, 2008 § 1 Comment

IN Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales’ interview, he charged that ABS-CBN 2 violated the Code of Ethics and its franchise with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) when it released an interview of MILF Commander Bravo. Bravo is wanted by the law. The Philippine Army and the PNP are out there in Mindanao, trying to arrest the elusive commander. 

My good friend, George Carino (who’s a brilliant journalist and hails from Bulacan) traced the whereabouts of Bravo and interviewed him. I saw his interview. And I found nothing wrong. I would agree with my professor, Luis Teodoro, that ABS-CBN 2 violated no law.

Jun Nicdao of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) also found nothing wrong with the interview. As a former journalist myself, I saw nothing that would merit a sanction against ABS-CBN.

What instigated IN Justice secretary Raul Gonzales? 

Gonzales said that ABS-CBN violated its franchise when it gave air space to a known fugitive. He said that Bravo used ABS-CBN to “instigate” fellow Muslims to  “foment violence or the use of arms”.

Where? Where in the interview did Bravo actually tell his fellow Muslims that they need to raise up arms against the government? I never saw nor heard anything similar to what (in)Justice secretary Gonzales referred to as “instigations”? Am I dreaming or Mr. Gonzales is just hallucinating?

Gonzales’ acts are plain and simple muscle flexing. Government is trying to frighten one of the biggest media networks in the land for one goal–neutralize or marginalize media outlets. Why? Is government laying the ground for martial rule? My mother told me that this is the same tactic employed by the dictator Marcos a year or two before he implemented martial rule. History shows that media was the first one neutralized, second were civil society and people’s organisations, and lastly, progressive middle class groups.

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