My Google Page Rank

Don't charge the messengers

PDFPrintE-mail

The Center for International Law (CENTERLAW), a civil society organization that advocates, among others, freedom of expression and a free press, express its disappointment at the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) recommendation to charge the media for the August 23 debacle.
While we acknowledge that media may have failed to observe the highest degree of professionalism and self-restraint in their coverage of the unfortunate incident, still this is not a basis for holding them liable for breach of the country's criminal laws. Bad journalism is not and should never be criminal in a democracy.

The reality is that the August 23 incident was truly a news worthy event. Media hence had a duty to cover the incident. While the Philippine media has acknowledged that its coverage may have affected the outcome of the incident; this however, is but a natural consequence of the right of the public to information on matters involving public concerns.

Indeed, the whole incident is reflective why there is a culture of impunity in this country: a failure of the legal system to work provide adequate remedies to individuals under domestic law and security forces that are both inept and abusive in the discharge of their functions.

CENTERLAW thus calls on the reformist P-Noy not to adopt the IIRC's recommendations. Coming on the eve of the anniversary of the declaration of martial law by the despot Ferdinand Marcos, P-Noy must be reminded that without a free press, there would not be a public debate on public issues crucial to the functioning of a representative democracy.

This was why as a precondition for the establishment of an authoritarian regime, then despot Marcos had to muzzle a free press.

CENTERLAW also express alarm that the recommendation is no different from the manner by which the Arroyo administration sought to silence the public debate on issues relevant to the nation. Like Arroyo, the IIRC recommends the use of penal laws to repress press freedom. The difference is in the crime sought to be charged: under Arroyo it was libel or disobedience to authorities; under the IIRC recommendation, it is obstruction of justice.

Unlike Marcos or Arroyo, P-Noy has no reason to repress press freedom. This is because unlike both Marcos and Arroyo, P-Noy without a doubt was vested with an overwhelming mandate from the people. With no skeleton in his closet, P-Noy should allow the media to thrive and mature in an adolescent democracy.

By Harry Roque, CENTERLAW




Related news items:
Newer news items:
Older news items:

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

ZAMBOANGA CITY WESTERN EAGLES CLUB SPORTFEST

23 Jul 2017 Hits:72 Be the first to comment!

Este el  TFOE Philippine Eagle WMR -3  ZCWEC Basketball League que ya encabesa el Presidente de ZCWEC  Eagle  Jimmy  U. Cabato y el Tournament Manager si Eagle Allan E. Lagumbay . El Basketball Tournament ta composita12 Teams naentero Region 3 de Western Mindanao , Este el : 1. Zamboanga City Central Eagles Club 2. Zamboanga City Eastern Eagles Club 3. Zamboanga City Metro Eagles Club 4. Zamboanga Hermosa Eagles Club 5. Zamboanga Western Eagles Club 6. Tungawan Western Eagles Club 7. Ipil Eagles Club 8. Kabasalan Eagles Club 9. Alicia Eagles Club 10. Titay Eagles Club 11. Sibuco Eagles Club 12. Siocon Eagles Club El ya sale ganador : Champion – IpilEC , 1st Runner Up – Zamboanga City Central Hermosa EC y 2nd Runner up – Zamboanga City Hermosa EC. Individual Awards: Best [...] Read more

Prev Next Page:

SPEED FIRE... RONNEL

21 Jul 2017 Hits:82 Be the first to comment!

Este si Ronnel Ivan Lao Basiri, conosido na nombre “Ronnel” , 22 años de edad, 5’7” el altor , soltero y residente de Tetuan , Ciudad de Zamboanga .Si Ronnel [...] Read more


Mayor, security sector meets with Maranao leaders

20 Jul 2017 Hits:113 Be the first to comment!

Mayor Beng Climaco and the security sector met with leaders of the Maranao community in Zamboanga to discuss issues pertaining to the ongoing Marawi crisis, the condition of Maranao families [...] Read more


D’ FAST and D’ FURIOUS... KAN

20 Jul 2017 Hits:94 Be the first to comment!

Este si Hemill Kan Lao Basiri , ta llama conele na palayao “KanKan”, 25 años de edad, 5’5” el altor, y residente de Tetuan , Ciudad de Zamboanga . Su [...] Read more


Man hacked by neighbor

19 Jul 2017 Hits:91 Be the first to comment!

A man was hacked by his neighbor near Jumbo Bridge in Barangay Guiwan, this city, on Sunday night. The victim was identified as Jimmy Delos Reyes Viray, 39, single, a resident [...] Read more


D’ SLASHER... BRYAN

19 Jul 2017 Hits:83 Be the first to comment!

Este si Bryan Russel Balansag Animos , ta llama conele “Bryan “, 26 años de edad, 5’10 el altor , soltero y residente de Pasonanca Ciudad de Zamboanga . Su [...] Read more


D’ QUICK BROWN FOX … Rhon Rhon

18 Jul 2017 Hits:104 Be the first to comment!

Este si Ronnel  Tatud Daruca , ta llama conele na palayao “Rhon Rhon”, 28 años de edad , 5’8” el altor , soltero y residente de Tumaga , Ciudad de [...] Read more


D’ HAWK... ALVIN

17 Jul 2017 Hits:97 Be the first to comment!

Este si Alvin John Bernardo Munio , ta llama conele “Alvin”, 31 años de edad, 6’1” el altor , y residente de Caragasan , Maasin , Ciudad de Zamboanga . [...] Read more


DOLPHIN MOVES... JUN JUN

16 Jul 2017 Hits:133 Be the first to comment!

Este si Angelito Surjedo Pacatang Jr., ta llama conele na palayao “Jun Jun” , 26 años de edad , 5’8” el altor y residente de Callejon Drive . Guiwan , [...] Read more


(Sharing Time) There’s no end of the world, but only..

16 Jul 2017 Hits:99 Be the first to comment!

TO disabuse the minds of many, there’s no destruction of our planet Earth in its physical form. The earth won’t at all go kaput or be devastated into pieces. The [...] Read more


IRON MAN PLAYER… Modz

15 Jul 2017 Hits:105 Be the first to comment!

Este si Modivar Mabolo Enriquez, ta llama conele na palayao “Modz”, 36 años de edad,  5’10” el altor, casao y su esposa si Leslie Morales Enriquez, diila mga anak si [...] Read more


Man stabbed in Ayala

15 Jul 2017 Hits:112 Be the first to comment!

A man was allegedly stabbed while walking with his common-law-wife in Dumagsa, Barangay Ayala, this city, on Wednesday night. Reports coming from Police Station 9 identified the victim as Jessie Dagooc [...] Read more


CHO withholds occupancy permits for Z3R housing units

15 Jul 2017 Hits:91 Be the first to comment!

The City Health Office has withheld its recommendation for the issuance of occupancy permits for the housing projects under the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Reconstruction and Rehabilitation (Z3R) due to [...] Read more


Driver surrenders to soldiers after bumping girl on road

14 Jul 2017 Hits:117 Be the first to comment!

For fear of retaliation from the family of his victim, a Public Utility Van (PUV) driver surrendered to the members of the Philippine Marines manning a checkpoint at Barangay Muti, [...] Read more


WILD CAT MAGIC… DASH

14 Jul 2017 Hits:106 Be the first to comment!

Este si  Esa, Al-Daser Hajiri , ta llama conele na palayao “Dash”, 22 años de edad, 5’10” el altor y residente de Armor Village, San Jose Gusu Ciudad de Zamboanga [...] Read more


D BARKER… SAN SAN

13 Jul 2017 Hits:115 Be the first to comment!

Este si Ensan Wil Delos Santos, ta llama conele na palayao “San San”, 24 años de edad, 5’6” el altor , casao y su esposa si Reivarie Joyce T Reyes [...] Read more


Zambo qualifies for WWF’s ‘One Planet City Challenge’

13 Jul 2017 Hits:111 Be the first to comment!

Zamboanga City is one of the ten cities in the country that has successfully qualified to join in the 2017-2018 edition of the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) ‘One [...] Read more


Zamboanga team to 1st HDWOC bags 11 medals

11 Jul 2017 Hits:122 Be the first to comment!

Zamboangueño weightlifters who participated in the 1st Hidilyn Diaz Weightlifting Open Championship (HDWOC) held at the Meralco Fitness Center in Ortigas, from July 8-9 brought home a total of 11 [...] Read more


D ENFORCER ….. JUK

11 Jul 2017 Hits:120 Be the first to comment!

Este si Eddie Mar Chan Santos, conosido na nombre “Juk”, 30 años de edad , 5’11” el altor, casao cun Laureen P. Santos y residente de Km7, Pasonanca, Ciudad de [...] Read more