Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Supreme Court Praised for Prejudging Hundreds of Active Libel Cases
PRAISED BY THE ACCUSED!
The newspaper which has been slapped with literally THOUSANDS of criminal libel law suits in its relatively short 20 year career as the Philippine Daily Innuendo, and has hundreds of active cases today calls the Libel Laws "a tool for repression!" The editorial gives fulsome praise to Mr. Chief Justice Reynato Puno's latest circular (PDF) virtually PREJUDGING those cases in favor of the Accused. By limiting any possible punishment to fines for the Media Mavens and Moguls that are on the dock in hundreds of still active and unresolved cases, the Supreme Court really has USURPED Congress as it did in 2001 by issuing an unethical mass advisory opinion. It's a culpable violation of the Constitution, and an impeachable offense, in my humble opinion, but the High Court has already peed all over the only Constitutional process by which they themselves can be held to Public Accountability, the impeachment process. Now with the help of Media, they will complete the legal cuckolding of the Congress by unelected Judges in Black Robes.
Although we are obliged to defend PDI's right to Press Freedom, we also have Freedom of Speech so, "Har dee har har!" While the swinging door of observation is momentarily ajar, let us see what mental illness has seized some in the Media and why they are really buttering up the Supreme Court with promises of undying glory and praise in its Front Pages yet to be...
Every Freedom is a compound composed of two basic elements: Rights and a Duties.
The Rights to Life, Liberty and the various pursuits of happiness, are well known. But what are the corresponding Duties? The answer lies in the Principle of Equal Liberty for each citizen. I think that in general the Duty that corresponds to any given democratic Right is the obligation to defend that same Right in others whenever we decide to exercise a given Freedom.
The Right to Life always comes with the Duty to defend an equal "freedom from unjust death" in others as much as for ourselves. The principle of self-defense is a natural derivative.
So too, with "Liberty" and "Pursuit of Happiness". We cannot enjoy these freedoms unless we recognize, as a matter of Social Contract and Common Sense, that an equal right to them exists in others. The preternatural assumption of a Constitutional Democracy, as a Social Contract, is that those who are agreeing to be bound by its provisions, do not know, a priori, what their social class, economic status, political position or personal circumstances are going to be in History. So that in choosing the basic principles that are to govern their association as a society, they are forced to choose principles based solely on the Principle of Equal Liberty for all.
Let us take Press Freedom. Journalism is really an organized, commercialized form of free speech, a freedom of assembly as it were, which includes and relies upon commercial rights to survive buying and selling information--all kinds of information. Thus Press Freedom covers not only the freedom to report the news, it is also the right to sell telecomm load.
The Right to Liberty is an omnibus right to an expandable list of freedoms that human societies specifically recognize as the Bill of Rights. The duty that attaches to each one is specific to that right, but all are governed by: "My Liberty Is Your Liberty!" whenever controversies arise among individuals and institutions.
What the media has now lost sight of is Father Joaquin Bernas' dictum that journalists do not have "more" freedom of speech than ordinary citizens, so that in matters of public security andorder, they should accept lawful authority and not prop themselves up above the law by standing on the shoulders of their Sacred Cow. My critique of the Mass Media in the Manila Pen controversy is based on this Principle of Equal Liberty when it comes to Freedom of Speech.
The latest escalation in the Radical Media's War on the Cops is getting a usual noisy send off over at Ellen Tordesillas blog, where I've been hanging around this week adding to the general atmosphere of Sturm und Drang.
Posted By: Deany Bocobo
On Tuesday, January 29, 2008
On Tuesday, January 29, 2008