Sunday, June 29, 2008

Press Freedom Is Not A License To Obstruct Justice and Endanger Police

MAKATI REGIONAL TRIAL COURT Judge Reynaldo Laigo has correctly denied--for utter lack of merit or evidence--a P10 million class action lawsuit by plaintiffs Ellen Tordesillas, Charmaine Deogracias, Ashzel Hachero, James Galvez and Vergel Santos in connection with the Manila Pen caper perpetrated by renegade Magdalo military officers Antonio Trillanes and Danilo Lim, who face separate charges of rebellion. I think the journalists ought to be charged in the latter cases as accomplices and accessories. Why should such mischief makers be rewarded for disobeying law enforcers trying to deal with a potentially deadly situation? Why should they not in fact be punished for crossing lines of simple common sense and professional ethics that endangered not only their own hubris-engorged hides, but the lives and limbs of guests, hotel workers and law enforcement personnel confronted with rebels Trillanes and Lim who were in fact cowardly using all those present as human shields? Ellen Tordesillas is dismayed, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines cries foul and Harry Roque reaches for hysterical hyperbole by calling the decision "the biggest blow to our cherished civil liberties to date.” Oh puh-leeze, grow up already, you guyz! This was clearly a crime scene since the police were trying to serve arrest warrants against Trillanes and Lim while you folks mischievously obstructed them, endangering their lives and those of others. Apologies to those simple policemen and their families are in order. Just because you claim to have the right to get into harm's way, a-la Ces Drilon in Sulu recently, does not mean you have the right to endanger others. That is why the Public does not support your nutty and OA complaints. Press Freedom is not a license to obstruct justice and imperil the lives of those in charge of law and order, just so commercial journalists can get scoops and sell sensationalized news under the guise of satisfying the public's right to know.

Meanwhile, suspected Abu Sayyaf militants are threatening to execute (via Mindanao Examiner) four employees of the Basilan Electric cooperative because they have not received the 2 million pesos in ransom they are demanding. But all these courageous journalists are nowhere in sight...I suspect they only will only exercise press free at luxury Makati hotels. It's grim, when one recalls this is the place where last year the MILF/ASG ambushed/beheaded 14 Philippine Marines for "not coordinating" with them while looking for another ransomed captive, Fr. Giancarlo Bossi! The Abu Sayyaf is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and the United Nations Security Council.
Of course the Liberal Fascists over at the Philippine Daily Innuendo are repeating themselves, insisting, "Commercial Tabloidism uber alles!"

15 comments:

blackshama said...

Like any other liberty that comes out of the mind, Press Freedom has its limits.

We have absolute liberty for everything we do inside our craniums!

DJB Rizalist said...

ben,
the plaintiffs claim that the right to know trumps all others, even law and order. i'm worried they seriously believe it.

blackshama said...

Maybe they think they have superior grey matter within their cranial vaults!

LOL!

DJB Rizalist said...

I can take intellectual snobs who think they have superior minds, because it is easy enough to put calibration marks on such things. For some reason some journalists want us to trust their hearts too, something a little more difficult to gauge, at least for me. Then there is their juvenilization of the public, as if right to know is really the right to think.

manuelbuencamino said...

"We still look at them as a loose organization with some splinter groups, in fact, some of them may be conducting their own operations, and now, has degenerated into a money-making group devoid of any ideology or cause," AFP chief Yano

Yeah Deanie, maybe they should think about charging Ces Drilon for putting herself in harm;s way in search of a story.

Jaywalker said...

good one mb, why not extend it to all the journalist and broadcasters who are victims of summary killings and assassinations....... all because they stepped on the powerful feudal lords smelly feet in "abusing" their journalistic license, hehehe.

DJB Rizalist said...

i think it depends on whether those baseco guys get their heads chopped off or not, in which case they really ought to arrest dureza and garcia for obstruction of justice last year in the matter of the marine beheadings. The Rule of Law must be upheld, gen. yano's opinion notwithstanding. I think it soothes your conscience mb, to swallow his, hook line and sinker. But I go with the US, the EU and the UN Security Council on the ASG.

DJB Rizalist said...

jaywalker, that sounds like a nervous "hehehe". what's the matter, did you help maestreocampo escape too? someone did, and the authorities ought to find out who. have you guys NO principles at all? Are journalists really above the law, to you?

DJB Rizalist said...

besides, this time Ces Drilon was eager to obey the police advise to get out of there, unlike at the Manila Pen. Comprendo?

Jaywalker said...

I don't know if it's a question of being above the law.... why do people really follow the law? Why even the foolishmen errr policemen and military people skirt the law so when it comes to "nosey" journalist they seem hell bent on enforcing it just seems very odd.

The Pen incident is more of a comical incident and even with the journalist acting as a "shield" the military could have easily overpowered them...... that was the whole point of the exercise and they fell for it with an overkill. It seems you fell for it too Dean...........

DJB Rizalist said...

jaywalker,
yours is a flawed argument. journalists should not interfere with police doing their jobs and vice versa. It's a matter of moral consistency. you are arguing for moral inconsistency on both sides. can u honestly say that ellen tordesillas, one of the plaintiffs was just acting like a neutral, objective journalist. heck just read her blog! she's partisan, suspiciously partisan for trillanes & company.

do you actually deny it was a crime scene at that journalists have a right to disobey lawful authority because they want to cover a story 5 centimeters from the action instead of the reasonable 50 meters the police were asking?

is press freedom a license to get scoops? we are talking about COMMERCIAL enterprises here, not some kind of democratic revolution, no?

susmaryosep, let's even get ces drilon's take on this. would she disobey the cops again, do you think? should she?

what makes journalists so special?

they became the story. that's against their own professional code of conduct and ethics.

Jaywalker said...

Yeah, I think you have a point especially with partisan journalist. But who among the journalist in the Philippines are not biased? A crime scene indeed but Gloria is also the biggest crime thus Trillanes and co. decided to billet themselves for free.

This argument about legalities lose its merit when the people in the government are questionable at best. The enforcement of laws are still selective so it is still who runs the show that calls the shot or interprets the laws.... until the tables are turned then it will be their turn to rant and rave about "freedom," in the pursuit of "their truth".

DJB Rizalist said...

jaywalker,
our main and true concern should always be for the greatest freedoms to be enjoyed by the greatest number of our people. How often in history have those claiming to be upholding those freedoms actually resulted in damaging or even destroying those freedoms. It was not an ordinary crime scene, but a rebellion, no less than a CPP NPA or MILF attack on a police outpost or military patrol. There was no way for authorities to know what Trillanes and his armed cohorts were planning to do. Please do not ignore this singular fact. I think the journalists endangered the lives of innocent law enforcers who were only doing their jobs.

You know my attitude to GMA and her close advisers. But what do their crimes have to do with the lives and duty of those lowly soldiers and police?

did they deserve to be exposed unnecessarily to deadly and unknown peril because some prideful scoop hungry journalists, or some partisan of theirs decided to obstruct the service of arrest warrants?

I don't think so. Yet so many people who hate GMA are blinded to this fact by the old adage that the friend of thine enemy is thine enemy.

Well these lowly servicemen are not "friends" of thine enemy, just another set of Filipinos forced to do their duty by their own needs and principles.

Dave Llorito said...

during the trillanes caper, i had this fear that journalists were going to pursue their supposed "right" and the cops their duties and we will have to sort out the mess after the last gun fell silent. its a good thing that trillanes and company never really had the guts to tough it out.

The Nashman said...

No Offense to Harry Roque, but he does have a very low win percentage.....