KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS: Why shackle media in fight vs. plunder? PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 03 October 2014 11:48

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

 

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “Have I not written thirty sayings for you, sayings of counsel and knowledge, teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth, so that you bring back truthful reports to those you serve?” (Proverbs 22:20-21, the Holy Bible).

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MEDIA HELPED EXPOSE TRUTH OF PLUNDER IN AQUINO GOV’T: Here are the concluding portions of the petition filed by Ray Constantine U. Abagat, the editor-publisher of the weekly Tarlac Forum, where he asked the Supreme Court to nullify existing laws on libel in the Philippines, because libel is a deterrent in media’s effectiveness in fighting large-scale plunder and graft and corruption, such as those hounding the Aquino government. Read on:

“One would shudder to think about what would have happened, if media didn’t muster enough courage to come out with their stories about these present-day corrupt practices.

“Indeed, it was only with raw courage that these stories were ultimately published, considering reports that the authors of the stories were made the subject of threats, physical or otherwise, for publicizing the events.

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COURAGEOUS MEDIA FERRETS OUT THE TRUTH: “Perhaps, if these stories didn’t come out in the media, the Filipino nation would still continue to be robbed or plundered, ironically by the same men and women who should have been fighting graft and corruption in the first place, because they have earlier been sworn to serve and uphold the interest of the people.

“The lamentation written in the Bible, particularly in its Deuteronomy 28:15 and 29, would have remained true to this day, were it not for the courage of journalists and even ordinary citizens who desired the truth to come out, even at great risk to their personal safety.

“What is this lamentation? Here is what Deuteronomy 28:15 and 2, in its New International Version, says: “However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you… day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.

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WHY SHACKLE MEDIA IN THE FIGHT VS. PLUNDER? “Yet, for this kind of a noble and highly necessary service to this country and for the rest of humanity in the fight against graft and corruption, media  unfortunately remains shackled by restrictions in performing its task, particularly by existing provisions of the Revised Penal Code on libel.

“Petitioner respectfully and humbly submits that, in view of prevailing conditions, these restrictions have to be removed now, and be declared unconstitutional, since they violently contravene not only the rights to free press and free speech of the people, but, more importantly, of their right to know, and then ultimately, to be rid, of corruption in their midst, by fearless and truthful reporting.

“Petitioner respectfully submits that the time to do this is now…”

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PLEASE LISTEN: “Tambalang Batas at Somintac”, aired at 1062 kHz, Mondays to Fridays, 6 a.m., 1080 kHz in Dagupan City, 711 kHz in Naga City, 1260 kHz in Lucena City, 1224 kHz in Davao City, and at www.eaglenews.ph;  “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas”, at 103.7 mHz in Don Carlos, Bukidnon, Mondays to Fridays, at 7 a.m.; “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas” at 801 kHz on the AM band (Panay Island), Mondays to Fridays, at 10 a.m.; and “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas” at 107.5 Win FM, Roxas, Isabela  (Saturday, 5:30 a.m., and Sunday,  7 a.m.).