Existing in echo chambers PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 04 May 2017 13:52

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

I keep up with news of events  and developments beyond our Philippine shores by logging into internet sites like those of Time, the New York  Times, BBC, etc. These media outfits however are very anti-Trump and I’m afraid my own reaction to the man has been made worse by the impressions I have made of him watching the impersonations   on SNL and Stephen Colbert’s show.

Then I came across the phrase “echo chamber” in one article on the web. It referred to our tendency to listen to or read only those reports  which support our own  opinions. This limits  the necessity to be objective so as to maneuver more intelligently, more rationally,   in a world society that  has become complex and broken down into  highly contentious groups of differing opinions and positions on various issues, pursuing their own interests.

Let us take our own Philippine society and the current drug war being pursued by this administration. The position we take on how this drug war is being pursued  should not be determined by whether we voted for PRRD or not, whether we support him as president or not, whether we want him impeached or not. We need to look at how the PNP is going after the people engaged in the drug trade in different capacities. Is the PNP acting within the limits set by our laws?  Should we, the citizens of this country, demand that the PNP respect the law when they carry out their job?

The latest “shock” of reading about the secret detention cell ( 1 m by 5 m holding about a dozen people, men and women alike) in Tondo, Manila should be considered without regard to whether we are admirers of PRRD or not.  Some people are held in this facility – no toilet, no window – for about a week without  formal charges made against them. The PNP DG said this was not a problem for him so long as the detainees were not tortured nor extorted for their release.

To be in an echo chamber is to listen only to the official comments on the matter and to support that position.  It seems that the PNP DG was more concerned that the news came out when the ASEAN meeting was taking place. He was not concerned that the detainees were not treated like they had inalienable rights as human beings.

One columnist  wrote that those who oppose the disregard for the rights of “suspects” probably prefer that innocent people be victimized by being robbed, mauled or raped by these suspects. I think this particular columnist has been too long in the echo chamber and has gone tone deaf.