Daily Express closure, a curse that haunted Cory gov’t PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 May 2017 11:06

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery…” (Galatians 5:1, the Holy Bible).

-ooo-

DAILY EXPRESS, BRUTALLY CLOSED DOWN BY CORY IN 1987, CELEBRATES 45TH YEAR: Daily Express, the very first newspaper I worked for after I got out of journalism school at the University of the Philippines in 1977, would have been 45 years old on May 07, 2017, it having been first printed on May 07, 1972 (I was just a senior high school then in Paniqui, Tarlac).

Unfortunately, it was brutally closed down in 1987 by President Corazon Aquino, simply because the Express was then branded by many Aquino allies as a “Marcos newspaper”, and was viewed by them as a tool of the Marcos dictatorship. I say brutally because with the closure of the paper, some 300 or so employees who had nothing to do at all with Marcos lost their only source of income, making life greatly difficult for them!

Yet, on May 07, 2017, former editors, columnists, reporters and other administrative bigwigs and staff of the newspaper led by its former Executive Editor, now 94 years old Enrique “Pocholo” Romualdez, and by its former Finance Officer, now San Fernando City, La Union Mayor Mary Jane Ortega, gathered at the Aristocrat Restaurant in Roxas Blvd., Manila, and celebrated its 45th year.

-ooo-

DAILY EXPRESS WAS A FAMILY TO ITS OFFICERS AND STAFF: It was, I would say, a grand celebration. But it was more than merry making, as Ortega announced in her speech. She said: “Thirty years have passed since we were closed down by the PCGG (or Aquino’s Presidential Commission on Good Government), but the feeling of belonging to the Daily Express Family remains to this day.”

Ever the caring boss of the Express family, Ortega also stressed: “We like to see each other, get updates on our lives after Express, we mourn when we lose the members of our family, we pray for those who need it, we extend a carrying hand to show that we still care. They say, blood is thicker than water. Printer’s ink is like blood that flows in our veins.”

That explains why many came to join the paper’s foundation day, long after it is gone. While its former executives and employees have lived separate lives after it was shut down by a vengeful president, everybody felt and continue to feel that they belong to one big family that one day would be united all over again (see photos of this at www.facebook.com/attybatas)!

-ooo-

EXPRESS CLOSURE CONSTITUTED A CURSE TO CORY GOV’T: Yes, the first issue of the Daily Express came out on May 07, 1972, and shortly thereafter, it was the only newspaper that was allowed to operate in the country after martial law was declared by President Marcos. Marcos’ law classmate, from UP Law Class 1939, Roberto S. Benedicto, opened the newspaper in support of Marcos.

Calling it as a Marcos newspaper, President Corazon Aquino closed it down after EDSA I, despite the advice of her lawyers that the paper’s closure amounted to suppression of press freedom, and was in fact violently contrary to her pretensions then as a democratic icon.

This one single act of Cory marked the suppression of many other freedoms of the Filipino people during her term, constituting a curse that ensured an ignominious and troubled presidency for her. May the lesson of the Daily Express serve as a stern warning to tyrants and crackpots who may someday find their way into power once more in the Philippines.

-ooo-

WATCH “ANG TANGING DAAN”, “KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS”, AT FB LIVE: Please watch “Ang Tanging Daan”, a round-the-clock Bible Exposition and prayer session at  www.facebook.com/angtangingdaan; and  “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas”, a legal counseling and news commentary program at www.facebook.com/kakampimoangbatas. Reactions: 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, 0977 805 9058. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo.com.