Tags: Vantage Point

Representing themselves

On July 23, 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 2 mandating public access to information held by the agencies and offices of the executive branch. The nongovernmental organizations that had been campaigning for a freedom of information (FOI) act for decades welcomed it with cautious optimism. The Executive Order (EO) encouraged the legislature…

That former TV broadcaster who’s running for senator under Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago party isn’t alone in denying that the Duterte regime is a threat to press freedom. There are other former and still practicing broadcast, print and online media people who have never quite understood that the most fundamental values in journalism are…

THE US-based nongovernmental organization (NGO) Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) is correct: the Philippines is indeed “a war zone in disguise,” and is among the world’s deadliest countries for civilians. But it is not only due to the Duterte regime’s murderous campaign against suspected drug users and small-time pushers that at the…

Journalism in troubled times

Should the media report everything government officials do and say for the sake of that elusive concept called “objectivity”? Philippine practice suggests that that’s what most journalists assume — and that, no matter how erroneous, outrageous or potentially harmful the statements and actions of those sources may be, their responsibility ends with accurately quoting them.…

That was 2018

When historians recall in their books a hundred years from now what the year 2018 was like, they won’t be focused on the six-month shutdown of Boracay or the number of “credible” aspirants for various local posts in the 2019 elections compared to “nuisance” candidates. Neither will they devote entire chapters to the attempts by…

Terrorism by another name

“Do not bully anyone. Just because you’re in power doesn’t mean you have the right to insult others… the bully who uses power to belittle others is the most cowardly and most insecure person of all.” (Translation from Filipino mine) Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle did not name anyone in his Dec. 16 simbang gabi(dawn…

Getting away with plunder

The acquittal last week of former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr., and his alleged accomplices’ being found guilty and sentenced to the mandatory penalty for plunder of reclusion perpetua (20 to 30 years’ imprisonment) has understandably raised doubts over the justice of the decision. Two of the five associate justices of the Sandiganbayan’s First Division…