the pen, the microphone, those bandwidth signals and moving visuals are mightier than the sword

so an update on the mutiny “investigation”.

i just read on the newspaper that a local TV network was summoned (“commanded”) to appear in front of the investigating panel (i.e. the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group or the POLICE) and submit a DVD copy of all their raw footage of the Manila Pen Mutiny.

so, what did the head of news of the said network do? she went to the number 1 publication in the country (in terms of circulation) with the news team that was arrested during the mutiny and got interviewed.

“attack on press freedom” was the cry. and once this cry came out, i’m sure, everyone started listening. everyone started wondering, “are we all being treated fairly by the government?”

if the most powerful broadcast station has announced that it is being “harassed” by our country’s defenders (i.e. the POLICE), then us lowly private citizens are greatly fearing the loss of security on our own lives, in our own land, our own streets, homes etc. we all went through the ordeals of having our rights being taken away, and it took dozens of people’s lives for us to breathe the air of democracy, and us feeling that our constitution is again being stepped on by those whom we trust to take care of it is too much.

as i am not privy to the intentions of the administration (i will be bluntly generic here as the authorities are still under the government), i can not really say if they are wrong. all i know is that with what is happening, not only do we suffer political unrest, but also emotional and psychological stress. what if the nightmares of pre-People Power come back? what if killings of Human Rights fighters happen again?

i am not a government adviser, but here are some suggestions to the the police, defense and justice departments:

1. this should be beyond the CIDG, as they are the police as well. the legislation should now step in and start an inquiry. besides, since day 1, the decisions made by the authorities have been nerve-wracking.

– include the media, and discuss their role in the mutiny. have they stepped out of bounds and endangered not only their lives, but also the security of the nation? did they know about the mutiny even before it started?

– include the administration’s anti-mutiny group (police, swat, army) in the inquiry. have they done anything unconstitutional?

2. check the public footages, not the raw takes, as this is what was seen IN PUBLIC.

3. if they want media to cooperate in the investigation, the least that they could do was to EXPLAIN in detail why a) they were arrested, and b) why they need the tapes. they should not just send a letter of demand.

that’s all they’re asking for… due process and respect for rights. that’s not hard to do.

the hardest thing to do, actually, is to control the consequences when the rights and the power of media are tested.

calling the arroyo administration, STEP UP! i have no idea what’s taking them so long to start doing their jobs right.


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