A singularly pernicious impairment of freedom of (cyber)speech lurking in the present law is the legal presumption that “every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown . . .” (Article 354, Republic Act No. 3815)
Last Nov. 26, the House of Representatives’ committee on public information held its second meeting where it tackled the various Freedom of Information (FOI) bills. We, youth leaders, attended the hearing and were able to witness the discussions and various manifestations from the committee members. (For almost a decade, FOI advocates have been campaigning in every Congress for a transparent and accountable government. And they are wary of those who wish to delay the enactment of an FOI law.)
By Conrado de Quiros
So when are we going to have a Freedom of Information Act?
Senate Bill 380, filed by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada last month, carries the burden of a weighty title: “An Act providing a Magna Carta for journalists.” But instead of a great charter establishing greater freedoms in the practice of journalism, SB 380 is a dangerous document that threatens the freedoms journalists already have.
Forty-four months after the Ampatuan massacre, President Aquino delivered his fourth State of the Nation Address, boasting of his accomplishments and plans, unmindful that in the first three years of his watch, journalists who report the true state of the nation every day continued to fall victim to attacks and killings.
How lucky we Filipinos are: In our country, we enjoy democracy and press freedom. Not in Malaysia. The media covering the Sabah crisis are not given free access to information and neither are they free to cover fully what is happening.
Malaysia has warned Philippine media organizations that they could face charges for feeding the public with false reports on the offensive operations against Sultan Jamalul Kiram III’s forces now in Sabah.
By Juan L. Mercado
Like the proverbial mala yerba, proposals to clamp mandatory “right of reply” (RoR) rules on media keep cropping up. The latest “bum weed” is Commission on Elections Resolution No. 9615: “Candidates aggrieved by press reports can demand to have their side published in the same prominence or in the same time slot as the first statement,” says this implementing rule for the “Fair Elections Practices Act.”
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines welcomes the Supreme Court’s issuance of a temporary restraining order on the implementation of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
I’ve always wanted to be a journalist, that’s why I took up Mass Communications. I am now in my fourth year.
By Juan L. Mercado
“Brainless children boast of their ancestors,” an Asian proverb says. Sen. Vicente Sotto III basked in his grandfather’s achievements, notably the “Sotto Press Freedom Law.”
I write to raise my concern about the news article titled “Oh no, another case of plagiarism” (Inquirer, 8/21/12), extensively quoting from a blog that raised plagiarism charges against me.