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Press freedom is ‘not dead’

05:01 AM February 20, 2019

I think something good will come out of this bizarre Maria Ressa arrest episode. Now the world will know the truth that there is, in fact, unbridled press freedom in our country.

In fact, our problem, as our Asian neighbors already know, is that there is abuse of press freedom in the Philippines while trying to mimic US media and American democracy.

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Often, we even exceed Western nations in exploiting our freedom, as we see how undisciplined many of our people are.

Anyone conscious of how democratic space has been exploited in our country since after World War II must realize that media has been controlled and “weaponized” by business and political oligarchs, local and foreign, to achieve corporate goals, pelf and power at the expense of the millions of the marginalized in the middle and lower strata of our society.

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What Maria Ressa and Rappler have done is actually raise the “weaponizing” (a term popularized by Ressa herself) of press freedom to a higher level, to keep the authorities at bay in enforcing laws against people who exploit freedom in our country.

If press freedom is indeed dead in our country, as some of its abusers arrogantly claim, how come they still enjoy criticizing this administration and even get away with fake news and outright disinformation in various forms?

They should have filled our jails and mortuaries by now! They have used that freedom to bash our country on the world stage in hatred of the current leader!

“Your freedom to swing your arm ends where the nose of another guy begins” is a longtime adage that says freedom is not absolute.

EDGARDO J. T. TIRONA, [email protected]

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TAGS: cyberlibel, Edgardo J.T. Tirona, Inquirer letters, Maria Ressa, press freedom, Rappler
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