IN its second statement in less than a week, the Philippine Press Institute, the national organization of newspaper publishers, lambasted the Arroyo government for "trampling on grounds protected by the Constitution and hallowed by tradition."

The statement was issued the day after the police chief, Gen. Arturo Lomibao, told a press forum that the police were preparing editorial guidelines for the media. Lomibao also said that the police would visit media offices to ensure they were not being used in anti-government plots. He likewise asked journalists to follow the standards of accuracy, balance and fairness.

The PPI  said that while no newspaper has been shut down nor any journalist hauled off to jail, it was clear that "the intent is to intimidate." It called on journalists to resist any attempt to restrict press freedom and expressed solidarity with those "resisting the creeping return to the dark days of repression."

The statement follows:

The Philippine Press Institute views with grave concern attempts to curtail press freedom following President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s declaration of a state of national emergency.

A newpaper’s editorial office and  printing press have been raided for offenses that authorities have not deigned to make public or explain. Warnings have been issued against violations of “standards” that are shrouded in obfuscation and mystery.

No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of the press, ” the Constitution says. Where no law can trespass through the front door, no proclamation, decree, order or directive should intrude via the backdoor in the guise of preserving law and order as well as security.

The State is trampling on grounds protected by the Constitution and hallowed by tradition. The exercise of emergency powers does not suspend the Bill of Rights. Prior restraint on the press is anathema to a democratic way of life.

That no newspaper has been closed down and no journalist has been hauled off to jail do not make the assaults on the press any less repugnant.

The intent is to intimidate.      

The Philippine press has a long tradition of resistance to tyranny. We refuse to be cowed. The press should not yield an inch of ground.

The PPI, thus, calls on all media organizations to expose and to resist any  State attempt to limit their exercise of press freedom.

The PPI also commits itself in solidarity with all sectors resisting the creeping return to the dark days of repression.

2 Responses to ‘The intent is to intimidate’
— Philippine Press Institute

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benign0

March 1st, 2006 at 5:32 pm

“The Philippine press has a long tradition of resistance to tyranny. We refuse to be cowed. The press should not yield an inch of ground.”

Lofty words,

– coming from an industry that routinely — with glee — publishes pictures of dead bodies in utter disrespect for both the deceased and their families;

– coming from professionals within the industry and their publishers who sell their pens, air time and news/features space to politicians’ publicists;

– coming from an industry who, among other things, encourage the display and public humiliation of crime suspects PRE-TRIAL (in violation of the fundamental constitutional right of these individuals to be presumed innocent until proven guilty).

So if you guys presume to be so quick to point your self-imporant and self-righteous finger at those who you perceive to be in violation of our otherwise impotent constitution, think again.

As the old cliche goes, there are three fingers pointing back at you for every finger you point away from yourselves.

ha ha! 😀

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MitaMS

March 2nd, 2006 at 12:30 am

simple lang, tinaasan ka ng kilay…mas taasan mo naman kilay mo!

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