Bulatlat.com was a product of the times. It was born right after the ouster of the Estrada administration in 2001 by a politicized and empowered citizenry who were tired of the blatant corruption by those who claimed to work for the interests of the Filipino people. The people rose in outrage because they felt betrayed by the same traditional leadership that took over after People Power 1 — an élite rule that quashed the democratic interests and aspirations of the many and used the state machinery in the service of the powers that be, local and foreign.
But the Estrada administration was replaced by a government far worse than the one it succeeded. A year after taking over, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was forced to declare that she would no longer run during the 2004 elections to deflect the simmering anger of the people over the corruption scandals hounding Malacanang and the sellout of national patrimony with the government’s support to the US war on terror, despite the fact that majority of the peoples of the world were against it.
The Arroyo government blamed the media for its woes. But the issues that continue to hound the Arroyo government — the “Hello Garci” tapes, the ever-increasing list of corruption scandals involving it, the spate of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, and its proclivity for constricting civil liberties — these are its own making.
The media’s role has always been to inform the public about these issues and to provide a vehicle where these are discussed. More importantly, alternative media organizations such as Bulatlat.com seek to reflect the people’s views and stand on issues that affect their lives and their future — human rights and civil liberties, national patrimony, workers and peasant rights and interests, migrant rights and welfare, the rights and status of women, indigenous people’s rights, the environment, among others.
Bulatlat.com aims to contribute to the advocacy for these rights and to the struggle for change. As an alternative news agency, it seeks to contribute to:
the fight for truth and justice. It will dig out facts buried by censorship and corruption and lay them out for public scrutiny, without fear or favor. It will denounce media repression and uphold the responsibility of journalists’ — for that matter, every Filipino’s — to assert the people’s right to know and to freedom of expression. It will interpret events from the perspective of the people and not from the subjectivism and biases of media monopolies.
the fight for freedom. We will contribute to the crusade for freedom in all its aspects — not only freedom from hunger and social injustice but also freedom to chart the nation’s destiny independently. Freedom must be advanced by information, ideas and theories that shall liberate one’s mind from neocolonial demagoguery that glorifies globalization, as well as from conservatism that venerates elitist rule. The task of propagating patriotism and love for freedom remains an enduring part of the people’s broad struggle for freedom and democracy.
the fight against all forms of oppression. We will contribute toward the struggle to uphold the rights of the oppressed and to expose all forms of oppression. We will give space to propagating the issues affecting majority of the Filipino people and to the issues and struggles of the oppressed.
the fight against the abuse and misuse of power by the country’s top political leaders. The series of administrations from martial law onward brought to a new high the level of corruption, cronyism and abuse of authority to amass wealth. A system that is in crisis begets crisis in the scale of the increasingly blatant scandals confronting the government. Bulatlat.com will do its share in exposing lies, wrongdoings and other misdeeds that have been committed to advance not only corruption and cronyism but also repression and tyranny.
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