Category: Vantage Point

Ramos in the time of Duterte

Former President Fidel V. Ramos has been credited with — or blamed for — convincing Rodrigo Duterte to run for the presidency and supporting his candidacy. Duterte has so acknowledged Ramos’s role in making the former city mayor president — the first politician in history to hold that post without any previous experience in a…

Journalist or technician?

Practitioners in that sector of the media who consciously report and interpret events and issues of public relevance as a means of furthering their advocacy for change in Philippine society are not unaware of the possible conflict between advocacy and the fundamental responsibility of providing accurate and reliable information. There are several hundred such media…

Dismantling the culture of impunity

In 2015, the Philippines was number four in the Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) Impunity Index, after Somalia, Iraq, and Syria. The Index lists those countries where the killers of journalists are seldom, if ever, punished, with many literally getting away with murder. The first three countries are failed states, which raises the question of…

The monitored as monitor

Apparently unique in the Philippine press freedom regime, the practice of appointed and elected officials’ serving as newspaper columnists, or as television or radio commentators, blurs the necessary distinction between the government as object of public scrutiny, and the free press’ critical function of monitoring government. It creates a conflict of interest between the government’s…

That Hitler remark

With his — so far — high approval rating, President Rodrigo Duterte has the political capital and unprecedented opportunity to raise the knowledge and awareness of large numbers of Filipinos on those issues that for 70 years and through 11 administrations since the restoration of Philippine independence in 1946 have bedeviled this country. They include…

Order in chaos

Barely three months in office, President Rodrigo Duterte has shocked, surprised, and outraged groups as diverse as human rights defenders, journalists, and media advocacy organizations as well as those individuals who expect presidents to be more circumspect in both speech and manner. While he has continued to enjoy the support of those citizens convinced that…

Independence, not isolation

The “independent foreign policy” that President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants to adopt for the Philippines has for some reason been interpreted as either a policy of isolationor autarky in the sense of non-involvement with the rest of the world and a denial of the interdependence of nations, or as a total break with the…

Earning credibility

Ferdinand E. Marcos, the Philippine government’s Official Gazette’s social media post finally said in its third revision of the caption accompanying the late dictator’s Sept. 11 birthday photo, was “the longest serving President of the country for almost 21 years.” After receiving a deluge of criticism for what many netizens saw as an attempt at…