Category: Vantage Point

Regime of unreason

Then-candidate Rodrigo Duterte described himself as a “socialist” and a “leftist” during the May 2016 campaign. He hasn’t made the same claim since, and, despite his appointment of two presumed leftists to the Cabinet, there isn’t a shadow of socialist thought or principle in either his statements or his emerging policies. What the entire country…

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…