Wednesday, July 06, 2005

dangerous and deadly

Truth is hated. Lies are protected. Lips are sealed. Phones are tapped. Media is muzzled. People are wary.

Media practitioners who expose corruption are killed. Witnesses who tell the truth are threatened. Those who come out to reveal official lies are likewise officially abused. People who are victimized by official misdeeds go into hiding.

The Philippines is becoming more dangerous and deadly. This is the perception of many of its citizens. This is the pronouncement of foreign observers. It is not only because of the innocent being killed by terrorists. It is not merely due to persons getting eliminated and families being massacred by criminals. It is also media practitioners being regularly murdered.

When public officials are afraid of the own doings, when a government feels that it is cornered, the immediate and predictable reaction is the same: threaten people. Cover the truth. Silence media.

This is exactly the case of a government being its own primary destabilizer. This is a good example of self-combustion of a public institution. All other entities and individuals losing their trust therein and feeling nauseated by it are but responding to a government’s malgovernance.

How sad and yet how true. In this country, persons placed in power and authority repeatedly forget that their master is the people. When they attempt to act as masters of the people, they are doomed. They become the object of contempt, the target of ridicule, the focus of dissent.

When a government is loosing its moorings, its first enemy is truth, its primary target is media. Reason: Its dearest ally is silence. Its foremost enemy is media.

Free media and freedom of speech go hand in hand. They are inseparable in a truly democratic country. When responsible media is threatened and serious speech is curtailed, then something is wrong somewhere in a country.

+O.V. Cruz, D.D.
6 July 2005