The Philippines still has a future if media remain true and free, not allowing itself to be threatened and gagged. There is still hope for the Filipinos if media practitioners stay on course, bringing to the knowledge of the public the best about the citizens and the worse about their present government. There is no acceptance of persons or institutions before the truth.
It is true that the government must be doing something good somehow. It is however more true that it has not much. And it is even much more true that it has done so many things wrong.
That is why people in the know about government shenanigans are either silenced or made to disappear. This is also why those who say the truth about fraud, graft and corruption in government are frightened and punished.
Many government institutions are now either non-functional or distrusted. People feel they have no place to go for redress. That is why they simply go to the streets, stage public protests, put up even a citizen’s congress and media has no choice but to publish what it is a witness of.
It is now the fourth state that is left tall and standing. There are now certain media outlets that caved in to pressure and influence. Still, a great number of the media practitioners remain true to their profession. They are neither for sale nor in fact sold.
If the Malacañang occupants really want to know what the majority of the people feel and say about their present government, let them listen to what Juan de la Cruz says through many phone-in radio programs. The bad things they say about the government are appalling. The public officials they consider bad are rather many and infamous.
No, media as a whole is not sinless or saintly. But it is neither that bad as the national leadership so says and laments. To report what is bad does not make the reporters bad but instead good media persons for being truthful.
It is hard to find good news when these are very few and far between. This is especially so when the people perceive their government as a bad dream.
14 NOVEMBER 2005