June 24, 2017, 8:15 am
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Duterte and media, its pros and cons

THE extensive efforts of journalists to dig deeper stories provide the public new information which they may not know. The journalists not just perform its job in presenting 5 W’s and one H, hence they help the society to eradicate its illnesses. In return, their lives are left in danger.

Although the newly sworn President Rodrigo Duterte engaged in an unsound relationship with the press, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that Duterte is set to create a presidential task force against media killings. It is an initial effort of the new administration to calm down the members of the media and to stop extrajudicial killings. 

The task force which set to investigate the killings of journalists is being drafted by the Office of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Sec. Andanar, it is expected to release by the end of the week. 

It was 27 years when democracy in the Philippines was restored yet violations against media and killing incidents continue. Its figure intensifies but evils behind the cases usually go unpunished. The first incident of media violence under Duterte administration happened on its first day as the broadcaster in Surigao City survived an ambush. 

Now I wonder, how justice works in the new administration?

Most journalists spend their inks to unleash the truth, and not a foe who protects big personalities against the government. They are inclined to help the country to grow robustly by providing balance news reporting, and not an instrument to confound the public. 

Generally, the violations against media professionals and the endless incident of murders is the byproduct of unresolved culture of impunity which is a direct assault in government who cannot uphold the power of constitution. 

The lack of a sense of urgency on the part of government agencies is the main cause of these problems, the roots should be cut by now before it grows and goes thicker. The impact of attack on journalists is not just an attack on their lives but also an attack to imprudent government.

Thus, journalists deserve to exercise the real freedom of expression and perform their job without thinking that their lives may be put in danger. Hopefully, the creation of task force will do to vanish the glitches of this system as journalists play the role of maintaining transparency and democracy of the country. – MARK LOUIS F. FERROLINO, PUP
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