check out senate bill no. 3244 sponsored by senator honasan also known as “gringo” also known as coup plotter in the times of marcos and cory.
it is called An Act To Decriminalize Libel And For Other Purposes [sic]. indeed it seeks to decriminalize libel, great! BUT BUT BUT it also provides that no mass media practitioner can practice his/her profession unless he/she is a member of a professional organization that is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)!!!
read lawyer mel sta. ana’s Once again, government’s intrusive mindset threatens the press – and bloggers.
The constitutionally repugnant objective of this prohibitory bill is clear. Journalists or news-reporters cannot print, broadcast or publish their thoughts, ideas, opinions, gathered-news or other works, whether friendly or critical, significant or trivial, indifferent or provocative, conscientious or mindless, unless they are certified members of an organization allowed by government to exist. Simply stated, the general rule is no practice of journalism and no news-reporting activities shall be allowed if there is no membership in a government-approved and registered media organization.
… What is more frightening is that the bill explicitly makes a prohibition on “practitioners of mass communications” unqualifiedly. It expansively encompasses, not only journalists and news-reporters, but everybody in the profession: photojournalists, broadcasters, commentators, artists, printers, publishers, editors, writers, news-readers and even cameramen/women involved in mass dissemination of news and opinions.
… Senate Bill No. 3244, if it becomes law, seriously prejudices not only the journalists, news reporters, bloggers and other practitioners of mass media; it further prejudices the public as a whole. It will deprive the public of information necessary to make important choices.
wow, ha. so if the honorable senators pass this bill into law, i cannot write blogs or books or even letters to the editor anymore because i do not belong, i choose not to be beholden, to any registered media org. that has the blessings of the government?
i googled honasan’s SB 3244 and found that it’s introduced by an explanatory note where honasan quotes Article 19 of the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that the Phlippines ratified in 1986.
1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art or through any other media of his choice.
3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:
a. For respect of the rights or reputations of others; [bold mine]
b. For the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals.
there’s more from honasan, but nothing anywhere that says that the suppression of independent (read, non-establishment) thinking and writing is the way to achieve 3a or 3b.
very clearly, to me anyway, the real concern is 3a, keeping their — the legislators’, among other government officials’ — reputations unsullied by unsympathetic or unimpressed critics, mainstream and online. BUT BUT BUT the only way to achieve that is by getting their acts together, start truly caring, and acting, for nation, as promised, so that there is no cause for criticism.
sabi nga ni socrates, whom enrile threatens to translate a la sotto/kennedy:
“For if you think that by killing men you can avoid the accuser censoring your lives, you are mistaken; that is not a way of escape which is either possible or honorable; the easiest and the noblest way is not to be crushing others, but to be improving yourselves.” [plato writing in “Apology” via marck ronald rimorin)
oh, and may i ask senator honasan, does SB 3244 mean that what senator enrile did in his memoir — like playing fast and loose with the reputations of senator salonga and cardinal sin by calling them liars when they can’t defend themselves anymore — would no longer be allowed? and would enrile then have to register as a mass media practitioner if he’s serious about writing those two more books on his life as a lawyer and his life as a senator?