"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

‘Right of Reply’ Bill, a Boon for Scalawags

What are they thinking or are they even thinking? They have outdone themselves once again I supposed in their circus freak side show errr legislative prerogatives at the house of congress in once again trying to pass off “rights” that is more of a joke than anything else.

Here we go again on the fixation to present the other side when professional journalist normally exerts reasonable effort in verifying the veracity and accuracy of their news item through reliable sources. People buy liepapers errr newspapers to read actual news period. It is still a business whose success is dependent on who gets the biggest chunk of the market and advertisers. I don’t know about the sponsors of the bill (Sen. Aquilino Pimentel et al and his congress counterpart Rep.
Monico Puentevella and his kuligs errr colleagues) what’s got into them but as far as this Political Jaywalker is concerned I want to read events as it unfold without bias or prejudice.

It is bad enough that there are newspapers passing themselves off as news when it was basically a propaganda material or worse ATM inspired expose’ that readers have to dig deeper to get the real score. Who wants to read liepapers full of crap that are basically prepared statements from mostly scalawags distorting the event in their own slanted point of view anyway? The problem is not about the aggrieved parties or entities that are the subject of unjust and biased reporting but paid hacks of the ATM Journalist kind dissing out lies and propaganda passing it off as legitimate news. The problem is you have kotonglist errr callousness ooops columnist in the payroll of politicians mostly those in power taking advantage of their positions paying these mouthpiece scalawags at the expense of the tax paying public through government owned corporations or agencies posing as independent kuno opinion writers.

Bloggers like Patricio Mangubat is worried that should the Ridiculous Right to Reply Bill pass many of his friends in the media risk losing their job simply for lack of same space to be allocated in including the “rights” of subject of the anomalies to respond.

Manuel Buencamino of Uniffors is frustrated as if libel laws were not enough is proposing that should our learned fooliticians errr politicians insist on passing off errr passing the bill then they should include “duty to reply,” which is reasonable if indeed this is all about fairness so that all sides are presented. A quote from Manuel Buencamino’s proposal:

“Sec. 1(a) DUTY TO REPLY - Any government official elected or appointed or any person who benefits from taxes collected from the public who are accused directly or indirectly of committing or having committed or of intending to commit any crime or offense defined by law or are criticized by innuendo, suggestion or rumor for any lapse in behavior in public or private life shall have the DUTY TO REPLY to the charges published or printed in newspapers, magazines, newsletters or publications circulated commercially or for free, or to criticisms aired or broadcast over radio, television, websites, or through any electronic device.”

Here’s the kind of report in “any lapse in bahavior in public or private life” I want to see the bill’s sponsors reply to:

No Pontius Pilate

An unimpeachable source informed this reporter that (Puentevella or Pimentel), as the case may be, was having a private lunch at a five star hotel in Makati. According to the source, who talked on condition of anonymity, the politician stood up from his table and went to the men’s room. The source followed him. He saw the pol enter the crapper. He heard crapping noises and the toilet flush but he didn’t hear the rustling of toilet paper. The pol, he said, left the mens room without even a glance at the washbasin. The pol then went straight to his table and dipped his unwashed hands in a plate of crabs served family style.

“Why are politicians so casual about their dirty hands?” asked the source.

Dean Jorge Bocobo at Philippine Commentary posted the proposed legislation from the Senate website on the duty to reply agrees with Atty. Alan Paguia that the bill as far as the public officials are concerned weakens instead of strengthen public accountability. Of course anything to weasel themselves out of public accountability is good for scalawags and no matter how the sponsors tries to delude themselves of their noble intentions we always end up with the opposite outcome.

Our neighborhood daily source of news errr I meant rumor and gossip the walking tsismosa (gossip monger) is alarmed and concerned who asked me if she was covered by Pimentel’s bill which she miraculously read, to quote:

But he said the sad fact is that no press organization - neither the KBP nor the PPI - has jurisdiction over the thousands of so-called independent media practitioners all over the land.
She thinks she is covered by the law and that now whenever she spreads the gossip about our two-timing neighbors having a tryst with their lovers she was concerned that she will now be forced to get her neighbors and their lovers side of the story telling a lie. Not a good situation I guess to confront the subject of her gossip but I assured her that no she is not covered because she is not with madaya errr media but plain neighborhood gossip monger who has so much time in her hands thus she tends to poke her wagging tongue on other peoples lives, lol. I warned her though that she should stop spitting in public as she keeps on confusing freedom to spit for freedom of speech.

Seriously, this is something that should concern us all especially when the state of the fourth estate is in shambles where ATM journalism abound. On the other hand Senators Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Joker Arroyo, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Edgardo Angara, Richard Gordon, Gregorio Honasan, and Panfilo “Ping” Lacson want Congress to go ahead with the passage of the bill despite apprehensions that this would curtail press freedom in the country, at least we now know where their priorities are.

It seems the intent is “noble” but I think the bigger problem here is not about fairness but the slant and lies in liepapers errr newspaper due to the practitioners of ATM Journalism. This bill is more of a boon to scalawags now that they have the “right” or even a license to come up with prepared statement that is not necessarily factual since criminals are not dumb to incriminate themselves in writing or yap in broadcast media. Will it hurt ATM Journalism practitioners or will it become a more profitable business? I say it will be more lucrative as they will be in demand from scalawags who now has been given a license to bombard hapless liepaper readers and those who listen and watch radio and television broadcast more lies and half-truths.

Neal Cruz in his column the 'Right of reply' law no longer necessary, is a good read, so is the Statement of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility on the Right of Reply Bill, Should There be a Law on the Right of Reply? by Gary Mariano, or read the Senate Bill No. 1178 - Right to Reply in the Field of Broadcast and Print Media, and if all else fail they should just follow the suggestion of Rep. Pablo John Garcia and be a blogger instead of passing bills.

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