Sunday, January 13, 2008

Why not criminalize journalism?

The way the government is treating media in the Philppines makes me think there is a creeping effort to criminalze the practice of journalism.
The latest advisory coming from the Department of Justice illustrates that media should now heed advices and take orders from the government.
The consequence of disobeying government officials and personnel (including government utility workers?) is criminal liability.
I have a suggestion.
Why doesn't this government criminalize the practice of journalism altogether?
That would be a good idea, wouldn't it?
I think the revised penal code still has room for an article that would criminalize the practice of journalism.
Better yet, the justice department should draft an executive order or presidential proclamation to this effect.
If the practice of journalism is criminalized, the the government will not have to make advisories to media.
As a matter of fact, criminalizing journlaism would prevent pesky media-persons from prying into illegal activities of government officials.
If journalism is criminalized, then governmen officials can continue incurring unliquidated cash advances.
If journalism is criminalized, then government officials will be unhampered in brokering billions of dollars of transactions and loans, the payments of which are to be shouldered by Filipino taxpayers.
I think if the government has it way, the trend should be to criminalize journalism.
The justice secretary, Raul Gonzalez, perhaps one of the most brilliant justice secretaries this country even had, is going so slow in calibrating government actions towards the Philippine press.
Go ahead, Mr. Justice Secretary.
Why don't you criminalize journalism?
Naging mahiya-in ka pa.

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