Media and Television

The first television became commercially available by the year 1930. Since then, it became one of the most active means of media and entertainment to many people all over the world. Who would forget the black and white Mickey Mouse cartoons appeared on television by the year 1950. Or how the world watched the Apollo 11 mission to the moon via television.

Media and television gives the public access to information. It also gives every man the right to express themselves and to let the people know what they want to say. I remember when President Obama delivered his speech on the inauguration of his presidency and the world watched him live via television.

In terms of entertainment, television played a big role for the grooming of celebrities to stardom. Just how many celebrities became so popular in having television shows, or actors and actresses paved their way to the lime light by having watched by their fans screaming to see them.

Nowadays, anyone can subscribe to TV companies and watch as much as they want with tons of news and entertainment in television. There are even services that help  subscribers  having their subscriptions continue even when they have transferred from their previous location to another location( like the Directtv). Well, with the help of sattelites, that would not be impossible indeed.   My friend in California availed the services of Direct TV, and took advantage of their services. When she transferred to her new house with her family, she was able to continue having  Direct TV without any hassles. Anyway, it is just a matter of  being practical choosing the right services for what she needs. My friend is a TV lover, she will bring it anywhere (lol).

In so many cases, television is a powerful medium wherein people will be aware of the current events and present issues. Why is it so important? Well, the more you know, the more you can be a better person. There are many things we can discover on TV from so many things that TV programs provide. However, we should always be careful. Watching television is like picking between good and evil. When we watch, don’t just watch, we should learn to accept and reject, appreciate and criticize.

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Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL)

The Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) is the largest organization of Filipino writers in the country. Founded in 1974, the organization was known for a time as the Writers Union of the Philippines.
UMPIL annually holds its National Congress every last Saturday of August. The organization awards the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas, Gawad Paz Marquez Benitez, and Gawad Pedro Bucaneg to outstanding writers, educators, and literary organizations.
The current chairperson of UMPIL is V.E. Carmelo D. Nadera Jr.

On the Railroading of the Right of Reply Bill

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) condemns the apparent attempt to railroad the passing of the Right of Reply Bill in the House of Representatives.

For the past two days, congressmen supporting the bill have insisted on subjecting the RORB to plenary debates despite the lack of a quorum and the continued opposition of media organizations.

The proponents of the bill are trying to soften the resistance to the measure by pushing for an amended version of the bill.

But we maintain our opposition to any bill or law that seeks to require the media to publish or air statements or reactions of persons who are subjects of news reports or commentaries.

The bill, “watered down” or not, will intrude on editorial independence and makes a mockery of Press Freedom that Filipino journalists have fought and died for.

We call on our colleagues and the public to proceed to the House of Representatives, reject the bill and condemn the legislators pushing for its approval.

Reference:
Nestor Burgos
Chairperson

Is there or is there not an OB?

The 10th Infantry Division engages in horribly inept doublespeak that
merely bolsters the perception that, indeed, the so-called “Order of
Battle” (OB) which includes former National Union of Journalists of
the Philippines secretary general Carlos Conde among more than a
hundred persons belonging to supposed “legal fronts” of the communist
rebel movement not only exists but that such documents clearly pose a
danger to life and limb of whoever is unfortunate enough to be
included in them.

A longwinded statement issued on Tuesday, May 26, by division
spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kurt Decapia, attempts to discredit the
OB that came into the possession of Bayan Muna Representative Satur
Ocampo had been “falsified” and “twisted” out of context by the
lawmaker because he is allegedly part of a plot by the Communist Party
of the Philippines to discredit the military in Southern Mindanao so
as to cancel the headway it claims to have made against the New
People’s Army in the region.

At the same time, the statement also accuses Ocampo of “espionage,” a
charge that implies that, somehow, the Bayan Muna congressman actually
managed to pierce through the military’s notoriously tight shield of
secrecy to obtain what the 10th ID would want us to believe is a
harmless briefing document that the lawmaker made sinister by
supposedly insinuating that the category of “targeted,” under which
Mr. Conde and the NUJP fall, means he is marked for death.

The 10th ID statement then goes on to explain that “targeted” actually
means targeted for infiltration by the CPP.

But had not the 10th ID, in fact, already denied the existence of the document?
So, which is which? Is there or is there not an OB?

It is also frightening how the statement quotes division commander
Major General Reynaldo Mapagu as openly accusing Ocampo and the
International Solidarity Mission that the lawmaker accompanied to
Davao of being part of a grand communist plot to win back areas the
military says it has liberated from the rebels.

Last we looked, civilian supremacy over the military was supposed to
be sacrosanct. But here is an Army general, with the manpower and
firepower to back him up, publicly affirming what UN special
rapporteur Philip Alston noted, that the military indeed openly
vilifies legal personalities and organizations as enemies of the
state, thus making them fair game in the counterinsurgency campaign.

It is equally alarming how the 10th ID continues to pass off
inaccuracy as “intelligence.”

The division insists that “Carlos Conde is the Secretary General of
the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and serves
as the organization’s coordinator in Davao City and Southern
Mindanao.”

The division’s statement says: “Carlos Conde is the Secretary General
of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and
serves as the organization’s coordinator in Davao City and Southern
Mindanao. In the document presented by Satur Ocampo, the NUJP headed
by Mr. Conde is categorized as ‘targeted,’ which means that it is
identified as one of the many organizations targeted for infiltration
by the CPP/NPA and the same reason it being in the document along with
the other organizations/personalities in the ‘falsified’ document.”
But as we have already pointed out, Mr. Conde is the FORMER secretary
general and Southern Mindanao coordinator of NUJP.

What is particularly chilling is that this does not appear to be a
case of simple oversight. There is an apparently deliberate attempt by
the 10th ID to, as Mr. Conde has pointed out in a statement of his
own, “insist that I am a stooge of the Left who can be manipulated to
spread falsehood about the military. The implication of this is that,
journalist or not, I am aiding the enemies of the state and, thus,
fair game.”

The implications of this for Mr. Conde are bad enough. But we also
worry for the more than 800 members of the NUJP nationwide,
particularly those in Davao and Southern Mindanao, who, because of the
10th ID’s irrational recalcitrance, are now endangered.

We have been receiving reports from our colleagues in the region that
some of them have been placed under surveillance while at least one
has been directly threatened.

Such developments, accompanied by the latest rant of the 10th ID, only
serves to prod us into considering a reassessment of our position
about the murders of journalists under this administration – 64 deaths
since 2001, the worst death tool under any sitting president.

We have time and again said that we have seen no indication that these
killings have official blessings, unlike the slaughter of activists
and dissenters. But the fact that military units and officers like
Mapagu openly label people and groups as enemies of the state without
being sanctioned indicates at the very least a tacit approval.

Should any harm befall Mr. Conde and our colleagues in Southern
Mindanao, we will hold this administration, the 10th ID, and Major
General Mapagu personally, responsible.

We demand that the defense department and the Armed Forces leadership
prove their oft-repeated pronouncements of respect for human rights
and the rule of law to take immediate action to discipline Mapagu for
making a mockery of the soldier’s pledge to serve and protect the
people.

We also call on our colleagues to unite and stand firm against the
continuing threats to our freedoms and liberties and all other
attempts to curtail the practice of our profession in the service of
the people’s right to know.

Reference:
Nonoy Espina
Vice-Chairperson

Judge denies motion for reconsideration by alleged masterminds

CMFR/PHILIPPINES—The Philippine press gained another victory in its fight against impunity after a local court in Sultan Kudarat affirmed its earlier denial of the motion to dismiss the case against the alleged masterminds in the killing of journalist Marlene Esperat. Sultan Kudarat is a province approximately 968 kms south of Manila.

In a 19 May 2009 resolution, Judge Milanio Guerrero of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 20 of Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat denied the Motion for Reconsideration (MR) filed by Osmeña Montañer and Estrella Sabay seeking the reversal of the 7 April 2009 order denying their motion for the dismissal of the case and the lifting of the arrest warrant against them for the murder of Esperat (“Motion to Quash with Motion for the Immediate Lifting of the Warrants of Arrest”). Montañer and Sabay, through lawyer Emmanuel Badoy, filed the motion for reconsideration last 12 April 2009.

Esperat was killed on 24 March 2005 in her house in Tacurong City. Montañer and Sabay allegedly ordered the killing because of Esperat’s exposés on allegedly anomalous transactions at the Department of Agriculture in Region XXII where they were the Finance Officer and Regional Accountant, respectively.

Guerrero in his one-page resolution stated that the accused “(a)s correctly pointed out by the prosecution in its opposition (to the MR)…did not raise a new and substantial matter that would prompt the court to take a second look at its questioned order.”

During the 13 May 2009 hearing, the prosecution argued that accused’s motion for reconsideration merely repeated the claims already answered in the court’s 7 April 2009 order. One such claim was that the case filed on 20 October 2009 is a “revival…of Criminal Case No. 2568.” Criminal Case No. 2568 pertains to the case against killers Randy Grecia, Gerry Cabayag and Estanislao Bismanos. Bismanos, Cabayag and Grecia were convicted in October 2006.

“The arguments therein are patently but a mere REHASH of those stated in their original motion to quash and the supplement thereto, and which arguments had already been judiciously considered and appositely ruled upon by the court in its order of April 7, 2009,” the prosecution said in its 13 May 2009 opposition to the MR.

The prosecution also pointed out that Montaner and Sabay’s counsel even copied the exact words in the denied motion to quash in his motion for reconsideration.

Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists (FFFJ) legal adviser Prima Jesusa Quinsayas said the arrest of the accused is “the next ideal legal development.” Quinsayas joined the prosecution panel last 13 May 2009 as a collaborating private prosecutor for the Esperat family.

FFFJ is a coalition of six media organizations formed in 2003 to address the escalating number of killing of and attacks against journalists. Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility serves as the secretariat, and is a founding member, of FFFJ.

“What we want is for the two accused to be arrested so that they can be arraigned…. This means the proverbial ball is now in the Philippine National Police’s Task Force Usig’s court,” Quinsayas said.

Seven months after the court issued (on 21 October 2008) the warrant against them, Montañer and Sabay are still at large. The national government is now offering monetary rewards for their capture (P500, 000, or approximately US $10, 629 each).

(http://www.cmfr- phil.org/ 2009/05/26/ judge-denies- motion-for- reconsideration- by-alleged- masterminds/)

Broadcaster critically injured in latest Philippine shooting

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465 1004 Fax: (212) 465 9568 Web: http://www.cpj.org E-Mail: media@cpj.org

Contact: Madeline Earp
Telephone: (212) 465-1004 ex 115
http://www.cpj.org

e-mail: mearp@cpj.org

New York, May 22, 2009—The Philippine government must address a series of shootings that have targeted journalists on the southern island of Mindanao, the latest coming on Wednesday when gunmen critically wounded a local radio broadcaster, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
One of two men riding a motorcycle fired once at Harrison Manalac at about 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, according to local news reports. Manalac was riding his own motorcycle home from his workplace at DXXE Radio in Buug town, Zamboanga Sibugay province, according to the reports. A local hospital was treating Manalac for a gunshot wound to the back, the reports said.
Police Chief Federico Castro told local journalists that police were seeking a motive for the attack. He said Manalac had written outspoken commentaries on local political and community issues, but did he not say whether the shooting was related to those pieces, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Manalac is the fourth radio journalist to be shot on Mindanao this year in unrelated attacks, two of them fatal, according to CPJ research. CPJ is investigating those attacks for a connection to the victims’ work. A fifth attempted shooting took place in the northern province of Abra on May 14, when unidentified attackers fired on print reporter Marjorie Bandayrel-Trinidad through her bedroom window, according to a local press freedom group and news reports. Bandayrel-Trinidad was unhurt.

Ricardo R. Blancaflor, head of the federal government’s Task Force 211, which investigates extrajudicial killings, told CPJ in a May 1 letter that his group was committed to curbing media slayings. Blancaflor told CPJ Task Force 211 was “vigorous” in its efforts to monitor media killings, and assist the “investigation, prosecution, and immediate resolution of media killings,” including witness protection.
“Five journalist shootings in as many months is a deeply concerning trend,” said Robert Mahoney, CPJ deputy director. “We welcome Ricardo Blancaflor’s stated commitment to prosecuting the perpetrators and ask that Task Force 211 seek immediate resolution to these attacks, particularly where they are occurring with such frequency in the southern Philippines.”
Nilo Labares, head reporter at DXCC Radio Mindanao Network, survived emergency surgery following a March attack by two motorcycle-riding gunmen near Mindanao’s Cagayan de Oro City. Labares had been threatened two weeks before the attack, and police told local journalists they suspected his work may have prompted the shooting.
Two gunmen on motorcycles shot and killed Badrodin Abbas in January. Two men in masks also fatally shot radio broadcaster Ernie Rollin in Misamis Occidental province, northern Mindanao, the following month.
Mindanao, the scene of decades-long strife between the military and insurgent groups, is one of the deadliest areas for the Philippine press, according to CPJ research. CPJ launched its 2009 Impunity Index in Manila in March, with the Philippines ranking sixth worst worldwide for unsolved journalists murders. In cooperation with local partners, CPJ’s Global Campaign Against Impunity is seeking justice in journalist murders.
CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.cpj.org.

CMFR Philippines—Journalist included in military “order of battle”

CMFR/PHILIPPINES – The Philippine Army in southern Mindanao allegedly included a journalist and two media organizations in a 2007 watchlist of persons and organizations it claims to be connected to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its military arm, the New People’s Army (NPA). But the military has disowned the watchlist.
A powerpoint presentation titled “JCICC ‘Agila’ 3rd QTR 2007 OB Validation Result,” marked “SECRET” and allegedly prepared by the intelligence arm of the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division includes journalist Carlos Conde in its “order of battle”. Conde, a journalist for fifteen years, is a correspondent for the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times, and also writes for local newspapers and online news sites.
An “order of battle” is a list of persons the Philippine military claims to be combatants or supporters of the CPP and NPA. A number of political activists who have appeared in such lists are among those who have been killed in the Philippines allegedly by military and paramilitary units. Over a thousand political activists and 40 journalists have been killed in the Philippines since 2001. Extra-judicial killings have been the subject of concern by the United Nations and human rights groups.
In an interview with the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) on 19 May 2009, Conde said he was surprised at his inclusion in the “order of battle” validation report. Conde received the information from the International Solidarity Mission (ISM) which last week concluded a fact-finding mission into the effects of the government’s counter-insurgency program in Southern Mindanao. The CPP is not illegal, but the government has been fighting the NPA since 1968 in the most protracted guerilla war in Asia.
Although the list was dated 2007, Conde believes those included in it are still under threat. One person in the list, Celso Pojas, a peasant leader in Davao City, was killed in 2008.
Conde believes his inclusion is connected to his being the former coordinator of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in Davao City. Conde, also the secretary-general of NUJP from 2004-2006, led local campaigns against the killing of journalists in their province.
“Why my name is included in the ‘order of battle’ is a mystery. Unless, that is, the armed forces considers my and NUJP’s advocacy for press freedom, as well as pressuring the government to end the killings, as the work of enemies of the state (and) unless the Armed Forces of the Philippines views my job and my writing as threats to my country,” he said in a 19 May statement.
The NUJP, which was previously tagged by the Armed Forces of the Philippines as an “enemy of the state”, and the defunct Media Mindanao News Service are also in the list. The College Editors Guild of the Philippines, an alliance of college publications, was also mentioned. But Conde was the only journalist specifically named in the alleged “order of battle”.
“Needless to say, this ‘order of battle’ has caused anxiety and fear in my family because, as we all know, an ‘order of battle’ in the Philippines is a veritable hit list,” Conde said in his statement.
Bayan Muna (Nation First) Congressman Satur Ocampo also showed the document during the presentation of the results of the fact-finding mission of the International Solidarity Mission in Davao City, a 20 May 2009 Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro report said. Sun.Star quoted Ocampo as saying that ISM got the document from a “conscientious soldier.” Davao is a province approximately 946 kms south of Manila.
But officials of the 10th Infantry Division denied authorship of the document. Col. Lysander Suerte, the chief of staff of the 10th Infantry Division, said in an interview with CMFR that whoever came out with the document only wants to misinform and agitate the public. Suerte also denied that the list presented by ISM was a list of persons targeted by the army.
“An ‘order of battle’ does not target individuals; it is mainly an assessment of the general threat to national security. What the ISM presented is not a list of targets, but that is how they want the public to see it so that unsolved/unexplained killings can be attributed to the military. They presented the list to create confusion and paranoia and eventually agitate the people to go against the military,” the 10th Infantry Division said in a statement.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported last 20 May 2009 that Maj. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu, the commander of the 10th Infantry Division, has ordered an investigation into the origins of the watchlist.