NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS OF THE PHILIPPINES
Sept. 12, 2014
SAME OLD, SAME OLD
Sounding like an outdated tune stuck on a loop, or what an older generation would call a broken record, President Benigno Aquino III once again looked for others but himself and his administration for someone to blame for the woes plaguing our country under his watch.
And of course, he could not exempt from being one of the whipping boys in his blame game.
Speaking at the “agenda-setting” dialogue with his allies in Malacanang on Friday, Mr. Aquino again scored for supposedly making the country worse than it already is by choosing to banner sensational crime while hiding solved incidents to the inside pages.
Because of this, he said, “it cannot be avoided, then, that a number of our countrymen continue to believe that the Philippines is a dangerous and lawless country.”
If only Mr. Aquino actually bothered to read, watch or listen to the news, instead of feeding on the selective morsels provided by his factotums, he would readily see for himself that is not bereft of prominently placed articles, features, columns and even editorials extolling him and his daang matuwid.
Alongside, of course, material that is critical of the many missteps he and his acolytes seem to have a penchant for.
But even if his claim that the bad news outweighs the good, what of it?
May we again remind Mr. Aquino that the are not your cheering squad. We are called the Fourth Estate for good reason, to act as a watchdog and a foil, on the people’s behalf, to the corruption and abuse of power that passes for governance in this benighted land.
Or maybe Mr. Aquino has a wrong appreciation of his own slogan.
Has not he, himself, been known to say that governance is not a popularity contest?
Should not service, or more accurately, good service a reward in itself for the truly upright public servant? And is this not what should be expected of our public servants as a matter of course?
And yet, as we have pointed out, the have not been remiss in praising those who serve and serve well.
But when those sworn to serve and protect the people betray their oaths and turn into thieves and predators, it becomes even more incumbent for to call them out, to inform the people they have betrayed and warn those who might seek to similarly abuse their offices.
If Mr. Aquino truly believes there is a dearth of the “feel good” stories he seeks, could not the reason be because there really are too few such stories under his watch?
If we were to follow Mr. Aquino’s logic, then perhaps we should have passed on exposing the pork barrel scam.
Sorry but no, Mr. Aquino, we are not obliged to churn out only praise releases for you.
For we are beholden only to the people and to serve their right to know.