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Journalists at Risk (Philippine Journalism Review, September 1991)

Journalists at Risk (Philippine Journalism Review, September 1991)

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The pastiche of dismembered figures and a gun paints a sinister picture of the kind of environment in which Filipino journalists find themselves working in this cover artwork designed by Ludwig Ilio of Newsday.

This is the beginning of the Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR) database on the killing of Filipino journalists/media workers.
The pastiche of dismembered figures and a gun paints a sinister picture of the kind of environment in which Filipino journalists find themselves working in this cover artwork designed by Ludwig Ilio of Newsday.

This is the beginning of the Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR) database on the killing of Filipino journalists/media workers.

More info:

Published by: Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility on Nov 21, 2012
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JOURNALIST

AT RISK

1991 16 I PJR SEPTEMBER

JOURNALISTS AT RISK
j ouriali sts all overihe world. Giventhe backgloundtlf :l!t:1t^:-:f:::]t" q a new envrron.:* ^ +L numberhadsetoff* ulTt the a*iog th" pastregime, ^ -,,*har h d spf.off an alarm about to Ut [ft. new goverlunentwhich proclaimedits commitment #"t?#"iJ
re journalists an endangered speciesin the Philippines? Noi quite, but the 82 who were killed since 1986 indicate how journalists can become vulnerable victims of the violence they cover. fne nmng of journalists in the Philippines has rewith' ceivedattention ofvarious g"orrpt abroad,especiallythoseconcerned of ift. p"o*otion of press freedom and the protection of the welfare

t t
t

democraticspace. In the following compilation, Dolores Ll. Amor breaks down the 32 t and motives for the murders, whetherinsurgencycasesas to the "..rJt related,job-connectedor perpetrated for Pirely personal issues' She also presents an update on the prosecution ofthe cases' Her findings suggestChatthe risks to the journalists are thosewhich of inhere in a socialland-scape conflict and violence. The official repressive intimidate and coercethose who would challengethe rich and policies to a commoninstrument, used iowerful may be gone. But the g'n remains yes, u tittt" too casualiy to make a statement, to settle an argument and, to silencean opponentor an enemy.The forcesoflaw and order seemwoefJty inert in tnl face of rising crime, and many dare to take the law into their own hands. As this issue went to press, a fearful wave of violent crime riveted of medii and publlc attention. The senselessness the murders sounded an alarm among citizens. The fact that the victims of sensational killings (the vizconde ramity, the chapman-Leino-Hultman case'Eldon Maguan) belonged to affluent families was a new factor. They had extraordinary ,.rooi."* to mobilize a vigilant campaign for justice. Thus the vulnerability of the journalist w-grking in the Philippines provvaries. The risk is definiteiy greater for journalists working in the inces. The exposureof the j ournalist is greater in the smaller setting that characterizesthe provincial milieu. But clearly, journalists are not at greater risk than any of the other professionalsor workers who in the courseof their work happen to tangle gold with those whosepower is guaranteed by the use of guns, goonsand - or even just one of the three.

PJR SEPTEMBER 1ee1

I 17

,M:{

:f"'

ADEADLY BEAT FOR JOURNALISTS
By BOB DROGIN

great many peoplehad reasons A P. Toling, chiefreporter, editor to silenceNesino and publisher of

the Panguil Bay Monitor.
There is the governor who Toling accused of taking kickbacks. The general he said was protecting illegal loggers. The various mayors and local offrcialshe exposedofbribery, stealing public works equipment and using police cars to go to cockfrghts. Then there's the weaithy businessman Toling helpedjail as a"druglord." The religious cult leader he denouncedas a"great impostor-swindler." The high school principal he alleged pocketed student yearbookfunds. The policelieutenant he exposed of extorting money from 52 security guards. They were only a few of Toling's targets. For three years, the 41.yearold editor used his scrappy six-page weekly in western Mindanao to crusade against graff, corruption and human rights abuses by local military, government andbusiness leaders. Few escapehis ire. But Toling couldn't escapehis foes. He was shot in the head three months ago as he scribbled another drug-trafficking exposein his newspaper ofHce. So far, police have 21 possibie murder suspects.

"He created many enemies," explained Lt. Col. Credo Rubio, provincial head of the Philippine National Police. "So we have many motives to consider." If Toling's murder was no surprise, neither was it unusual. Sincedemocracy was restoredin 1986, 32 journalists have been reported killed in the Philippines. Scores more were beaten or threatened. Indeed, the New York-based Committee to ProtectJournalists saysmorejournalists were killed here in three ofthe last four years than in any other country. "Journalists are becoming an endangered species," Romeo del Castillo, former president of the Nationai PressClubin Manila, complainedrecently. "They're being picked off like chickens." The picking comes from all sides. Ten were killed by Communist rebels. Five were shot by antiCommunist vigilantes, or in right-wing coup attempts. Ten were victims of gangsters, gamblers and illegal loggers. Beyond that, like much in the Philippine press,exaggerationclouds the truth. At Ieast three died in disputes unrelated to their work. And several were not so much journalists as paid propagandists or corrupt radio commentators. "They're what we call AC-DC journalists," said

are becoming an endangered species'
Illustrations by LUDWIG ILIO

'Journalists

1991 18 I PJR SEPTEMBER

I
ti

Press -Many releases routinely ?Ppgar as news Manuel S. Satorre Jr., editor of Newstime, a daily follow-up. of the estimated 150 columnists in in Cebu province. "They attack and collect, then stories. seemto specialize in name-calling andcoffee Manila defend and collect." accuracy. is real enough, especially for shop gossip. Few appear to checkfor But the danger ?'T-irerets professional discipline," said M,eno nrovincial iournalists. In recent months, an angry lindp Quintos de Jesus, director of -t!. privately soldier foiced a reporter in Masbate to eat his for Media Freedom and Responsibilmorning paper. A Pampanga mayor's bodyguard funded Center in Manila. "Thatis obvious when you look how badly beal i radio reporter who- broadcast stories ity it is for someoneto get fired from one paper about local water pollution. And a south Cotabato common get hired the next day by another." police offrcer held a pistol to a DXKR radio an- and t"t l,.t"y Henares. Last Sept-Q,his popu!3r irouncer's head and foiced him to pray for his life on " the rke My DaY!" coluln "Make Mv Dav!" columnfor the Philippine Daily the air. almost line for line from a Los "Here in the provincial press, itjs normal to get Inquirer waicopied 'We are closer to the Lleles Times'Washington Post News Service feadeath threats," Satorre said. week before in the Interna' sources. Ifyou hit someonehere, they can hit You i""E o"Utished the tion Herald Tlibune, which circulateshere'. tional :"ATt"iu"ottier back"" Manila paper noted the plagiaorters political violence, repIn a society torn by Inquirer apologizedand suspendedthe the aren't the onlyvictims. But the perils of Philippine rism, growing pains of column. Henares was quickly hired by the Manila iournalism rLflect the unruly "d.*o.tu.y since President Corazon Aquino restored Standard but not before defiantly responding that Post writer Glenn Frankel's story full pressi'reedomafter 14years of heavy censorship Washington not "of literary value" and that he "had to and^brutal repression under the strongman Ferdi' was rearrange and improve his c-onvoluted prose." nand E. Marcos. rejoined the Inquirer last monfh. Today, the freewheeling Philippine media- 28 Henares Manila-based and 298 local newspapers,2S2radio stations and. 61 TV stations, at last count-- is Although standa,rds a,re orobablv the least rrestrictedand least inhibited in -called ASa. Critics, including Aquino, say it is also often improulng, Manila's so the least responsible. nitional papers still print rurrLors "Sometimes... the country we read about is not as fact did-specula'tianas truth this Philippines, but a terrible cursed land in an outlandish^ world created by the imagination of reporters and columnists," she told foreign correMore importantly, credibility is undercut by spondentslast October. ' journalism"- n46sd for the enveAquino went further in February, when she "envelopmental ofcash passed to reporters and editors. The becamethe first president to take the witness stand lopes piactice peak-ed under Marcos, who paid tens of in a libel suit. In two hours of bizarre televised st thousandi of dollars to friendly journalists, accordte stimony, she angrily denied newspaper.col-umni released in last year's federal trial l,uis nelitan's stunning claim that she "hid under ing to documents Marcos in New York. The practice is still the bed while the frring was going on" during a of-Imelda common. failed August 1987 couP attemPt. 'lVe don't do it, but almost every other beat has No oie disputes the denial. After reading going around," said Horacio Paredes, an Beltran's column, the furious president called re- money Aquino ipokesman. "The business beat is pretty porters into her bedroom to show that her platform Led hugs the floor. Aquino testifredthat the column lucrative." After offrcials unsuccessfully tried to deport made tLe commander-in-chieflooklike a"a coward" millionaire businessman William Tiu Gatchalian and insisted her goal was "to seek the truth'" Her August, for example, rumors flourished that suit, which seeks $144,300 in damages, is unre- Iast for reporteis and columnists soft-pedaled coverag-e solved. I-migration chief Andrea Domingo said she Beltran, a popular radio and TV talk show host, ca^sh. 28 reporters were "on his payroll" for has apologiredattd says he used a"figure ofspeech" "heard" that ($182) a month, or considerably more pesos a"a aian't intend to be taken literally. But his 5,000 reporters' monthly salaries. account helps explain how the media often operate than most Domingolays now she can't confirm the rur.nor here. to prove widely told tales of prominent Although standards are improving, Manila's so- Nor is it easy and editors being given condominiums, called nati6nal papers stili print rumors as fact and columnists -truth. expensive There is little digging, or cars, computers, trips abroad and other speculation as

t t,

PJR SEPTEMBER I 19 1991

gifts. Those reporters who go public on payola are often ostracized by their peers. Several papers and the National Press Club have promulgated ethics policies, but Teodoro Benigno, a respected columnist and former Agence France-Presse bureau chiel insisted payola remains "widespread, very widespread." The problem, he said, is partly low salaries, partly cultural. "It's very hard for journalists to be honestin a systemwhere so many are dishonest," he said. "Our politicians, our elite, are not exactly paragons of virtue." Virtue is relative in any case. While Americans debate whether the media should identify rape victims- as NBC News and the New York fimes did recently in the William Kennedy Smith casein Florida- TV news broadcasts here regularly name and show pictures ofrape victims. Gory close-upsof bloody bodies are a staple; one corpse shown recently had pencils sticking out of his many bullet holes, presumably to help viewers trace the trajectory. Radio, the most important medium, is equally lively. During the December 1989 coup attempt, stations filled the air waves with frenetic aroundthe-clock coverage. Some reports were dead wrong. Others were dangerously accurate. One station, for example, announced government troop positions, as well as the vehicles and weapons the used. The military complained that rebels adjusted their aim after hearing radio reports of where their artilery fire was landing. The government briefly closed two stations for sedition, including one that erroneouslyreported Aquino had fled the palace during the fighting. Such errors are rarely retracted. One reason, analysts here say, is that most TV and newspapers are privately owned by powerful families or consortiums less interested in public service than in promoting their own business and political interests. The cost is high since only one Manilabroadsheet, the Manila Bulletin, is known to make a profrt. Advertising and readership are just too small to support so many papers. "It's simple," said Joel Palacios, a former Reuters reporter who has studied ownership of the Manila press for the US Information Service. "The owners can afford to lose money. They're tax havens." For all that, Philippine journalism is improving. Onereasonis time: Many ofthe young reporters who cover Aquino, Congress and other critical beats were hired directly from schoolsin the frerce competition to open papers after 1986. Five years'on-thejob experiencehas helped. Also, the press increasingly is a watchdog on government. Recent media criticism led to the

lation of a controversial petrochemical complex, the firingof Cabinet secretariesand a rollback of gas price increases. And although Manila media rarely cover the provinces,they gave extensive onthe-scenecoverageto last month's eruption of Mt. Pinatubo and the resulting hardship. Hardship was daily fare for Toling, the owner and editor ofthe Panguil Bay Monitor. He had no computer, car or phone. Instead, he pounded an agrngtypewriter in a tiny, two-desk offrce.Then his wife, Virgie, took a three-hour boat and bus trip to the nearest printer. Three days later, she bundled the 3,500 issues and carried them back home. "Sometimeswe broke even," said his wife. "But a newspaper was his dream." Ignoring repeated death threats, Toling named "crocodile mayors," scored "unscrupulous contractors," and blasted corrupt customs and public works offrcials. His last editorial, titled "Graft and Corruption," focused on "lawmen working hand-in-hand with vice lords and criminal syndicates." Unlike his Manila colleagues,Toling published denials, corrections and rebuttals. More importantly, accordingto police Lt. Col. Rubio, "all of his exposesare true." At sunset on April 14, someone walked into Toling's office and fired five shots. Police have arrested a security guard but say he was a paid killer. Until they can find the mastermind, they have advised other localjournalists to carry guns. For now, Toling's widow keeps a .38-caliber pistol in her desk and has assumed her husband's roie as publisher. So far, she has accusedpolice of illegally selling ammunition, alleged bribery of prison offrcials and reported misuse of typhoon emergency funds and supplies. "It is very difficult," she said. "Sometimes I think I cannot go on. I am a medical technician, not a journalist. But whoever killed him thought he would be silenced. So I must continue his crusade. In fact, I'm looking for an editor even bolder than him."
(Reprinted from Los Angeles Times)

20 | PJR SEPTEMBER 1ee1l

MEDIADEATHS 1986to August 1991
I. NfIMBER OF JOURNALISTS (1986 to August 1991) YEAR 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 TOTAL KILLED

result of the ambush on former NPA leader Bernabe Buseayno. III. Job-Related *22 '._ 4 4 2 32 Yes No No details Unconfrrmed TOTAL

1. Ofthe 22casescategorizedasjob-related,6 of the victims were actively involved in anti-communist activities either in counter-propaganda or membershipin civilian security units. Theseare the cases of Palo; Maglalang; Palomares; Zagado; Miranda (of Davao City/Tagum) and Enriquez (of COMMENTS: 1. Ofall the 11 cases reportedin 1987,at least 7 Cebu). The caseof Sanchezwho was riding in the car were insurgency-related, 6 of which were perpe- 2. of Buscayno when the latter was ambushed was trated by the New People'sArmy. Of the 7 cases job-related. reported in 1990, at least 4 were due to coverageof considerednot graft and corruption or illegal gambling. Only 1 of ry. LOCATION the 3 casesreported in 1991 was job-related. II. MOTIVE 11 1 1 o 2 1 3 3 1 4 32 insurgency-related insurlency/or illegal gambling/or illegal loggingior human rights insurgency/personal graft & corruption illegal gambling illegal gambling/or personal personal right wing coup attempt Iocal issue No details TOTAL Davao (Davao City) D Davao del Norte (Tagum) 1 Metro Manila o Cebu (Cebu City) 2 Cagayan 2 r Iloilo (Iloilo City) 2 (Lucena City) 2 Quezon Laguna (Biflan/San Pablo) 2 North Cotabato (Cotabato City) 1 South Cotabato (General Santos City) I Lanao del Norte (Iligan City) 1 Pangasinan (Lingayen) 1 Oriental Mindoro 1 ldisamis Occidental (Ozamis) 1 Surigao del Norte (Surigao City) 1 Leyte (Tacloban City) 1 Cavite (Tagaytay City) 1 Isabela (Tumauini) 1 Bataan (Balanga) I TOTAL 32

No. Killed 2 11 6 3 7 3 32

COMMENTS:

COMMENTS: 1. Out of the total 28 journalists killed (minus 4 whose records are incomplete) 3 of the victims were killed for personal reasons/or for reasons UNRELATED to their occupationasjournalists. Theseare the casesdeemed as such considering the circumstances of their deaths/and the resulting advance status of their cases in court. Two other cases (Krueger; Ribano) may be personal in nature but due to lack of detailed information, were not given the category of personal. 2. Of the 11 insurgency-related cases, 10 were perpetratedby the NPA. The llth caseis that of TV cameraman Manuel Sanchezwho was killed as a

LUZON VISAYAS MINDANAO COMMENTS:

16 5 11

1. Of the 5 casesin Metro Manila, 3 were photojournalists killed while covering coup d etats (the 2 others were Sanchezand Pacala,whosecasehas no details). The absenceof pre-meditation would make

PJR SEPTEMBER 1991 I 21

the Metro Manila area the saftest. RADIO 9 2. All illegal gembling-related killings reported TVl were perpetrated in Luzon (3 cases). 1 UNKNOWN 3. Of the 11 casesin Mindanao, 6 were insurgencyTOTAL 32 related, 2 were reportedly due to graft and corruption (local incidents) while 3 are unknown for lack of COMMENT: details. 4. Of the 5 cases in the Visayan region, 2 were 1. 11 of the 13 victims working for radio were insurgency- related with the caseof Noblejas still a murderedwith carefulpre-meditationon the part of possible insurgency- related case. the perpetrators; only 7 of the 17 print mediaper-

sonswere killed with the samemalice.
V. MEDIUM PRINT PRINT/RADIO L7 4

VI. CONDITIONOF EMPLOYMENT
Reporters Publisher/editors Photojournalists Cameraman Radio Technician Columnist UNKNOWN Commentator TOTAL 9*(-1) 7*(-1) 4 1* 1 1* 8 1 32 (*-4 unrelated)

VII. UPDATE ON STATUS OF PROSECUTION Only 7 ongoing prosecutions have been monitored: 1. Enciso case filed/accusedpleads guilty 2. Mararac for decision 3. Basilisco suspected mastermind reportedly apprehended 4. Toling 3 hearings scheduledso far have all been reset for various reasons/ triggerman apprehended killer alleged confessed 5. Krueger under custody casefiled/accusedout on 6. Ribano bail 7. Lingan case filed/accused out on bail COMMENT: AII 3 cases categorized as PERSONAL have been solved early (less than a week). SOURCES: Philippine Media for Press Freedom National Press Club Manila Bulletin Interviews

(Compiled by DOLORES LL. AMOR, a correspondent for the Los Angeles Titnes.)
Illustration by BENJIE I.ONIOC

22

|

1ee1 PJR SEPTEMBER

Vicoy, Willie Mabasa, Pete Pacala, Virgilio Sanchez,Manuel Palo, Leo Zagado, Rudy Balani, Narciso Maglalang, Cesar Palomares,Ed Noblejas, Ramon Enriquez, Leo Castor, Martin Mcdonald, Robert Apolinario, Oscar Nava, JosefAldeguer Noli Resurreccion, Miranda, Manuel Ribano, Ricardo Manrique, Ruben R. Arcones, Severino De Vera, Cesario Telan, Eddie Mercado,Benito Lingan, Enrique Krueger, Joseph Katindig, Reynaldo Mararac, Frank Ladringan, Jean Abdullah, Mahaidin Ramoros,Jaime Toling, Nesino Basilisco,Candido Enciso,Nick

86-05-24 86-04-24 8787-06-08 87-08-27 87-08-27 87-08-27 87-48-27 87-08-27 87-r.0-05 8?-10-10 87-08-27 87-08-28 88 88-10-30 88-11017 88-03-26 88-06-22 88-08-12 89-10-17 89-11-23 89-12-01 90-01-05 90-02-04 90-02-07 90-05-15 90-07-10 90-07-08 90-07-09 90-12-25 91-04-14 91-05-01 91-05-26

Wire service* print print ielevision radio radio radio radio radio radio

Reuters Manila Bulletin Manila Hotline Isip Pinoy/Channel 13 ,DXRA/blocktimer 'w/ Leo Palo program DXRA staffer w/ Leo Paio program w/ Leo Palo program DYVL Kyodo News Service/ others Pilipino Ngayon Pacifi c Defense Reporter San Francisco Times Visayan Life Today DZMM/Balita Mindanao Scanner Feople's Journal Luzon TYibune DYFM/Radio Bombo DZEC Newsmaster Newsmaster QuezonTimes ? Northern Sierra Madre Express nWOWSunday Punch Southern Star DXCM DXIC Panguil Bay Monitor Philippine Buncher Manila Bulletin

photojournalist rePorter ? cameraman commentator by ?/employed Palo rafio technician ?/employedby Palo ?/employedby Palo . rePorter/announcer/ Prod.man. reporter/stringer photojournalist photojournalist ? publisher/editor reporterAocal correspondent publisher/editor reporterAocal correspondent publisher/editor repo$erlanchorman ; manager reporter/local corresPondent photojournalist photojournalist repofter

print/radio print
nri nf nrint

print prinUradio
nilnf

print
nrinf

radio radio
nrini nri nf

prinUradio , print print/radio print radio radio
nrinf nrinf

prinf
14 - May 26

publisher/editor reporter publisher/editor ? ? publisher/editor publisher/editor columnist

1990-1998 journalist fatalities 1.991-1993journalist fatalities from April Since 1986 - 31 (5 years)

THANKS,BUT NO THANKS?
"The only thing that makesattacks on neu)smen differeni is that they are alntost aluays imrnediately by p ublicized. otherjournalist s "' Daniio-Luis Mariano on 'The Aquino Bill,' The Manila Times, June 13, l99l A Senate bill, which otherwise intends to give legal safeguardsto newsmenagainstthe rising number of crimescommitied against them, has drawn curiousreactionsfrom its intended beneficiaries. The bill (No. 1822)seeksto amend the RevisedPenal Codeto include "bonafide members of the working ptess" among those belonging to "persons in authority." Being such, crimes and ,r*..r.tltrio*mitted against them while they are at work would merit gtaver and more severe penalties than those perpetrated

against "ordinar/ citizens. Already included in the category are judges, policemen lawyers and teachers, among others. PJR sources at the Senate Committee on Revision of Laws where the bill is pending said, to date, nearly all media groups consulted either have "deep reservations" on the bill or are "outrightly opposed"to it. While others expressed apprehension over who to excludr from the category "bonafide working press," others averred thr biil might "curtail press freedom." A legal offi cer of Sen.Agapito "Butz" Aquino, who filed the bil June this year, said still others fear that given such clout, medir practioners might be vulnerable to "wanton abuses or arr lhinklng somewhere along that line." In the bill, Aquino stressed such a move would first anr foremost serve as a "deterrent" to crimes against mediamen. The recent trend on crimes against mediamen, Aquino noted not only endangers their life and livelihood, "but more ilnpor tantly, the freedom of the press - a sacred and indispensabl right in a democracy." Perhaps, many more media practitioners would not object t

PJR SEPTEMBER 1ee1

| 23

Cagayan Cagayan Manila Manila Davao City Davao City Davao City Davao City ? Tacloban City Cebu City Manila Manila Surigao City Iloilo City San Pablo City Davao Norte, Tagum Lucena City Bataan, Balanga Iloilo City Binan, Laguna Manila Manila Lucena City Oriental Mindoro Isabela, T\rmauini Lingayen, Pangasinan General Santos City Cotobato City Iligan City Ozamis City Cebu City Tagaytay City

insurgency-ielated insurgency-related ? insurgency-related 2 insurgenry-related insurgency-related yes insurgency-related ? insurgency-related ,

yes yes ? no

?

i

i

i i
?

? insurgency/illegal gambling logging/humanrights ? yes yes ? yes yes ; yes yes yes yes yes yes ,) insurgency-related right wing coup attempt right wing coup attempt graft & corruption graft & corruption insurgency related insurgencyrelated or personal iliegal gambling insurgency-related illegal gambling right wing coup attempt right.wing coup attempt local lssue illegai gambling/or personal grudge graft & corruption personal/family feud graft & corruption ? ? graft & corruption personalAabor dispute personal/barangay dispute

i
;

i
case filed

i
?n ? casefiled,/accused on bail out allegedtriggerman under custody ? casefiled,/upfor decision ? ? casefiled/3 hearings re-set mastermind reportedly apprehended casefiled/accused pleadsguilty * Wire service - PRINT * COE (Condition of employment) * OTJ (On the job/or job related)

yes no yes yes no no

i

Interestingly, the Code originally iisted under the special categoryonly those"vestedwithjurisdiction by direct provision l?*, by electionor by appointment by compeLnt autirority" or 9f their respectiveagents. In 1973,the Code was amendedty a presidential decreeto cover teachersand lawyers as well. Forhis part, Aquino said the proposedinclusion mediamen of under the specialcategory is "justified by the people'sright to Mariano proceedsto qualify though that "turningjournalists rnlormatron_srnce practice the membersof the working press . in into a special class of citizens...isnot the remed/ihey them_ are generally the ones who actually seek and disseilinate selvesseekto their - and their feliow-citzens, groiving vulnera_ information on behalf of the peoplewho constitute the ultimate bility." authority in a democracy.,' Doing such, Mariano noted, would make journalists no less Mariano would rather seethings in a macro perspective, as uncomfortable. 'Many of them believe that the increased in crimes any,andall resolvedexpeditiously,prr.,i.h-"rrt. assauitson themselvesand their colleagues tnt o.r" aspectof' metedout i. swi{tly. Only then, he argued, will eveiytody feeisafe a generalbreakdownin Philippine sociJty,ofthe overall iise in at work. criminality and the cheapening of human life. "The dangersjournalists face everyday are the same dangers The assaults on newsmen, w-henviewed from one angle only, everybody else must deal with. We-are not special," Mariano may indeedappearincreasing. yet, the truth is the incidence6i wrote. violence done to doctors, lawyers, bankers, security guards, "But thanks just the same, Senator Aquino." stevedores,jeepn-ey Ea drivers an d people of all other occupations and trades has also been on the ris;."

the bill's noble intentions. Wrote Danilo-Luis Mariano in his June L3,l99l column'inthe Manila Times: "Senator Aquino,s bill se_eks-to provide newsmen with a cloak of legal protection -only from further attacks. As it appears to be the tangible responsethus far from,somebody- or anybody _in governnient, SB 1822 sure to be welcomed not a few Filipinojournalists.i is by

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