“And with the problem of a looming food security or crisis upon us, what we would like to know is how BBM is going to address it”
I am amazed how so-called special rapporteurs of the United Nations can be so stupid and ignorant on what’s happening in the Philippines and yet so quick to condemn alleged “crackdown” on press freedom. They are also misinformed on the law of libel.
I could not believe it when I read a report the United Nations special rapporteur Irene Kahn urged the Marcos administration to bring an end to a crackdown on press freedom and to stop criminalizing libel.
She took special attention to the case of the American “darling” of the Western Press, Maria Ressa, as an example, after the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a closure order on Maria Ressa’s Rappler for a violation of the 1987 Constitution where mass media is reserved 100 percent to Filipino ownership.
This, after the SEC found out that Omidyar Network bought what is called PCRs or Philippine Depository receipts and made it a donation to escape the fact that Rappler cannot issue PDRs.
The SEC found out that, more than the Filipino stockholders, Omidyar must be consulted first on important decisions, a clear violation of the 1987 Constitution.
Irene Khan, the special rapporteur of the UN on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression urged the Marcos administration to withdraw the charges against Ressa and Rappler and Rappler’s ex-researcher Reynaldo Santos.
The latter wrote a libelous article in connection with the Senate investigation on then Chief Justice Renato Corona, on his alleged violation of the Constitution, linking Chinese businessman William Teng to something anomalous with Corona and even calling Teng a “smuggler,” despite an attempt of Teng to have Rappler correct the article, which led him to file a libel case against Ressa, Santos and Rappler.
The Court of Appeals, reiterating its 2018 ruling finding Ressa and Rappler guilty of libel and the conviction of Ressa and Santos, in its latest ruling convicted Ressa and Santos to six years and six months jail.
This is how stupid and ignorant of the facts of the case against Ressa and the ex-researcher Santos Irene Kahn is, who called on President Marcos to take the opportunity “to bring an end to the crackdown on press freedom in the Philippines and to decriminalize the law on libel on journalists.”
She added resorting to libel “impedes public interest reporting and is incompatible with the right of freedom of expression, and adding that criminalizing the libel law has no place in a democracy like the Philippines.” Santa Banana, how stupid and ignorant of Phillippine law and the law of libel can she be.
As a veteran journalist, I cannot believe there are special UN rapporteurs like Khan who open their mouths without knowing the facts about Ressa, an American more than a Filipino and without knowing the facts about the law of libel.
My gulay, it seems the UN just opens its mouth through special rapporteurs like Khan, who needs to be educated to know why there are laws of libel in the Philippines, which protect the reputation of people from slander.
Clearly, Khan is typical of UN special rapporteurs who ask about things they are totally ignorant about.
Khan, who was appointed by the Human Rights Council, also expressed concern that the 2012 Cybercrime Prevention Act, signed into law by then President Noynoy Aquino on September 12, 2012, had been applied retroactively in the Ressa case.
But, the case against Ressa and ex-writer Reynaldo Santos were committed before the law on cybercrime was signed.
In other words, there was already a law of libel crime. The libel law under the revised Penal Code was already existing. The Cybercrime Law was enacted in response to the modernization of the laws on communication. Santa Banana, how stupid can the UN rapporteur get!
Ressa, who has become a “darling” of the American press, seems, as far as the West is concerned, to do no wrong.
She was one-time the cover of Time Magazine and soon became a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, defying Philippine laws and justice.
As a veteran journalist, I don’t see any crackdown on press freedom. My gulay, I’d be among the first to fight against any crackdown on press freedom.
But what concerns me is the stupidity of the Western Press which comments on something they are totally ignorant about.
The UN should fire Khan for commenting on something she is ignorant about and how she is displaying utter stupidity. With special rapporteurs like Khan, no wonder the UN is losing credibility.
If I sound mad at this stupid and idiotic statement coming from a UN special rapporteur, it is because, like the the rest of the Western Press, they make it appear that only Maria Ressa is fighting for press freedom and that the rest of us, even myself, are so submissive and cowardly when it comes to fighting for press freedom and the right to free expression.
In the first place, except when Martial Law was declared in 1972 when local media were closed down but resumed operations eventually, there has always been press freedom and the right for free expression in the Philippines.
It is for all these reasons why I call the demand of the UN special rapporteur urging President Marcos to end what she calls “crackdown” on the free press, taking as example the libel case against Ressa and the SEC closure orders on Rappler for violating the mandate of the 1987 Constitution that mass media should be 100 percent owned by Filipinos.
This coming Monday, July 25, President Marcos will give his first SONA or State of the Nation Address.
It would be interesting to know what really is the state of the nation from the new President’s point of view, since every Filipino, including myself, knows what is the state of the nation, with prices of almost everything going sky-high as a result of the domino effect of the of soaring prices of gasoline, diesel and petroleum.
Above all, every Filipino knows that with the COVID-19 pandemic still with us and escalating, everybody has his or her share of suffering.
And with the problem of a looming food security or crisis upon us, what we would like to know is how BBM is going to address it.
That’s why he took over the Department of Agriculture, fully aware of the biggest problem of food security and high prices affecting even public transport — the jeepneys, taxis, buses and airlines.
Next to high prices comes inflation, which happens when the circulation of money is faster than the movement of products and services.
That’s the reason why the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is raising interest rates to curb excess money supply that also makes the prices of food escalate as a result.
In the case of a food crisis, will BBM tell the nation how he can make the prices of rice more affordable knowing that rice production this year isn’t enough?
Will BBM resort to more rice importations and imports of other food like poultry, meat and fish?
Another problem that BBM will certainly raise is the looming energy crisis and what he intends to do about it.
Certainly, BBM will cite the nation’s victory at the arbitral court at The Hague in answer to China’s claim of almost all of the South China Sea, which includes the East Philippine Sea. where we also have our claims.
But, will China listen and more importantly, stop incursions into the WPS?
Another challenging problem of the nation are jobs and low wages. Will BBM give us hope that jobs will be available under him and higher wages will happen?
These are but the few problems that the people expect BBM to talk about in his SONA.