Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Chief Justice: "Fried by Media"

Or "tried", either works, as it is consistent with the pro-Corona complaints of late that the Chief Justice is being tried in the media instead of the courtroom.

Ok, let's dig into this a little.

First of all, if the Chief Justice is being tried in the media, how come I am coming away with the impression that the prosecuting attorneys are a bunch of stumblebums who could not cite or abide by legal guidelines if those guidelines were etch-a-sketched into their crania? Indeed, they may end up being principals to acquittal. And how come I see these Senators like Santiago doing all they can do to taint the prosecution's case?

Now, if the case were held behind closed doors, I would not be receiving these messages. Nor would any of us catch our representatives (like the esteemed Ms. Santiago, again) off on a bizarre rant as if she were the queen of hearts and the rest of us were jacks and Joses beneath her dignity, to be axed at her whim. Nor would we see the wisdom of that icon of Philippine dignity, Senator Enrile, expertly tread the line between the law and the gamesmanship that Senators and attorneys are inclined to like. Nor would we see the defense in the capable hands of the best attorneys money can buy in the Philippines.

What, exactly, are these people complaining about? They are whiners, I would estimate, clearly Filipino, practicing the art of denying responsibility for any untoward event. As if we were supposed to accept without objecttion anything the defense proposed or said.

If there were a Nobel prize for excuse-making, the first awardee, and maybe the first 100, would be Filipino. And these pro-Corona people deserve nomination first.

Oh, I know, they are complaining because the Inquirer is owned by someone in the Aquino family. They are complaining, I guess, that media in the Philippines are not diversified, and there are no countervailing opinions available in the Star, or ABS-CBN, or the Manila Star Gazette Herald Tribune. They are ALL anti-Corona! That whole armload of newspapers the vendors in the median strips of the Manila highways are peddling are anti-Corona, and were from the getgo!

It is just so unfair!

They are complaining because poor old (I don't use the term loosely) Benigno and Ilda can't carry the load all by themselves to report the truth of the matter, that Mr. Corona is being railroaded, and the rest of us are idiots. And they have the double burden of carrying Mrs. Arroyo's baggage, too, as she resides in house arrest, I guess put there by GMA-5 and the state television channel all the other slanted media of the Philippines.

I tell you, this idea of democracy is a bummer. We should let the pro-Corona totalitarians run things. They have better ideas than the rest of us. Are more connected to the truth. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason that Mr. Corona has a trust rating of, what, 11% according to Pulse Asia, while Mr. Aquino's is 64%. Then, the nerve of those rating agencies to screw up and report that Mr. Aquino's ratings are DOWN from last month. The Aquino family must not be paying them enough.

In less sarcastic terms, my impression is that Philippine media are wonderfully diverse. I've thought that since I arrived on scene in 2005. I've been impressed with the variety of print media in particular. I've read articles on about every different point of view on just about any major subject. I've even had a couple of my letters to the editors published when I disagreed with a commentary.

I do agree that Philippine media are much like sharks. They like blood in the water. Or blood on the screen in the form of the latest murder victim or crash victim or drowning victim. Sensationalism may indeed be thrusting Mr. Corona headlong where he does not want to be, on the front page, or lead story. He would prefer to be where his dollar accounts are, hidden from public view and not available for inspection.

 How sweet that would be.

Not exactly the transparency the rest of us would like to see, but sweet for him. Not exactly free press, prized by most of the civilized world. But, what the hey . . .

Say! I have an idea for the complainers.

Do something constructive. Work with your powerful colleagues and get new media regulations passed. Create a communications agency like the FCC in the States and give up on this unregulated model that has the media policing themselves.  Demand that concentrations of media ownership be broken up. Work for diversification of media, as a law, as a principle. Stop this incessant whining , the 115th dialect of the Philippines and soon to supplant Tagalog as the primary language hereabouts.

And while you are working on new media regulations, how about getting the regulator to cut the number of commercials a TV station is allowed to insert in a taped Pacquiao fight. And have them ban the cranking up of volume during commercials. Those things really irritate me.


Appreciate it.


  1. Joe, I'm no expert on Phil. Media but here's a suggestion:

    For the next Pacman fight, go get Pay Per View. No commercials. Painless and whine-free suggestion. :)

    As for the whining, I think it's a job for some. Let them be. :)

    1. ah, brianitus, I ignore most, and am teaching my young son all the tricks of the trade. The opening line of any conversation where he is criticized is "its not my fault", then make up an excuse.

  2. *Wits

    If Benigno and Ilda will run the Philippines same way they run GRP, I think a lot of journalists will be "silenced". There are a lot of meaty and genuinely awakening arguments that did not see the light of day err print.

    And they loathe "one-man rule". Shame.

    1. Yes, their definition of free speech certainly has a totalitarian ring to it.

    2. If the marriage of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos was called "The Conjugal Dictatorship," then the marriage of benign0 and ilda can be called "The Conjugal Stupidity."

    3. Anonymous,

      Maybe the "Conjugal Hypocrisy"....


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