I’d hate to admit, but even as I try my best to not delve into political commentary, the situation everyday compels me to write about what is on my mind. This random image I took yesterday of the National Press Club’s compound from behind a barbed wire fence further convinced me that I should start writing seriously again.
It’s alarming that even in this day and age, after all we have gone through as a nation, people who opt to project power continue to do so with utter disregard for the most basic of rights that an individual is entitled to. They make no distinction whether you are poor or middle class, and most particularly not when you are with the press.
Extra-judicial killings, whether allegedly state-sponsored or perpetrated by criminal organizations, are on the rise. Freedom of expression is slowly and methodically being culled. Misinformation, as we see it now, is the new norm. Hordes of trolls have taken over social media, and the truth has taken a back seat and is bent according to the will of the horde’s puppet masters. Those who are bold enough to disagree with the horde are overpowered by their sheer numbers, effectively silencing them.
And this is not something that is happening only locally, it is turning into a global trend. This journalist was harrassed and arrested for covering the protests at Standing Rock in North Dakota.
On top of this, violence against journalists continue, according to the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, of the 827 documented killings of journalists over the past ten years, only 8 percent of these have been held to account. These attacks include the 58 murders committed by the Ampatuan clan in Maguindanao in 2009, which to this day, is still the single, most deadliest event for journalists in history.
I walk the gritty streets of Manila everyday, and this is what I get from the people around. Unfortunately, the majority of the folk that I run into and interact with has this false and negative connotation of ‘human rights’. They cringe at the very mention of the term, as if, as if it were a hurdle instead of an effective safeguard to keep our society civil and peaceful. This false concept of human rights and this horde mentality to misinform is being used by these puppet masters and the masses are taking it all in, hook, line and sinker.
God Bless us all.