By Amado P. Macasaet
Chairman, Philippine Press Intitute
The Philippine Press Institute, the national organization of newspapers, condemns the arrest of news-media practitioners on November 29, 2007.
Patently unconstitutional and carried out with such impunity that the innocent captives were treated like common criminals, cuffed, ordered to raise their hands in surrender, and bussed to the country’s most notorious camp, Bagong Diwa, in Bicutan, the arrest was an unprecedented assault on press freedom and on the even more critical democratic right it is meant to guarantee – the people’s right to know. Indeed, it was an assault on democracy itself and fitted into a pattern of intimidation and repression by the Gloria Arroyo regime.
The institute demands an immediate institution of accountability and of earnest and credible measures that will ensure the outrage is not repeated.
All the same, the Institute calls upon all journalists to resist any attempts to prevent them from doing their constitutional duty as watchdog on the powers that be – they owe it to the people. #