Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dangerous Responsibility

Former Vice-Governor turned- broadcaster Atty. Crispin P. Perez, Jr. will be laid to rest come Saturday. In case you are not familiar with his case, please find it in the “Snap News of the Week” section of this blog in its left side bar. When the news on the killing erupted, various national media organizations immediately reported the incident, including the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists or CPJ, an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1981. CPJ promotes press freedom worldwide by defending the rights of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. You may click here for the specific report. Perez worked as a PR man of a politician, former politician himself and was a lawyer by profession.

Until now, police authorities and other investigating agencies are still clueless on the motive of the attack. The assailant is still at-large and unidentified. Only one thing is certain. Perez co-anchored a radio program over DWDO entitled “Sa Totoo Lang” (In Truthful Words) together with two other anchors who had been lambasting their former boss almost every morning since last week of May.

And the very vital question is this: “Was he killed because of his recent commentaries over the radio including other things related to the content or his manner of speaking in his radio program?” Let us give proper authorities an elbow room to do their job. It is mainly their job and not ours. We are just bystanders in the case. Temporarily, let us forget the Perez Case. What you will read below is in no way connected with it. So far…

I had been reading a book since Wednesday published by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists entitled “Staying Alive: A Safety Manual for Journalists” and published in 2006. These words (was it slogan?) caught my attention : “ Journalism is a dangerous profession. Responsibility can be our best protection.” The first catch word is “Dangerous”. Indeed it is a dangerous profession, especially if you are a media practitioner in the province. In May 2005, CPJ called the Philippines “the most murderous country” for journalists after analyzing more than 5 years of death records worldwide.

Now let us go to the second key word of the phrase: “Responsibility”. A responsible media practitioner observes media ethics. An American media scholar named Edmund Lambeth defines the ethical journalist as a “humane truth-seeker who seeks justice and protects freedom as a faithful steward of his craft”. His definition lists five guiding principles for ethical conduct in journalism. These are: Truth telling: Balance, collaboration; Justice: Fairness; Freedom : Autonomy of journalists from pressure; Humaneness : Compassion; Stewardship : We are caretakers of trust in the press.

From p. 13 of said book is written: “The emotional and heated language that is often used in the radio commentaries… makes broadcasters … prone to attack. What has been broadcast is passed on by word of mouth, and the reality is often exaggerated in the telling and retelling. Those who offended by the broadcasts react emotionally. They want to hit back.” But the mere act of being unethical cannot give anybody a license to harm or silence them. “But silencing a broadcaster is a crime against free speech. The murder of a journalist creates a climate of fear and intimidation. If journalists are intimidated and no one speaks out against abuse of power, communities become powerless against such abuses. Communities suffer even long after a journalist is slain.” Amen.

In parting allow me to quote the 11 point Code of Ethics put out in 1988 by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), the Philippine Press Institute and the National Press Club or NPC : “I shall conduct myself in public or while performing my duties as journalist in such manner as to maintain the dignity of my profession. When in doubt, decency should be my watchword.”

But how can our local journalists (I mean those journalistic practice are their bread and butter) maintain the dignity of their profession and decency if they are working for a politician or a political group and serving their ends? Indeed they are journalists, but for whom? …

(SSC File Photo. Me and my "Pintig.." co-anchors in action.)


  1. The article may or may not be viewed as separate from the Perez case, but in a way, his tragic death is now played as related to his being "broadcaster". I only knew him as a lawyer. I was too young to remember him being a vice-gov. or maybe I didnt care. His death now is viewed as a death of a "broadcaster" at least by many people including a lobbyist group from New York (high profile na), not considering that the man was a lawyer and had personal life that could have pulled the trigger (literally) that end his long career.
    Anyway, his death now is fast becoming a political circus...batuhan ng tae ang both sides.
    If the lady governor continue to grandstand on the death of her staunch ally, a bad picture is being painted (at least to the intellectual public). What we need now is justice for Crispin Perez not because of his political alliance, but because he was a man killed in cold blood. WE need justice for him, the same thing that we need justice from the politician that always cries "WOLF".
    Teka nga pala, ang lapit lang ng Police Station dun ah, nakatulog na naman?!

    kairos luther

  2. They are journalists of course for those who paid them...and they do not have the right to be called journalist, they are simply "BARKERS".

    kairos luther

  3. batiin mo naman ako sa radyo para maibsan ang boredom ko dito sa bangkok...


  4. If we take the logic of Mr. Luther, then the majority of the local journalists are actually "barkers" since the media outfit where they work are either owned by interest groups, and to alrger trend in provincial media outfits, by politicians. It is natural of course that media has bias/es, to its publisher and/or to its owner.

  5. Nasayang ang buhay ng isang mabuting tao..

  6. to Selbon, nasayang nga ba?.. I don't think so.. look what is happening now? His death was used to create people get mad for someone that his boss or allies gained from it.. well, nasayang nga siguro sa lohikong attorney cia na hindi nia makayang i-handle ang sarili niang kaso ngayon..the way that the story goes now, people are not that stupid to see the real motives despite of his un-justice death.. stop riding on the issue, stop using motival tactics, condemn those people who are not really true on their words..sinong kaaway nia imbestigahan! sinong nakikinabang sa pagkamatay nia? imbestigahan din!! at ang propesyon nia sana wag nmn kalimutan... He's a lawyer!

  7. alam ng lahat kung sino ang nakikinabang sa pagkamatay ni atty. perez, kawawang JTV walang kalaban laban lalaki kc sya at babaeng magaling mag drama ang kalaban talo agad ang lolo jose nyo!

  8. Sana mabigyan ng hustisya ang pagkamatay ni Atty. Perez. Paano na ang mahihirap na naapi wala nang pinakamahusay na abogado at pang masang abogado. Maraming nalungkot bakit ginawa sa kanya ito? Hindi kasi mahirap lapitan si atty. perez nakapabait at di ka maiilang na kausap lahat ng itatanong mo ay sasagutin. Isasama ko sya sa dasal ko sana mabigyan na sya hustisya at makunsensya kung sino man pumatay.

  9. Just want to clarify some certain ussues with regards to the brutal killing of Atty. Perez Jr. Hindi maikakaila na si Atty. Perez ay abogado ng magsasaka. Mula ng maging board member ng 2 terms at maging vice-governor,hindi sya nangurakot or nagsamntala sa mga mahihirap. isang patunay ang ekonomiyang katayuan sa buhay ni Atty. Perez na kung san mula ng pagkabata ko ay hindi man lng nk-bili ng sarili nyang bahay at kung titingnan ay hindi masasabing maganda dahil sa luma at walang kolorete sa loob at labas. Nung isa sa mga araw na nk-burol si Atty. Perez ay dun mismo sa sala kung san sya nk-burol ay may ilan akong napansin na parte ng bahay na basa ang sahig.ang akala ko nga ay may natapon na tubig. nung inusisa ko kung bakit may basa,dun ko natanto na may mga tumutulo pala sa bubong na sanhi ng basang sahig. Dun ko napatunayan kung anong klaseng buhay meron si Atty. Perez. Gusto ko lang Itama ang paratang na isang PR Man ng isang politiko si Atty. Perez. May mga issues na tinitalakay si Atty. Perez na hindi pabor sa ibang kampo na ang nagtatamasa ay ibang politiko lang din.(kapag ganun ba ang tema ay,PR man ka ng isang politiko?)maging mapanuri sna tayo.Hindi kaila sa mga magsasaka na buong buhay ni Atty.Perez ay INILAAN nya sa mahihirap.Isang kongkretong batatayan ay ang mga natulungan nya sa mga magsasakang may problema sa lupa na kung saan ay ako mismo ang saksi na hindi NANININGIL ng bayad si Atty. Perez. andyan na ang binibigay ay mga gulay,manok na native,bigas at kung ano lang makayanan ng mahihirap nyang kliyente.Kusang loob ang binibigay ng mga kliyente nya.Minsan pa nga ay sya ang nahihiya.Maraming pinapag-aral si Atty.Perez na kakarihan ay hindi nya mamag-anak.Andyan ang kapit-bahay nyang sina Vergel na hindi na kayang pag-aralin ng mga magulang at sya na ang umako ng responsibilidad. Kung magbabalik tanaw sa kanyang buhay nung nag-aaral pa sya sa kolehiyo,nagbenta sila ng isa nyang kapatid na lalaki ng isang kaban ng darak pra lang mk-luwas ng maynila.Itinaguyod nla ang kanilang pag-aaral sa anyo ng pagbebenta ng dyaryo,pagsha-shine ng sapatos sa Quiapo at pagpunta sa mga lamayan na hindi nla kamag-anak pra man lang mkpag-hapunan ng "LIbre" at panaka-nakang pagtulong ng ilang kamag-anak. Ganun ang naging buhay ni Atty. Perez at un din marahil ang naging salalayan nya kung bakit hindi nya pinagkakitaan ang mga kasong hinahawakan nya lalo na kung magsasaka at mahirap.Isa pa dyan ang pagkk-panalo nya sa lupa na kinatitirikan ng mga skwater sa Simlong,Batangas na inangkin ng Robinson. Marangal na tao si Atty. Perez. Wag naman sana natin dungisan ang kanyang pangalan na iningatan nya ng ilang panahon. Biktima rin sya ng maruming pulitika ng Occidental Mindoro na kung saan ay ilang politiko ang nakikinabang sa pagsisiwalat nya ng mga ISSUES na lubos na makaka-apekto sa mga mamamayan ng Occ.Mindoro. hindi lamang katarungan pra kay Atty.Perez ang hinihingi ng mga naiwan nya bagkus "Hustisya pra sa lahat" ng mga biktima ng brutal na pagpaslang dulot ng pansariling interes ng ilang ganid sa posisyong mga politiko. JUSTICE for Atty. Crispin Perez Jr.!

  10. Kanta para kay Atty.Perez
    ( Title: Awit sa Bayani )

    Nilisan mo man itong daigdig
    tinig mo'y patuloy na maririnig
    lulan ng mga himig mong alay
    na lipos ng pag-ibig

    Pag-ibig sa bayang sayo'y nagluwal
    at sa magsasakang labis mong minahal
    tulad mo ay di malilimot
    habang kami ay narito

    Marami pang dapat imulat kasama
    lipuna'y puno ng problema
    sa paghinto ng tibok ng puso mo
    kami ang magpapatuloy

    Tulad mo ay di malilimot
    habang kami ay narito…

  11. Hindi kailanman maikukubli ng isang krimen ang tunay na kalagayan ng Occidental Mindoro. Maaaring pinatahimik ka nila sa paraan ng pagpatay ngunit ang mga paglaban at pagkuha ng hustisya sa lahat ng mamamayan ng Occidental Mindoro ay hindi nila kayang kitilin. Pinatay man nila ang pisikal mong katawan,pro hinding-hindi ang mga Adhika,Pangarap at Layunin mong i-angat ang kabuhayan ng mamamayan ng Mindoro. Hangga't ang alaala mo ay buhay at ang diwang mapag-laban ay nananaig sa puso ng mga taga-Mindoro,hindi nila napatay ang mga sinimulan mo! Panahon na upang maninidigan pra sa mga Karapatan,Interes at Kagalingan ng mga mamamayan ng Occidental Mindoro! Katarungan pra kay ATTY. CRISPIN PEREZ JR.!

  12. Marami pang tulad mo ang uusbong at magpapatuloy ng laban hangga't ang hustisya ay para lang sa mayayaman! Mabuhay Ka!

  13. masyado na silang obious, bakit hindi nalang hintayin ang kalalabasan ng kaso, panapanahon lang yan,