Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reckless and Imprudent

Michael “Mike” Rogas, a fellow I know well, a resident of Brgy. Pag-Asa, San Jose and former student leader of our Alma Mater Occidental Mindoro National College (OMNC), is in hot water. Mike is currently employed as one of the announcers/reporters of Radio Mindanao Network (RMN)-Manila DZXL. He, together with other media personalities were recommended by the Incident Investigation and Review Committee or IIRC, the body assigned to review and investigate the bloody hostage-taking incident in Manila last August 23 this year. Justice Secretary Leila De Lima gave hint yesterday that Mike, along with his bosom buddy at RMN, the fearless Erwin Tulfo, and several other broadcasters may face charges of Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Multiple Homicide or the violation of Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code before a court of law. A case I thought before as exclusive only for drivers and motorists!

I had a short huddle with Mike when I met him at the San Jose Airport on September 6, the day before his first appearance at the IIRC investigation.

It cannot be denied that Mike is an accomplished homegrown broadcaster, for he made it to a prestigious radio network and became an anchorman to program with a nation-wide following. Mike indeed became one of the few people who hailed from Occidental Mindoro and became one of the prominent figures in Philippine broadcast industry. Especially after that incident at the Quirino Grandstand. Broadcasting for a Manila-based network is dream come true for every career-focused broadcaster from the provinces. And this is what separates Mike from the rest of our local broadcaster. He aimed high and willing to learn more. He took law and refined his skills risking his life and limb. He took lessons from his mentors and idols. He damned the risk as a reporter. He could not pass a day without a field report or a coverage. He was present at Oakwood and other events and even during the presidential campaign. He does not take for granted important things as far as his craft and career are concerned. He stand tall for what he believe is right.

But human as he is, Mike also have negative spots. Way back home, he is a known supporter of a politician. He even involved in an incident where he allegedly uttered foul and nasty words over a live radio broadcast against a political personality and his brother almost a year ago that ended with little mayhem in the radio booth. His mouth blows fire and not aimlessly. The other camp hated him very badly and they even accused him of financial opportunism. These are just few things in common about him and the rest of the local broadcasters that I know.

Going back to the IIRC recommendation, I do not believe that the journalists should be charged on the August 23 blood bath. According to a title of the blog post of lawyer-activist Harry Roque today, “Bad journalism is not a criminal conduct.” Roque even further cited, in commemoration of the Martial Law declaration, a Statement from Center for International Law which states : “Coming on the eve of the anniversary of the declaration of martial law by the despot Ferdinand Marcos, P-Noy must be reminded that without a free press, there would not be a public debate on public issues crucial to the functioning of a representative democracy. This was why as a precondition for the establishment of an authoritarian regime, then despot Marcos had to muzzle a free press.”

But the horror of reckless imprudence haunts every citizen in our own little way, even in normal occurrences of our lives. Many of us are morally guilty of this offense.

As media propagandists for a politician or for a cause, sometimes we are reckless, and sometimes we are imprudent. Or both…


(Photo from Dailylife.Com)

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