NOW A ‘FOE’ OF DEMOCRACY
NOW A ‘FOE’
By BERTENI “TOTO” CATALUÑA CAUSING
|LTO chief Virgie|
Lest before Land Transportation Office Virgie Torres pursueth her 19 September 2011 “Order” directing the reporters to banish from her queen-dom she does not own, she must know her act has made her as another “foe” of democracy.
This order of the shooting buddy of President P-Noy is no less than an act to suppress press freedom as insisted to by members and officers of LTO Tri-Media group, including its president Angie dela Cruz.
Virgie must be lectured that press freedom is not something that can be bought over the counter when pleasing and thrown to the garbage when displeasing.
She must be lectured that there is such a thing as Section 4, Article III of the Constitution, the highest law of the land, and this edict commands all government officials, including her and the President, not to make any law or rule or policy that may affect the free flow of information from any office in the government to the people who look at journalists as more reliable in the game of telling truth than the public men.
This Basic Tenet orders her: “MAKE NO LAW TO ABRIDGE PRESS FREEDOM.”
With this, she must be educated enough to understand the meaning of this.
To put it more explicit, she must understand press freedom is the touchstone of democracy.
The liberty of the press is indispensable in any democratic society or any government that proclaims itself as by the people, for the people, and of the people.
LTO cannot do any act that may hamper the flow of the pieces of information that are valid as interest of the public because these are the lifeblood of the country and its people. Hide these and she would see revolts coming from citizens: Virgie should know this story happening all over again in the Philippines and elsewhere.
Virgie cannot issue any order that affects how reporters do their job of gathering news because that is A PRIOR RESTRAINT many times hammered to pieces with angst by the Supreme Court.
However good the intention, she cannot order the journalists covering her office to vacate from the press office that has been established and respected by many of her predecessors, even the most corrupt amongst them.
Her justification that the press office will be utilized by the LTO in the furtherance of its ISO system cannot outweigh the much bigger responsibility and progress press freedom brings to the country.
Is Virgie hiding many things? If she cannot drive out Stradcom that has acquired a piece of lot inside LTO compound, why tell the reporters to banish?
It could have been otherwise if she talked it out with the journalists who are for sure responsible and responsive and offer them another place in exchange it could have been nice.
Lest, she must know:
Press freedom is like a great river that when prevented from flowing the water will rise, crash down like a slam, and kill all in its riotous paths.
TAKE BACK THAT ORDER, VIRGIE!