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Opinion

BBM’s administration and media

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT - Atty. Ruphil Bañoc - The Freeman

Whoever sits in Malacañang, the role of media will never change.

Media will continue to be the watchdog of our society. It will see to it that the right of the people to information will be upheld at all costs. Media is not a political party; therefore, it is not beholden to politicians. It has no obligation to toe the line.

Moreover, media has no obligation to speak for and on behalf of government. Government has its own communication arm that has the obligation of conveying the vision and accomplishments of a certain administration.

It must also be stressed that it is not the duty of media to play the role of the opposition in a democratic set-up.

In short, the role of media is to do what it has always been doing or ought to be doing: To report things as they happen, not how they must happen, and to commend the government officials for a job well done and to criticize them should they violate the sacredness of their oath of office.

This fair treatment should also be accorded to the incoming administration of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Again, the election is over. The Filipinos have spoken already. So despite of the background of the Marcos Family, this time we will give BBM the chance to perform the task that the people have put on his shoulders.

It is too early to judge his administration. It is reasonable to give him the chance to put flesh into his vision for the country. They say that the presidency is a lonely job.

Many consider the first year of any administration as a honeymoon period, the time within which we tend to stretch our patience and give the one steering the ship of government the benefit of the doubt.

However, should BBM commit one blunder after the other, it is the duty not just of media, but of any citizen as well, to call him out. We cannot subordinate the interest of the people to our loyalty to politicians. We cannot afford to fall into such blind loyalty.

One may recall that on many occasions I commended President Rody Duterte for every good thing he did for the country. However, I did not hesitate to point out to him through my radio broadcast and this column the evil that was behind e-sabong. To do otherwise was to turn a blind eye to the destruction it caused on many individuals and families. What comes with the role of media to inform is its role to educate. It is not always easy.

We do not know if in the future there will be efforts to resurrect e-sabong. All I know is that we cannot lower our guard.

And speaking of not lowering our guard, I urge the opposition to continue playing its role. It is plain as day that in a democracy, when the principle of checks and balances is properly observed, society is better served.

MEDIA

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