Intensive care

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RENATO CORONA was in intensive care as of this writing after supposedly suffering last Tuesday a hypoglycemic attack which, coincidentally I’m sure, came right after his three-hour “opening statement” at the Senate impeachment court. His confinement for observation on his doctors’ orders was also preemptive, hypoglycemia being, so say those worthies, a possible prelude to a heart attack.

It has been argued – and not only over the social media networks, but also among certain lawyers’ groups – that Corona wasn’t going to testify in the sense of documenting his counter claims and providing evidence more convincing than innuendo, hearsay and a letter from his own daughter, much less submit to questioning by the prosecutors and even the senator-judges, and that, therefore, he staged the whole thing.

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A relic of martial law

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THE Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) was created by Ferdinand Marcos through Presidential Decree 1986 in 1985. It replaced the Board of Review for Motion Pictures and Television, which Marcos had reorganized out of the old Board of Censors for Motion Pictures.

There were seven justifications mentioned in the PD for the creation of the MTRCB, among them the claimed need to undertake “remedial measures” to prevent the economic collapse of the movie and television industries. A regulatory body, the PD also declared, should not be limited to reviewing and censoring films or television programs, but must also work to improve the movie and television industries “as one source of fueling the national economy.”

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Hyping it

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WAS THAT airport incident in which a columnist (Ramon Tulfo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer) got into a scuffle with an actor (Raymart Santiago), his actress-wife (Claudine Barretto), and their friends when he took videos of Ms. Barretto with his cellphone, and ended up the worse for it, an assault on press freedom?

The argument in favor says that Mr. Tulfo had a right to take photos and videos of a public figure in a public venue. The group’s supposedly ganging up on him constituted suppression of that right– which, it has also been argued, Tulfo was exercising in fulfillment of his duty as a journalist.

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Abused and unused

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JOURNALISTS’ and media advocacy groups marked World Press Freedom Day on May 3 (yesterday in Manila) this year as in the past years. But as if by agreement, they avoided the word “celebrated,” echoing a National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) statement marking the occasion in 2010 that “there is nothing to celebrate,” among other reasons because 32 journalists and media workers had been killed on November 23, 2009 in Maguindanao in what is now known as the Ampatuan Massacre.

NUJP did hold its usual “media jam” this year, during which, however, the gaiety was in constant danger of being overwhelmed by the uncertainties of the decade, specially the past two and a half years.

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