Welcome remarks at the book launching of Jose Ma. Sison’s books

In behalf of co-sponsors Aklat ng Bayan Inc., Anak Pawis Party List, the All UP Academic Employees Union, CONTEND-UP and the Defend Sison Committee, I would like to welcome all of you to the launch of Jose Ma. Sison’s US Terrorism and War in the Philippines and the Pilipino version of Jose Ma. Sison and Juliet de Lima’s Politika at Ekonomya ng Pilipinas.

This launch is occurring nine days before the visit of US President George W. Bush to the Philippines, and on the same date when informal peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front have resumed in Oslo, Norway.

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Journalist and teacher

Dean Armando J. Malay, who was a journalist for over 40 years, and who died last week at the age of 89, was one of the pioneering faculty members at the College of Mass Communication, then Institute of Mass Communication (IMC), of the University of the Philippines. In his May 16 to 18 wake at U.P., his former students, many of them now editors in the country’s leading newspapers, recalled how, together with the late Hernando J. Abaya and IP Soliongco, he shaped their development as journalists.

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Forgetting, or Not Knowing: Media and Martial Law

A farmer in Agoo, La Union, standing in front of the Marcos monument, reads about it the following day in a newspaper carrying the headlines “Marcos Flees.”

I didn’t quite now how to do this paper. The martial law period is a personal matter to me. It is not only because I was imprisoned for seven months, from October 1972 to May 1973. It is also because of the many people I knew, some of them among the brightest and best sons and daughters of the Filipino people — students and poets, artists and doctors, teachers and lawyers, journalists and farmers, workers and small businessmen, nuns and priests, and plain citizens of their generation — who lost their lives, were separated from their loved ones, or suffered torture and other indignities during that brutal period.

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People’s issues and investigative journalism

My assignment this afternoon is investigative journalism and people’s issues. Everyone of us here knows what the standards of investigative journalism are, and are familiar with that form. I think what we need is a framework from which to appreciate what it can do for this country. I will therefore start with a review of journalism’s role in society, and more specifically its responsibility, or what I think should be its responsibility, in a society like ours–or to be more precise, in a society in perpetual crisis, where the most fundamental issues of governance, social justice and sovereignty have been begging for solutions for centuries. From there I hope I can go on to the subject assigned to me this afternoon.

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