THE Aquino administration says it’s for press freedom, freedom of expression and freedom of information. It’s supposedly part of its commitment to transparency and the straight and narrow path (tuwid na daan) of governance. Since 2011, however, both its actions and inaction have been speaking louder than its words.
Shortly after Mr. Aquino came to power in 2010, there was some hope that, because of his election promise to respect press freedom and to protect human rights, he would address the urgent need to speed up the trial of the accused planners and implementers of the November 23, 2009 Ampatuan Massacre. Representatives of the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists (FFFJ) coalition met with Mr. Aquino’s subordinates in the Department of Justice and the Presidential Communications Operations Office to discuss what the administration could do not only to speed up the trial if that was possible, but also to make sure that the killers of journalists would be prosecuted.