IT is unfortunate that Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile issued statements that we all know are not only misleading millennials but are also an attempt to rewrite history. The truth about what really happened during former president Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorship is covered by factual events, documentation and media reports that can stand scrutiny in any venue.
What is even appalling is that former senator Bongbong Marcos and Enrile put up a show that made a mockery of human rights violations made rampant during the Marcos dictatorship, adding insult to injury.
I now recognize the role of the media to tell the truth even if it has to be retold a thousand times. Those born in the ‘80s may not be aware of the “Martial Law years” during the Marcos regime. I was just reading the book “Speaking Freely” by Floyd Abrams which highlights trials of the First Amendment.
“The rights guaranteed by the First Amendment are among the fundamental touchstones of our democracy ... Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Precisely, marches, rallies and gatherings to commemorate the declaration of the 1972 Martial Law are to remind Filipinos of the evils of a dictatorial regime.
With the advent of “fake news,” news reports by mainstream media are either declared untrue or a misinformation, especially if some powerful personalities are exposed. Journalist David Border wrote, “The way we cover news is to dig for facts, in hopes that we will yield an approximation of truth even when the approximation is offered by the best of journalists, its value often transient and limited.” He however, qualified his statement that journalists should understand better than most the limits of their craft.
Walter Lippman on the other hand, observed that the press is no substitute for institutions ... “It is like the beam of a searchlight that moves restlessly about, bringing one episode and then another out of darkness into vision. Men cannot do the work of this world by this light alone.”
What Lippman is trying to underscore is the need for the involvement of citizens in seeking for the truth. It is a relief to see students join in the rallies making an effort to know and declare the truth.