WAR in Mindanao is not new. This issue has been tackled for years now. Usually, the news that we hear and read about Mindanao are those of bombings, wars and bloodshed. Who are we blaming? What names do we usually see leaping out on the front page?
Usually, Muslim names.
A new Senate Bill has been filed regarding the issue that the word "Muslim" should not be used in identifying criminals in all kinds of media may it be print, radio, or the internet.
The Senate Bill (SB) 1990 was filed by Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. who said that using the words is very discriminatory and degrading on the Muslims. He filed the bill to put an end to this.
As soon to be media practitioners, we are supporting this bill. This will not only uplift the dignity of the Muslims but it will also bridge the gap between the Muslims and Christians.
Senator Revilla said that if the bill will be passed, this can contribute to the harmonious relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims. This can also be a vital key in achieving the longed-for peace in Mindanao.
Being in the service of reaching out to the masses, we agree on practicing this measure. We should be sensitive on what we write.
Specific sanctions are included under the proposed bill. Violators can be imprisoned from one month and one day to six months and may fined P1,000-10,000.
We hold up to the SB 1990. This will help us and all the media to be disciplined and to be aware that our Muslim brothers and sisters are human like us.
Sunday Essays are compositions by third year Masscom students of Ateneo de Davao University for their journalism class. (Mae Marjorie E. Tabuclin)