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Philippine Government & Constitution

Group 1
Joan M. Posilero Graziella Mari A. Dimaunahan Charismae R. Ugalino

Topic: The Role of Media Title: Media on the Manila Hostage Taking Description: In light of the fact that media is one of the most overrated aspect in the developing society, the researchers aim to give their attention on the ways of media and how it violated the constitution in the event of the Manila Hostage Taking. It was said that the media telecasts live footage of the said incident and brought brimming information to all viewers nationwide and even worldwide. Considered as a great error, the researchers made this study to point out how the media has delivered the news by delving into the news about the happenings during the said event and during the investigation provided by the Philippine government. With the purpose of highlighting the inaccuracy of the media in their decision to telecast overflowing information, in relation to the Constitution, the researchers have come up with some objectives. Their objectives, together with the problem, mainly concerns the interrelationship of media to the government and its role in the society, the connection if the Manila hostage taking, to the constitution, and the effects of the offhand result from the media during the incident.

In order to meet their objectives and answer the problem, the researchers look through the provisions from the Constitution of 1987, under Article III Sections 4 and 7. It covers the freedom of the press and the right of people to information. They also referred to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, which states the roles of the media seeking the truth, minimizing harm and acting independently. In addition for more clear evidence, they looked up from the Manila Bulletin Website under the article President implies media coverage only helped hostage-taker by Genalyn Kabiling.

Question: Did the media do their job properly during the Manila hostage taking (Quirino Grandstand Hostage Taking) event without exceeding to their given limitations? Objectives: 1. To identify the relation of media to the government and society; 2. To discern the real role of media ; 3. To relate the said mistake in the incident with the countrys constitution; 4. To distinguish the advantages and disadvantages of media in regards to information delivery; and 5. To carefully evaluate the effects of media in such cases/situations. Background of the Study: Media has been a part of our daily lives especially in the modern days, where living is considered more sophisticated. As we listen to the radio, watch television, read articles in magazines and newspapers, and surf the Internet, media continues to play its role to the society not only for the satisfaction of our entertainment, but also for the delivery of information throughout the whole nation, and even the whole world.

The medias role is to acquire pieces of information that gains the mass concern and delivers this said information to the society in an instructive way. A very likely example would be the current events, information that may pique our interest or something that may influence our views in our lives, as a human being, as an individual, as a family, or as a nation whether positively or negatively. The media grabbed much of our attention because of its huge influence to the public and its daily contributions in our everyday life. In this study, we, the researchers aim to asses the medias role through our countrys well-known incident the Manila Hostage Taking, also known as Quirino Grandstand Hostage Taking, as well as its effect and influence on our nation. The most current and well- known tragedy that befell to us Filipinos, in the stake our name, is the Manila Hostage Taking done by Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza, a dismissed PNP officer, with a motive of regaining his job, the latter not having a fair trial. The media, during the hostage took place, considered it like normal news. But when the time it was taking too long for the hostage to be resolved, they became very intricate to the news, until some television stations have full coverage on the happenings. Some have three live telecast cameras, and one station even had the privilege to talk to the hostage taker. The media has been blamed of revealing too much information about the crisis during its drama. One instance would be the obstruction of the hostage negotiations by a blamed reporter. According to Article III Section 4, No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. It can be further explained that the government has no power over the press in how they operate on bringing the news to the public. In a press conference issued by the president, he said that the government had not given a blackout to the coverage of the hostage taking mainly for the reason of them being liable in the eye of the Constitution. Its a very acceptable proposition, yet as far as safety and security of the hostages are concerned, it should have been thought of over again, since it is also their obligation to protect the people.

On the other hand, Article III Section 7, The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. According to this, the citizens have the right to receive information to the current events happening to the government, the nation and the world. Such information that should be released to the public should not bring harm to the parties involved. As the hostage taking is concerned, the hostage taker apparently has seen the live coverage of the media because of the on-board TV in the bus. As we have seen in the news, the media shows the squadron form of the police/SWAT in order to stop the event. This clearly shows that too much information can be destructive as well. In the mentioned case, reporters overdid their job. According to the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists, the press should minimize harm in relation to violence and discomfort. During the crisis, the live coverage of the hostage taker had shown much; exposing such scenes to their viewers, especially to the youth. Not only this, the media also interrupted the confidentiality of the special-weapons-and-tactics (SWAT) units operation. They were revealing too much information to the public that might also be accessible of Mendoza. Other wrong doings of the media have been discussed thoroughly in court. Three TV stations have been seized for investigation of their actions. Even if their job is to deliver the news to the public swiftly and informative, a slight change should be done by each media to ensure the safety, security and success of the mission of the police officers.

Body of Discussion All throughout, the world has not existed without information and communication, thus the appearance of a medium for this information gathered to enlighten more individuals of events everywhere on the globe. Media. A word that we always encounter on our daily lives whether or

not we know. Television, radio, computers and many more, they are tasked to entertain, to educate, and to inform the nation. It is described, generally, as a various means of communication and can also be referred to as a collective noun for the press or news reporting agencies. Our sophisticated world today always involves the media throughout our lives. As time goes by, we, people of our country, the Philippines, are beginning to be more and more active to our democratic state; being able to fight for our rights, being able to speak our minds, we are depending more and more on media to update ourselves to the events happening to the whole country, the whole world. Our government, stated in the constitution (Preamble), is a group of people assigned to be the one implementing the rules made by the people themselves. Their connection to the media is visibly seen and heard. The government moves, the media follows. Of course the media has the right (Article III section 4) to announce to the public the happenings and movements of our government. Their relationship can be described as libertarian, a type of theory of the relationship on media and the government, where we can say that the press is free from any obscenities and/ or blockages of the government. We, the civilians of the Philippines, the so-called society, known makers of the basis of all laws passed, one rumored and had been proven true to have more power than the government, are involved with the media just as much as the government is. Our right, (Article III section 7) to public information has had the media do everything in their power, so long as its legal (SPJ Code of Ethics), to make sure the information gathered is delivered to the people by the news. Their relationship, we can consider to be influential since as the media delivers the news, their opinions, as citizens, are seen as well. With the way the news is delivered and with all its precise content can have a change each of our opinions, of our beliefs to the addressing problem of the nation. With each relationship shown we can summarize the role of mass media as part of the backbone of democracy. They are to impart to the nation political information, to recognize problems of our society and can become the means for reflection on them, and to serve as

watchdogs for the wrong doings of powerful persons. Issues concerning these roles kept articulating there incapability of fulfilling them. A great tragedy that started at the Quirino Grandstand on the 23 rd of August, 2010 had tainted the names of not only the incapability of the dire protectors of this country but the name of the Philippines as a whole. The perpetrator is known as Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza, a former high-ranking police officer that demands that he be reinstated with benefits to his former position. TV stations reported about the incident bit by bit by flash reports until the hostage crisis dragged on. At the time of the 6 o clock news, the media has already live reporters on the scene. A reporter on one of the TV stations has been said to have called the hostage taker by his own phone and have been talking to him since then until the high point of the crisis. Out of the 25 hostages, 9 were freed, 1 escaped, 6 are slightly injured and 8 were killed.