Mindanao Times

News of the hour


IF YOU read newspapers, you read news stories that will choke you, and most often will spoil your good day.

If you watch TV, local, national and internatio­nal, you drown with news stories you do not want to watch. You wish, these gruesome events did not happen.

Truth is, I really have enough of them in this lifetime. But news is part of our life. Good or bad, news colors our life.

Hongkong is news. It has all the elements of news. Prominence. Timeliness. Relevance. Spectacle. Drama. Struggle. Impact. Any news bureau will cover Hongkong.

But is it good news? Truth is, there is no good news or bad news. News is news, good or bad. Anything that goes against the tide is news.

If newspapers or TV carry only the so called good stories, you can be sure that the political and business leaders are abusing their powers. If we see only the good, this means the bad is eating silently at the fiber of our society.

During the Marcos dictatorsh­ip we focused only on the good and the beautiful. The corruption was hidden from us as most corrupt officials do. The oppression and torture of political activists were not in the news, and what did we have: numerous opposition leaders, human rights advocates disappeare­d.

I still believe in democracy, in a Republican state where people can express themselves freely. The right of free expression should be protected. That is why our forefather­s kept that in the constituti­on: no law shall be passed abridging our freedom to express ourselves freely... etc..

For democracy to thrive the press must be free. I heard from my lawyerfrie­nds who said - I may not agree with what you said, but I will defend to death your right to say it. Let a hundred ideas bloom, a leader once said.

Do you know that even the Catholic Church has a team of brilliant minds and experts to act as Devil’s Advocates? A doctrine of the Church will go through them, and they will scrutinize it, find fault in the document so that that doctrine is perfect when the Pope issues it.

Our laws filed in congress must be like that. No railroadin­g. So in this way the law best serves the interest (supposedly) of the people. President Magsaysay once said ‘those who have less in life should have more in law.’ Any lawyer will tell you that is not how laws should be.

So if I hear divergent ideas in a forum, I listen to both and ponder on their thoughts and implicatio­ns. I decide on what is best for my country and community. If I lose, then I accept it with humility. Those who wins surely has the interest of our country. I should not insist. That is democracy.

Hongkong people who protest for their democratic principles will be protected. I followed the news emanating from that place. Exciting. News at its best. Pro and Con.

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