Attempted censorship

(We yield this space to the statement of LODI or the Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity – Arts and Media Alliance due to its timeliness. – Ed.)

PHILIPPINE National Police chief Oscar Albayalde and Local Government secretary Eduardo Año should resign their posts and apply as TV scriptwriters for ”Ang Probinsyano” or any other television program they wish to write scripts for.

But while Albayalde and Año occupy positions of power, they should know their proper place and obligation: To defend the constitutional right to free expression, even when it is deemed inconvenient or critical.

We stand solidly against any cheap attempt by the chiefs of the PNP and DILG to wrongfully use their power to censor creative output on the flimsiest of reasons.

All Filipinos should take notice of what’s happening. The attempted censorship of “Ang Probinsyano” could be a trial balloon for future attempts to crack down on media and the arts, just because the fictional story headlined by Cardo Dalisay is different from what the powers-that-be wants us to believe.

Both Albayalde and Año claim that “Ang Probinsyano” demoralizes the ranks of policemen. They should look for a mirror. If there’s anyone who demoralizes law enforcers, it is the regime that presides over an orgy of extrajudicial killings.

In the remote instance that they choose to resign, Albayalde and Ano would surely flunk the application process for scriptwriters. Head writers and producers nationwide cannot easily forget the laughable “Red October” fiction they foisted on the nation just recently. This is the same PNP chief and the same DILG chief who shamelessly explained that Imelda Marcos cannot be arrested and detained after she was convicted for seven counts of graft. Elsewhere, they order the immediate arrest of poor and sick senior citizens tagged either as drug addicts or communist leaders.

Albayalde should understand that “to serve and protect” doesn’t refer to himself or to the president. It refers to the Filipino people, including their artists and journalists.


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