Wake Up, Philippines!

‘Media should regulate selves’–CHR

Posted in Censorship, Constitutional Rights, Legislation, Media by Erineus on February 27, 2009

MANILA, Philippines — The controversial right of reply bill pending could be an “undue intrusion” into the rights of media, Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Leila de Lima said on Thursday.

Instead of passing a bill that would require media outfits to publish the reply of parties offended by reports or commentaries, lawmakers said the media should be allowed to “self regulate.”

“I always believe that it should be self-regulation by media, no legislation is needed. Self-regulation is the best tack,” De Lima said at a press conference in Camp Crame.

But De Lima refused to provide more details of the CHR’s stand on the issue, saying they will be releasing an official statement on the matter soon.

Media organizations and outfits on Monday launched a campaign against the passage of the bill, calling it an “act of terrorism against the media” and a violation of the Constitution.

The Senate passed its version of the measure, principally authored by Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr., last year, while House Bill 3306 filed by Bacolod Representative Monico Puentevella is pending in the lower chamber.

Both bills seek to require that media publish or air the reply of a party offended by a news story in the same space and with the same prominence as the offending story and carry sanction, including hefty fines and, in the House version, jail time, for those who fail to comply.

For his part, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Jesus Verzosa said they respect the code of ethics practiced by the media.

“But also we must have to consider also the wisdom that is being forwarded by our legislators as to why they came up with that proposed bill for the right of reply, so we will wait for the outcome of the processing of the proposed bill of the right of reply,” he said.

By Abigail Kwok
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 17:06:00 02/26/2009

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