Iloilo lawyers vs. Tagalog broadcaster

By Alex P. Vidal

“For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.”—Margaret Heffernan

WE can’t blame the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Iloilo Chapter for denouncing a Tagalog broadcaster who attacked one of its members in the broadcaster’s Youtube program.

It’s a tit for tat.

You insulted our member, we are making the counterattack.

Because the Tagalog broadcaster used a media platform in his sally, it’s but proper for the Ilonggo lawyers to use the same platform to “return the favor.”

Nowadays the media battlefield has been modernized and largely ameliorated; and the joust is even: the aggrieved party can retaliate using the same apparatus and technology used to inflict the aggression.

The lawyer’s group may also file whatever case or cases it deems proper against the hard-hitting broadcaster, but the group can’t muzzle the fire-spewing media personality.

In a democratic state like the Philippines, freedom of speech and expression is better abused than curtailed.

That’s why we have the laws against slander and libel.

If you overstep, you’ll be in trouble under the legal system.

And the lawyers are in the better position to throw the books on the broadcaster known for his profane-laced language and sardonic style.




IF the Philippines, or any “small” country and territory for that matter, will be overran, God forbid, by internal enemies and the government will capitulate, no outside forces are supposed to interfere and wage war against the conquerors unless they violate the people’s basic rights and impose brutal rules that threaten to permanently destroy the country and endanger world peace.

Like what happened in Afghanistan.

And if some Filipinos who don’t want to stay and opt to flee will seek sanctuary in the United States and other free countries like what is happening in Kabul, they should be assisted and welcomed with open arms.

And if they can’t “escape” and are trapped in violence and hostilities, it will be the right time for the Big Brothers like the U.S and its European allies to employ and marshal their full diplomatic and economic resources to assist the beleaguered citizens.




But we are confident what happened in Kabul will not happen in Imperial Manila.

The left-wing enemy, the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army and the right wing agitators, the coup plotters and the Muslim secessionists, may not have the same power, reputation and influence to topple the duly-established government in the Philippines.

And unlike the president of Afghanistan, President Duterte may not flee to other countries and will probably fight to the finish because that is the kind of reputation he had inculcated in the minds of the voters who put him into office. “P_tang ina, papatayin ko kayo!” is the president’s most popular battlecry.

The U.S. and other Western Allies interfered heavily in Kabul because they wanted to “rescue” some American citizens and bring them out soon before the August 31 deadline imposed by the Taliban.

This will justify their “intervention” in the turmoil in Afghanistan.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two dailies in Iloilo)