Let’s talk about my right to reply. My right to reply is also his right and also their right.
Press freedom advocates don’t need to get alarmed on this.
1. Right to reply is still a bill, not yet a law.
2. President Arroyo already told the public that she will not sign the bill into law. (So good Senators and Congressmen, why should you bother to deliberate it? Darn!). Nagpalapad sa iyang papel.
3. Senators Mar Roxas, Legarda, and Escudero already told the public that they will back out their support to the bill. (Because they consider the number of votes that will be affected in 2010. Darn!) Ang mundo ay napapaligiran ng balimbing.
4. Many are opposing the bill because they simply want to oppose and because they understand.
5. If the bill gets approved and becomes law, it only gives right to reply not an obligation to reply. So it doesn’t eats up much space and airtime.
6. The major problem if the bill becomes law is the difficulties of writing replies. Will there be new breed of writers called Reply Writers? Most likely they will come from the press/media bench. Another career to look up too? Darn!
The essence of Right to Reply is mentioned in both SB 2150 and HB 3306 which reads:
All persons natural or juridical who are accused directly or indirectly of committing, having committed, or of intending to commit any crime or offense defined by law; or are criticized by innuendo, suggestion or rumor for any lapse in behavior in public or private life shall have the right to reply to charges or criticisms published or printed in newspapers, magazines, newsletters or publications circulated commercially or for free, or aired or broadcast over radio, television, websites, or through any electronic device.
I don’t think the bill will curtail the freedom of the press. The bill just attempt to be fair to those who have no license to write and voice out on air. Isn’t the Philippine press already enjoy too much freedom? But isn’t the freedom we give to them are also being abused by some?
If the argument on the right to reply being abused is used as reference, can we not also look into some abuse of some writers and broadcasters?
To be fair, give them both the rights. Then let them abuse it if they want to. Let be the readers and listeners and viewers weigh things.
I heard several broadcasters talking about near to impossible scenario when the bill becomes law. I laugh out loud in silence because what I heard was called yellow.