While a lot of Filipino people joined the rally at Quirino grandstand on September 26, 2015 to urge the Davao City mayor to run for presidency, most of the major broadcasting television, radio, and print media pay less attention to this historical event. It is interesting to quote that the said rally marked a new history in the Philippine politics thus people who were aware of it expected a full media coverage; apparently the hope to create noise as much as possible were in vain. The Filipino masses then started to question the integrity of the major and leading news network in the country. Who wouldn’t? If you compare it to other politicians showing interest in the office, a full coverage is actually given, putting them on the spot. Where had the fair and equal news reporting gone?
It is disgusting that as early as today; we have politicians who are barefacedly and prematurely campaigning for the next election when the campaign period has not officially started yet. To add insult to injury, these big networks are supporting this flagrant act.
Media played a great role in shaping the modern history of the Philippines. It is the best channel to reach out to people to all walks of life, thus become the trusted outlet to voice the outcry of the masses, and significant events in the country. But what had become of our broadcast media today? The once voice became silent. The once eyes that see became blind. The once ears that hear became deaf. Surely by doing this they’re earning as what business should be, but at what expense?
We’ve list down some of the perceived reasons why the rally to encourage Duterte to run for the office received less media attention. Tell us if you agree.
- No money involved. The rally was big but was attended by people driven by their interest to encourage the Davao mayor to run. No “suhulan” No millions of budget intended.
- Big networks supporting their own politicians. It is a big shame that when one insignificant event arises which involved Roxas, Binay, Poe, and others it automatically received full media coverage no matter how none sense the issues are. And we can only wonder why. If they had covered the rally for Duterte surely it will offend the politician they’re supporting. And financially, it will surely be a big deal.
- Not ready for radical change. While they promote change and equality to the government, they also blindly set the psyche that Filipinos are not ready for change yet. What would become of the Philippine oligarchs should changes take place? What would happen to the businessmen or and their alliances should congress be abolished? The Philippine constitution has its own flaws which are being used by big men to their favor. What would happen to them should the Revolutionary type of government pushes? What would happen to the metropolis should Federal type of government rule the country? We are very much aware that business tycoons have hands in media, and private companies which were once owned by the Philippine government. So what will happen to them should Duterte win the office and execute his plans of getting back the once government owned businesses from the private corporations?
- Stereotyping. The sad truth in our country is while we fight for equal rights under the constitution, we still have people who looked down their fellow Filipino from the south. The mentality that currently exists in the country where people from the south provinces is inferior compared from the north is sadly still present, thus with least confidence that someone from the south can bring change in this country. Who can blame them when after all these years the media had been showing wrong information about Mindanao and its people? And so, major networks put least importance to the said event. They do not believe that someone like Duterte from the south can bring good things in the country.
- Black Propaganda. What really happened on September 26 was a news blackout. Why? As we previously mentioned media played a great role in setting the psyche of the country in choosing the next man in the office. If the media had a full coverage of the event, Filipinos of every corner of the archipelago will have a clear grasp and understanding of who Duterte is, and why a lot of Filipino are asking for him to run. By controlling the broadcast of the media, they’re also controlling the awareness for change in every Filipino.
As they said control the media, and you control the people; control the people, and you control the country. Control the country and you’ll keep the money, thus corrupt power remains. Now while we call for change, what do we do to make that happen? Do we just complain? Do we just rant about events we do not have control? No. In this era when media is being controlled by few power seekers and corrupt individuals, the least we can do is to promote awareness. The change that we are looking for does not depend on whoever is on the office, but to within us. We need a strong willed leader, but we must be ready to be lead with such strong hands. It is true that democracy brought us to where we are now, but where are we really now? What have we become and this country after too much democracy? Saan nga ba tayo dinala ng sobrang demokrasya? We must be ready to be disciplined. Awareness for the need to change is not enough. We must act, and embrace it not just in the beginning but until the end. Change is never easy but we must keep the momentum. The question is “if not now, when?”