Elements of Change: The People, the Media, and the Government

The realization that the Philippines is quickly changing occurred to me when my online reading habits shifted ever since Duterte was elected as President; whether those changes are good or bad, I couldn’t honestly tell.

One thing’s for sure. Going online everyday has increased my awareness on what is happening in our country, and it makes me feel proactive with the help of my social media accounts and my blog by sharing my insights on the things that others may or may not agree with.

I was really trying to make sense of everything that is happening, and at the same time, assuring myself that there is no way that it would affect me, my family, or my community in a negative way. Nothing too disturbing has happened around my area, and I am continuously hoping that nothing bad will happen.

With the awareness that every news outlet and the social media has given me, I feel prepared for whatever it is that could get in the way of the hopefully positive change that the country is trying to achieve. However, with this increased awareness, I was also struck with disgust, disappointment, and fear.

Having an online presence, as I have mentioned before is really difficult, I get how personal insights could stimulate others’ insights and their willingness to share that. What disgusts me is the way these insights are delivered.

“If you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all,” is an overused phrase that never seemed to have caught up with a lot of people. Having a negative opinion is okay, but sharing an insight in a blatantly uneducated and insulting manner is something that most Filipinos should prevent themselves from doing.

Indeed, the way we share our insights have changed, there used to be a balance between the senseless and intelligent public opinion, but this time, the senseless have completely dominated those that would actually qualify as insights.

The biggest sources of my awareness are the news outlets that cover the events without being biased and one-sided as much as possible. However, there are some news outlets that fail to focus on the real issue, and would instead color their news articles, and most importantly, their headlines with unnecessary information which could cause confusion, and sometimes, fallacy in public opinion.

I have talked about the root of my disgust, so the role of the media, some of them just to be fair in the change that the Philippines is going through, is disappointing for me. As someone who has a degree that focuses mainly on journalism, some of the people who represent the media in our country have failed me and my expectations with the field, and – as far as I know – its own standards.

A recap before I proceed with the final topic at hand in this write-up: the root of my disgust in these changes comes from the people, and the root of my disappointment in these changes comes from the media. So what is the root of my fear? The Government.

Duterte’s war on drugs is extraordinary, but in my opinion, it has gone out of hand, and I believe everybody involved with it should take responsibility.

I have heard a lot of drug-related killings and murders that have occurred since the Government’s war on drugs started, and most of them are apparently not going through an investigation for the sole reason that they are drug-related.

I fear for not only for my own and my family’s safety, but for all the other innocent people whose lives could be claimed in cold blood, and have their memory besmirched by a cardboard that claims that they’re drug pushers or users.

That brings me to my next point: How to get away with murder in the Philippines? Just have a cardboard and a marker ready.

While the government’s war on drugs has its pros, it definitely has its cons, and it could get worse if the Government does nothing to really control it.

I was going to write this article to give myself answers, but I have nothing but uncertainty about where these changes in our country would lead us. Do you?

Every Monday, I’ll be posting write-ups and opinion about issues that will tickle your fancy. Got any questions or any issues that you want me to write about? Click here.

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