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November 29, 2007



"There were reports that the journalists could be charged with obstruction of justice for refusing to heed police warnings to leave the Manila Peninsula."

Journalists also need to obey the law!

I don't understand that the police and military didn't clear the whole (outside)neighborhood of the Manila Peninsula.

But I agree that the curfew is overkill but then we don't know if there are other risks (manifestations, other military linked to Trillanes etc.)


I think the uprising was a lot more astute than just a silly stunt. By occupying a five-star international hotel, rather than, say, City Hall, a couple of dozen guys hijacked the international media. The siege ran almost non-stop on BBC World news and CNN, and topped their hourly bulletins right through the evening. By achieving this, the rebels turned the global spotlight back on the Philippines and on the stench that surrounds the Arroyo regime. It probably won't lead anywhere, but, all the same, I suspect Trillanes thinks it was a pretty good day's work.


I dunno Cogs, still seems like a stunt to me, a publicity stunt.

In the long term I think this will fatally damage Trillanes’s credibility. He was elected senator last May for a number of reasons, but mainly because he was a protest candidate who seemed at least seemed to stand for an issue—ending corruption in the military. His base was mainly masa I am sure, but I know several middle-class Filipinos who voted Trillanes to register their disgust at the two main blocks. I might well have voted for him myself if I was registered, but I’d be regretting it this morning.

Yesterday’s self-aggrandizing nonsense put Trillanes firmly in the ranks of the classic Philippine nutters like Gringo and Bedol. We are stuck with him for his senate term but after that I think he’s set for a fade out.

Hi Sidney – Do “laws” govern such situations or “understandings”? If the army felt the journalists were too intrusive and getting in their way (and I can well believe that) it would have been far more effective if the authorities had spoken with Maria Ressa and told her that her people were out of order. Handcuffing journalists is the act of a despot.


"Handcuffing journalists is the act of a despot."

I agree but some of those journalists were not covering the event anymore... they took part in the event.
When a journalist said to Trillanes: "Sir, you are on air. Speak to the "people" he is giving a "terrorist" a forum and a voice.

Bottom line those journalists made it difficult for the police and the military to do their jobs. They put lives in danger.
If someone would have been killed, who would be blamed? The media?

If it took the military five hours to solve the case it is exclusively because of the media. If the journalists had obeyed the orders to leave the Pen Hotel it would have been over in no time.

Again, journalists should COVER an event NOT participate in an event. This is a big difference.

I just got the impression they wanted to make it juicy... and indeed they turned the whole event into a circus...
(Remember the hostage taking of children in a bus last year).

As of those handcuffs... it was as ridiculous as the whole event... those journalists really enjoyed to be seen as martyrs.
I have no pity for them and they are a shame for serious media people.

 lloyd banks

Sidney, illegal or not it's in the best interest of government to appear to adhere to the constitution by not arresting journalists, even if those journalists are sensationalist and unprofessional.



Those are good comments and I remember the British government in the 1990s deciding that the reason the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland were still going on was because of "the oxygen of publicity". However, their attempt to muzzle the press was as unsuccessful as GMA's will be. We live in a media-dominated world and, to a certain extent, it is virtually impossible to stop media types from becoming participants in the stories they cover.

The question to Trillanes seems legitimate to me, after all what was this nutcase doing it for? The overly deferential language used when asking a mutineer for a comment could be criticized of course, but this is the Philippines ...

On the other hand, although the media have a duty to report the news that is surely less important than saving lives, so if reporters stopped the military from doing its job or put lives in danger that is wrong, no argument from me on that score.

Still, i agree with Lloyd that it would be better for the government and main news channels to get together to thrash out a code of conduct for future dramas (and alas they will come) rather than the coercive approach adopted last night.


Torn, I can agree with that. There should be a code of conduct for future dramas. But I am afraid we can't expect one...


I heard that a rebel soldier escaped because they pretended to be journalists. Showing how their refusal to clear the area really hindered things. Sorry, the don't arrest journalists argument doesn't fly for me here. Many of the media men at the Pen got carried away and became part of the event and totally obstructed it's resolution. Throw those self important twits in the slammer. For LONGER Than the three hours they stayed in jail. Drama queens.


Hi Carlos -- I can well believe that some journalists overstepped the necessarily hazy border between reporting a story and becoming part of it. If so that's wrong, although this is not an excluively Philippine issue.

My criticism was of the appropriateness of the response. Filling a bus with arrested mediamen is (at the very least) heavy handed and has a strong symbolic meaning, especially in a country not known for protecting journalists' rights (e.g., the often quoted statistic that more journalists are killed here than in any other country apart from Iraq).

There have to be better ways of determining the acceptable bounds of journalists' behaviour in such crises and let's hope one emerges from this current mess.

Ian Alvarez

The hero of the seige is non other than Ces Orena Drilon who reported with ANC, TFC, CNNI and Al Jazeerah English together with Maria Ressa.

I agree with what the government did with the destabilizers. It would have been better if they were killed. We do not need people whose aim is only to drag our country down. Trillanes, Lim and the politicking bishops and running priest should be jailed or better given a death penalty. That way, people will be disciplined and would not do the Trillanes acts.

I am sick and tired of irresponsible journalism, politicking bishops and priest, adventurism in the military. They should be disciplined para tumahimik naman ang ating bayan!

Lloyd Banks

Carlos: "I heard that a rebel soldier escaped because they pretended to be journalists."

An intelligent army using common sense would seek the escaping, disguised mutineer, maybe put a bounty on him later to realize his arrest.

Impinging on the constitutional rights of ordinary citizens (the journalists you so hate) against UNLAWFUL ARREST just to catch one mutineer is OA. Just as Trillanes is OA. Just as you are so OA.



The media got what they deseved. They got in the way of the military operation. They are given ample time to leave the hotel and they refused to leave. I believe that the media lost thei objectivity in this incident. No one is above the law.

Lloyd Banks

And Drama Queens you say? Have you been in a jail for reals?

Our jails are notorious for cramming in 20 people in an area no bigger than 4 meters by 4 meters. They are a repository of infections, from boils to all manners of skin diseases.

Have you heard the report that says the European Union's standards for keeping swine in pig pens is much higher than the conditions that Philippine prisoners, who are human beings, experience in cells.

I wouldn't last 5 minutes in a Philippine jail. Now would you Carlos?

journalism student

well you cannot blame the journalists who have passion for news reporting that's the way it always been here in philippines. a journalist wouldn't be complete without any shot, wounds, bruises even in jail wouldn't stop them. so you see how big courage they have


to TORN -- nice comment torn, but one thing i don't agree with you,it is when you say that the media who told trillanes "Sir, you are on air. Speak to the "people" --you concluded that these media man is giving the terrorist a forum and a voice.of course torn it was Trillanes who's the center of attraction or attention of all media even the army and the people monitoring the event on T.V and radio. it was not the army nor the media itself was the hot issue on that day in manila pen. so it must be Trillanes should the media will give an oppurtunity to speak first. but we're not putting away the side of the government, mayamaya na muna sila. thats all Torn. nice comment!!!

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