All across the globe, more and more governments are becoming Big Brother-ish over the Internet. China is probably the model that they aspire to, what with Beijing’s unprecedented and omnipotent censorship mechanism that is often called the Great Firewall of China.
But you know what? At least in China — as a friend pointed out to me recently — the people are aware of what might invite their government’s ire. There is in the realm of public discourse an area that is off limits, and the Chinese know full well where it is. In other words, the Chinese government is up-front about what they allow and what they don’t vis-à-vis free speech.
Beijing doesn’t want to be criticized. Other than that, you can go about your business and be auspicious.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t approve of a repressive government, and my opposite numbers in China are still fighting the good fight for freedom.
What I’m trying to say is, I feel that the Philippines is in interesting times, as the Chinese would say. Many members of congress are as trapo as ever, and the executive department remains inutile in setting them straight. The sitting president doesn’t inspire in me full confidence that we are on the straight path to meaningful national development. Nasa daang matuwid ba talaga tayo? Aquino’s government is becoming increasingly vague about its real stand on freedom and human rights. Any move forward in economic development that is accompanied by a move backward in terms of human rights abuses is not meaningful development.
- The Freedom of Information Act is still wallowing in the dust. President Aquino promised, during his campaign, that his administration would prioritize FOI. But no such luck for the Filipino people.
- The Data Privacy Act of 2012 (RA10173): while some argue that it is a good law, others lament its possible misuse as a means for corrupt politicians to not disclose evidence against them. Aquino signed this into law recently as well.
- The RH Bill… Need I say more?
- As of presstime, Aquino himself has not said anything in public about the Cybercrime Prevention Act, while his communications staff in Malacañang are issuing confused messages as to why the measure was signed into law when it obviously contained unconstitutional provisions.
Where is the Aquino administration headed with RA10175? What other questionable measures might crop up in the near future?
Don’t you find it rather odd that, as a candidate, Aquino declared he would not be a dictator? Why would a presidential candidate in a democracy that’s already four presidents removed from the Marcos era say such a thing?