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PIA Press Release
2010/12/03

PNoy highlights role of media as sentinel of democracy

Tacloban City (December 3) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III stressed the active role of media in protecting the well-being of the people.

President Aquino made the statement speaking at the silver anniversary of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the launching of the commemorative book entitled "From Ninoy to Noynoy: 25 years of the Philippine Daily Inquirer" on December 1, at the Makati Shangrila in Makati City.

"There is no doubt that media plays an active role in guarding our freedoms and making the powerful accountable," the President said, stressing that when our institutions were weak, "the media put truth to power for the well-being of our citizenry."

The President underscored that media does not operate in a vacuum or was it not immune from the pressures heaped by influential people in the government, he urged all journalists and broadcasters to watch their own ranks and condemn their colleagues who try to exert a corrupt influence on the government.

He also asked the assistance of media to help the government in maintaining the highest form of professionalism, integrity, and truth-telling.

"Together, it is vital for us to raise the level of public discourse so that important issues are distinguished from vulgar personalities and trivial stories," he added.

Quoting his late father and icon of people power, Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., the President said that "a free media is indispensable if a democracy is to function efficiently, if it is to be real. The people, who are sovereign, must be adequately informed all the time."

The President acknowledged the contribution of Inquirer for igniting and catalyzing professionalism through its fair reporting and exposes against the government, having started before martial rule and continuing to the present.

He assured the men and women of the country's leading broadsheet that his government is not after fame but to protect the meaning of democracy which the Filipino people had recovered from 20 years of dictatorial rule of former President Ferdinand R. Marcos.

"This is the path the Filipino people have committed to, and we all have a role to play in defending it," he said and admitted that he will personally proudly claim and inform his late parents, Senator Ninoy and former President Corazon Aquino, if his administration succeeds in defending democracy during his term which would be ending in 2016. (PIA 8) [top]

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