A sign of the times under President Benigno Aquino III

From Day One, Filipinos have looked for ways to catch President Aquino’s and his team’s attention whenever they f—k their jobs and whenever they needed to be reminded about their solemn duties and the promises they made during the campaign.

Everytime the public would raise a howl over some grave mistake or omission, the routine answer from Malacanang has been to point fingers at the trust and confidence ratings of the President and the electoral mandate he enjoyed. Even social media, which the President and his team promised would be used for gathering feedback from the public, had been grossly violated. Each time netizens take to the President’s Facebook Page to give the President a piece of their mind, Palace factotums just suddenly get afflicted with an irrational allergy — they shut down the Page for comments. Of course, we cannot forget how the Palace just snatched the Facebook Page from the ordinary citizens which set it up and administered it until it reached millions of Likes. That in itself was an offense.

Enter Noynoying.

Referring to extrajudicial killings and the killing of journalists in the Philippines in his July, 2010 State of the Nation Address, President Benigno Aquino III declared that his administration would “hold murderers accountable.”

Despite that pledge, six journalists have been killed since then, or a total of ten since the Ampatuan Massacre of November 23, 2009 claimed the lives of 58 men and women, of whom 32 were journalists and media workers.

President Aquino has yet to check and challenge the culture of impunity in the Philippines: Six journalists and scores of activists have been killed since he took his oath as president..

In addition to the killings that have continued in the Aquino administration, a number of community journalists have also been threatened, sued for libel on the flimsiest grounds, barred from attending interviews and press conferences, and physically assaulted. In a recent incident, unidentified persons also burned a Catholic Church-owned radio station in Occidental Mindoro. All are indicative of a state of mind among those who want to silence the press that could, in the present circumstances, lead to murder.