Campus journalist registers people’s call to scrap VFA – CEGP

NOVEMBER 17, 2011

PRESS RELEASE

 

Reference:
Pauline Gidget Estella

National Deputy Secretary General
0915.335.2021
 

Campus journalist registers people’s call to scrap VFA – CEGP

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) commends Marjohara Tucay, current editor in chief of its member publication Philippine Collegian, for registering the call to scrap the lopsided Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) in the forum with visiting US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

“More than just reporting on the events, a journalist has to make a stand based on a critical analysis of the issue. A measure of a good journalist is when he or she knows all sides well enough to form a sound judgment. Like Tucay, the people knew well enough that the VFA has only been a tool for the US to encroach on Philippine sovereignty,” said Pauline Gidget Estella, national deputy secretary general of CEGP.

“It was an action that transcended advocacy journalism. And in fact, this is what campus journalists should do. We must take part in the people’s struggle for our own rights because journalists should not be isolated from the society they claim to serve,” said Estella.

The VFA, for a long time, has allowed the overstaying of US troops in Philippine territory, making a part of the country a huge military base. Despite numerous cases of rape and human rights violations, the MDT, which gave birth to VFA in 1998, still has not been scrapped, said Estella.

The current administration, just like the previous administrations, appears to have no political will to scrap VFA and frustrate the superpower, Estella added.

“Some people described Tucay’s action as rude, while in other reports it was reduced to a mere disruption. Those were a perversion of a brave statement of indignation. These people gasp in horror of what they deem as a callous act, but turn a blind eye on how US has breached national sovereignty through VFA and supported the charter change to further profit on the country’s cheap labor and resources,” said Estella.

“At any point in time, a government that cannot stand for its people is a thousand times worse than ‘disrupting’ a forum. This disruption, in fact, is not a bad thing, because it was just a journalist telling the US Secretary of State the truth in her face,” said Estella. ###

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