Law on Mass Media and Communication 4th Exercise. Bonus. Due Sept. 25, 2019 at 5pm

        In order to show the importance of the right of access to information on matters of public concern, illustrate the use of information gathered from any of the following:

      1)“official records, … documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions” or records and documents imbued with public interest; or
       2)big data from government agencies or “government research data used as basis for policy development”
… in a 2019 news report or a feature story or  investigative report or explanatory article or interpretive article/ opinion piece (any medium/media), then post such news report/ feature story/ investigative report/ explanatory article or interpretive article/ opinion piece with an explanation specifying what records are involved, and why the information is of public concern (using the definition in the cases) (explanation with a minimum of 50 words — without an explanation, the entry will not merit any points).

     Extra BONUS (not required) : A description (minimum 50 words) of the event or activity you participated in last Thursday 1pm onwards, and what you learned from said activity; with a selfie/ groupfie (if groupfie, please specify where you are in the photo, e.g., third from left, etc).

      The deadline for both is September 25, 2019 at 5pm.

(NOTE: All presenters on “Rights and Privileges of Media Practitioners” should be ready this week. Class members who are not prepared will get zero. )

    Happy commemorative weekend!

23 thoughts on “Law on Mass Media 4th Exercise. Extra Bonus. Both due Sept 25

  1. “Official records, documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions”

    Vico Sotto to focus on Freedom of Information, transparency in gov’t projects


    Mayor Vico Sotto promises transparent public biddings for local government project contract as he sets up mechanisms for free access to public records (such as land deeds, and public registers ) including financial documents and contracts among the Pasig City residents. Pasig residents can request information and documents from different government agencies through the use of “FOI kiosks” to be found in Pasig’s public libraries. With this, Pasig residents can access and obtain copies of public documents without having to state any reason for requesting them, and the government must release it within 10 days. This is some sort of Vico Sotto’s solution to weed out corruption and while the project costs decreases, the saved money would be spent more on medicines and scholarships for the residents. Also, Mayor Sotto promised to open public biddings for city government projects and to have independent observers monitor the process of choosing private contractors.

  2. Even acquitted, paroled and pardoned inmates included in GCTA list
    MANILA, Philippines–Following the current list that the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) has provided the Senate, Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Philippine National Police (PNP), the Aquino administration has released a total of 445 convicts from 2014, or when the Expanded Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) became a law, while the Duterte administration has released a total of 1,914 convicts.

    The list of convicts released under the Expanded Good Conduct Time Allowance law is a document of public interest because the release of more than 2,000 inmates could have endangered the safety and well-being of the general public. Furthermore, understanding how the release of these convicts was allowed is important in demanding accountability from the officials in charge.

  3. From blog admin. For lara: Thank you for submitting this. The last two sentences in your post are legally inaccurate. Please review our discussion on the nature of bank records from two weeks ago. Tnx. -marichu

    Official records,…documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions” or records and documents imbued with public interest.
    Palace tells Vera Files: Prove Duterte took gifts worth millions of pesos – August 19, 2019
    Last August 2019, Malacañang challenged Vera Files to prove their claim that the President had received gifts worth multi-millions of pesos. This occurred following their report on the seven deposits (which totaled to P193 million) that were placed in the join bank account of President Duterte and his daughter, Sara Duterte Carpio.

    According to the Vera Files, the documents were based on from bank records submitted to the Senate by Antonio Trillanes IV.

    “Is that true? Does she have any evidence to that effect? Many have claimed that the President has hundreds of millions but it’s not true,” said Panelo. He further claimed that all gifts given to the Duterte go to the Office of the President, with Duterte not receiving any personal gifts.

    Our law prohibits government personnel from accepting gifts or anything of monetary value while in position. (BLOG ADMIN’S NOTE: The following last two sentences from the class member are legally inaccurate and are also inconsistent with the discussions in class.) Looking into this case, the bank records of President Duterte are considered of public interest as these transactions may affect the functions of their office as well as are of concern for our Anti-Graft Laws. Furthermore, this is in line with RA 3019’s statement that ‘a public office is a public trust,’ emphasizing the need for transaparency among transactions and properties of public officials.

  4. For lara: Thank you for submitting this. The last two sentences in your post are legally inaccurate. Please review our discussion. Tnx. -marichu

  5. “Official records, … documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions”

    Memo says Duterte ordered shunning of loans, grants from backers of UN drug war probe; Palace denies report – 20 September 2019


    Reuters saw a document dated August 27 that has been signed by Duterte’s Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. This document states that all departments and state-run firms have been instructed by Duterte to “halt negotiations and agreements on grants and loans from countries that have backed a UN investigation into his bloody war on drugs”. This is in association with the resolution approved by the United Nations Human Rights Council in July “to compile a comprehensive report on Duterte’s 3-year crackdown” that has killed at least 6,700 people. However, the Palace has denied the reported memorandum, saying that the President has not issued one.

    This reported memo is a document of public interest because it is a document that affects public funds, specifically it contains information on foreign grants and loans. It is important that the public knows of these things because in dealing with foreign grants and loans, the public’s money is involved; thus, it is our right to know how and where it is used. In addition, if negotiations with certain countries will be halted, our country will be affected in one way or another, which will, in turn, affect us.

  6. BONUS: Martial Law Activity

    On September 19, performances that recreated and commemorated martial law experiences were held in Palma Hall. Various poetry was recited, and a short theatrical act was performed that depicted the lives of the youth during martial law. This showed us that despite the confusion and hopelessness during that period, the youth manages to stand up and stand strong against the oppression of the state. Musical performances were also carried out, such as a performance with string instruments, a band performance, and solo singers with guitar accompaniment. The performances included songs composed during martial law and songs about martial law.

    From this activity, I learned that despite the cruelty and oppression during martial law, the youth is still able to fight for the country with determination and without fear. In addition, songs composed in relation to martial law may sound like any other song, but the messages sent out contain both the harshness of the era and empowerment for the people.

    I was unable to take a selfie, but here are some pictures I took of the event:

  7. For “Shane”: Thank you for your post. Note that the digital file that’s proof of attendance cannot be opened/ requires a password when it was checked, and does not fulfill the requirement for this post. Marami pong salamat. -marichu
    xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx

    DANAS: These are different performances recreating and commemorating martial law experience at the AS lobby. Thus, there’s this theatrical act that struck my attention. An elite child who has a dad whom believes that Marcos was a great president since he won for his second term, hence, other youth made him learn what really happened and how Marcos regime resulted to fear among Filipinos. Hence, a lot of people still protested and they become united to fight against Marcos administration. Moreover, I learned that even though a lot of us who fight against injustice and dictatorship were not yet born during Marcos regime, we still have the right to stand against it since we don’t like those sufferings to happen again, not now nor never. I also learned that students like us should be the voice of the unheard and we should practice more of our rights so that no one can take them away from us.

  8. “official records, … documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions”

    Malacañang suspends talks on loans, grants from countries backing U.N. probe into drug war


    MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Malacañang has ordered all departments and other government agencies to suspend negotiations for loans and grants from countries that voted in favor of a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution to look into the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.
    The “confidential” memorandum, first reported by Inquirer, was signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on August 27, 2019.
    A copy was posted on the Bureau of Customs website as an attachment to Customs Memorandum Circular 211-2019, dated September 11.

    This article shows a specific act based on memorandum that includes official records of documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions that may affect the people under it.

  9. “official records, … documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions”

    Duterte admin hopeful of FOI law passage in 2020


    The Duterte administration is hopeful the Freedom of Information Law will be passed in 2020, a ranking Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) official said. For the first half of the year, Ablan reported a 100 percent FOI compliance from the national government agencies.
    He also noted that 92 percent of government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) are FOI compliant, about 94 percent for state universities and colleges, and 41 percent for local water districts. In July 2019, he said the executive branch is set to submit its updated draft FOI bill to the Congress. In this draft, Ablan said the FOI-PMO added a provision on a “no wrong door policy” which compels the receiving agency to assist and guide the FOI user to appropriate offices or division that could cater to his request. Through this, Ablan said the denial of requests could be lessened.

    As of May 2019, the FOI-PMO received at least 13,401 electronic FOI requests. Of this number, 42 percent or 5,576 requests were successful, while 33 percent or 4,479 were denied or unsuccessful. The remaining 25 percent, on the other hand, is still pending/processing.

    This is a government decision imbued of public interest because FOI program is a government mechanism which allows Filipino citizens to request any information about government transaction. The law orders government entities in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches to release documents and records of public interest.

  10. BONUS:

    Martial law was recreated and commemorated through series of performances last Sept. 19 at Palma Hall, UP Diliman. The event began with an opening ceremony at the Palma Hall steps where an artwork depicting the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was displayed at the entrance. It was accompanied with the unfurling of streamers that carries this year’s main theme ‘Dambana ng Paggunita at Pagtutuos sa Batas Militar ni Marcos.’ Danas, the series of performances that recreated the happenings during Martial law, kicked off with a play that simulated particular scenes from the acclaimed novel Dekada ‘70. Their acts showed the abuse and brutality experienced by activists and citizens during Marcos’ dictatorship. Following them was an orchestral performance from The University of the Philippines String Orchestra (UP ARCO), a string chamber orchestra based in UP Diliman. they chose to perform songs such as ‘Hanggang’ and ‘Bayan Ko’ that were prominent during the martial law period. The last group consisted of performers from Haraya, an artist ensemble based in Manila Tytana Colleges. They concluded their performance with the song Okay Lang Sa Amin, which describes the people’s opposition towards the current state of our administration. The event was capped off with everyone singing Pilipinas Kong Mahal and chanting “never again to martial law.”

    I learned how solidarity events and cultural performances like these are very helpful in executing important societal issues in the past and in our present time. In our country where history’s being revised by opportunists politicians, this is a good way to preserve the memory of Martial law. As much as we are all constantly reminded and called to never forget, we must tirelessly condemn those who continue to tyrannize our fellowmen lest repetition of the past. We must not let ourselves be victims of dictatorship yet again—but rather, resist all forms of oppression by educating ourselves, asserting our rights, and upholding the truth for justice.

    I don’t have a selfie but I did a coverage of the whole event; I was also with Justin Hernandez (and I i took a photo of him) as a witness of my presence:

  11. “Official records, … documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions”

    PCOO Asec. Rafael-Banaag kinontra ang opisyal na datos ng gobyerno sa giyera laban sa droga

    In this report, Vera Files showed how Communications Assistant Secretary Maria Rafael-Banaag contradicted their own offices’ data regarding the official number of President Duterte’s war on drugs. She denied the government data that “tens of thousands” have been killed.

    PCOO’s 2017 data showed that from the first 16 months of the war on drugs, over 20,000 have been recorded. Banaag argued that not all deaths are related to the deaths during the campaign on illegal drugs.

    The official numbers and data related to deaths during the campaign on the illegal drug is a document of public interest because it showed how an official like Banaag could be inconsistent with their statements and pronouncements, even being a government official. Furthermore, this data tells how much we could trust an official, lying on the very special and intriguing issue in the country.

  12. MADE IN CHINA: Loan terms with waivers, shrouded in secrecy
    MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has repeatedly downplayed fears of the country falling into what is dubbed as the Chinese debt trap. However, critics like senatorial bet Neri Colmenares pointed out that the loan agreements had waivers, which were “onerous” and “one-sided.”

    Public records like foreign loan agreements SHOULD be made public in the first place because it involves the money of the country. Not only that but we are aware of how China offers loans to its surrounding countries and falling to its debt trap in order for China to “conquer” their country. In addition to that there are already many situations wherein China “steps” in, which is a kind of suspicious. In order to avoid falling for China’s debt trap, we should be aware of what kind of agreement and clauses the contract has.

  13. “official records, … documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions”

    | Senate authorizes panels to divulge ‘ninja cops’ info from executive session
    — September 24,2019


    Seventeen senators vote in favor of making public the list of cops involved in drug recycling. The Senate authorized the blue ribbon and justice committees to divulge the information from the September 19 executive session that tagged high-ranking cops in drug recycling. With a vote of 17-0, the Senate adopted the motion to authorize Senator Richard Gordon to make the transcripts of the executive session public.The Senate is not compelling Gordon in any way. While voting in the affirmative, Drilon maintained that the vote merely “reiterated” the power of Senate committee to divulge information if they deem appropriate so. Retired policeman and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong supposedly bared the names of the cops involved in “drug recycling.” Drilon said a “high-ranking” police officer appeared to be protecting “ninja cops,” as mentioned by Magalong during the executive session.

    By nature, executive sessions are confidential and can only be made public by a vote of two-thirds of the chamber. Openness and transparency is needed in a democratic society, so that people understand that our government – which is running under international scrutiny for its anti-poor/anti-drug war campaign – is acting reasonably and lawfully towards all its people. Speculation has circulated about the supposed participation of Chief PNP Police Officer Oscar Albayalde in the so-called ‘ agaw-bato ‘ system – a scam by corrupt cops who intentionally keep seized narcotics during anti-illegal drug operations to be sold later.The list would be in the best public interest of justice, fairness and good governance, to uncover the reality behind the supposed participation of police in the recycling of drug evidence.

  14. “official records, … documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions” or records and documents imbued with public interest”

    Kaliwa Dam bidding looks rigged for China Energy – COA (August 19, 2019)


    The Commission on Audit said that the bidding for the P12.2 billion Kaliwa Dam looks rigged in favor of the China Energy Engineering Corporation Limited. Of the P12.2 billion for the project, China Eximbank agreed to lend the Philippines P11.05 billion. However, COA said, “the validity of the loan agreement between the MWSS and China Eximbank remained ineffective due to the non-submission of the documents as required under the loan agreement (environmental compliance certificate and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas letter of guarantee)”.

    According to the audit observation memorandum from COA, the two other bidders (Power Construction Corporation of China Limited (Power China) and Consortium of Guangdong Foreign Construction) “were disqualified in the 1st and 2nd stages of the procurement process due to the seemingly intentional purpose of the bidders not to comply with the TWG (technical working group) requirements,”. Power China’s bid (P13.04 billion) was higher than the budget, while Guangdong failed the eligibility requirements. COA deduced, “the procurement of the project is with the semblance of a competitive bidding when in reality, it is a negotiated contract from the inception of the bidding process”. COA forwards that all officials involved in bidding irregularities should be held accountable.

    This article manifests how records, such as bidding documents, are of public concern. Bidding documents affect public funds for the reason that the money used to build projects and infrastructures is the public’s money. The public shoulders the paying of loans through our taxes, which makes everyone affected. As such, it is essential to unveil and take action on any bidding irregularities and collusive bidding practices.

  15. BONUS

    When people are lost, we take them back to the roots and revisit history. The event made me realize that Filipinos are still stuck in a generation where farmers are being taken advantaged, abused and killed; there are high prices for basic necessities; there is income inequality; tuition fees are sky rocketing; protesters and student-activist alike are being villified – all caused by the government. And the worst part? The government is composed of the same set of power-hungry people in line of their political dynasty – elected by the people. Pro administration people who are lucky enough to have the priviledge of not having to worry about being targeted by the goverment. People still thinks that it is not a problem as long as they are not affected personally. I was taken back during the Martial Law days where the poor are afraid to speak and the ones critical of the government are silenced when it fact the goverment should be protecting its people. Through artful presentations and mass protest events such as these, we are carrying over a piece of history being silenced and encouraging people – the new generation – to remember and to speak on behalf of the lives lost during the Martial Law Era.

    I have pictures taken by ichybichy’ (Bitania Pangilinan); she was with me during the events DANAS and LAKAD GUNITA SA PAMANTASANG HINIRANG: FIRST QUARTER STORM & DILIMAN COMMUNE.

  16. For “Christiana Verzo” : Thank you for your post on the Sotto Law or the Shield Law. This illustrates the Shield Law, not the right to freedom of information. Kindly see the instructions. marami pong salamat. -marichu
    xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx
    News Article: Duterte signs expansion of Sotto Law

    Official records, documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or records and documents imbued with public interest

    President Duterte signed Republic Act 11458, also known as the “Sotto Law,” which allows print, online, and media journalists to refuse to reveal their sources. The law stipulates that media practitioners can only reveal their sources if Congress or Senate demand them to do so for the security of the state.

    This news article manifests official papers pertaining to official acts that affect the public interest. One on hand, informants are kept safe from harm that could sprout from divulging information about touchy or dangerous issues. However, due to the newly signed act audiences of these media conglomerates and platforms are now unable to verify the validity and truthfulness of these sources and are thus much more susceptible to fake news. It is now up to the journalists and news sources to uphold their integrity.

  17. “records and documents imbued with public interest”

    The curious case of the mining audit

    “The long-delayed publication of the mining audit by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which should provide transparency on which mining firms have been cleared to operate, remains contentious (…)”


    As relayed in the opinion piece, the recent DENR mining audit gives the go signal for multiple mining companies that were “shut down” during Gina Lopez’s tenure as DENR Secretary to resume operations. However, as the publication of the audit has been continuously delayed, with DENR choosing to skirt around the issue and displace their responsibility to other government bodies, these mining companies remain in a “limbo” state unable to take action. Mining has been posed by many as an untapped sector of the economy, placing the future of these mining companies as a national priority. This makes the delayed publication of the audit a matter of concern for the public at large as the government refuses to be transparent with its proceedings, withholding documents which should already be in public hands.

  18. Duterte, Sara, Paolo mark big spikes in wealth, cash while in public office


    As shown and stated in the article, the SALNs of three members of the Duterte family were analysed and shown. Ever since their start in their respective positions in public office, all of their net worths have slowly risen. This is very unusual considering their salaries as public officials, and we wonder where the money is coming from.

    I think this is the reason it is very important that all public officials submit their assets and that this information is made available for the public to see. This information is a strong point of study when questioning how an elected official is making their money, may it be in an unlawful manner or not. It is the people’s right to see this because they are public servants, and with their position comes opening themselves to the public and scrutinisation.

  19. BONUS:


    Different performances where showcased during the day long event in Palma Hall, UP Diliman last Thursday (September 19) to commemorate the Martial Law. At the entrance, an artwork depicting Marcos greets the students and visitors, on it “Lahat tayo ay Biktima ng Martial Law” can be read. Along with short plays, songs were also offered in criticism of the authorities that occurred during the 14 year long Dictatorship. I believe that events like these are helpful in terms of reminding not only the students and visitors of UP, but the whole UP Diliman Community as well. Personally, it highlights the efforts done by the UP community before, to oppose the Martial law and as well as highlights the continuous efforts done. In line with that, I was able to situate myself as a student living in the relative peace of Manila, in relation to our neighboring regions in Visayas and Mindanao who are now under Martial Law. In the end, I was sure that if another Martial Law is declared, I would also partake in the mass organizations to oppose this.

    Photos: (I currently do not have a mobile phone, and was sadly only able to get some photos taken upon asking strangers to)

  20. BONUS:
    My output with pictures can be viewed here:

    Here is a copy of the content (text only)
    On September 19, the Palma Hall lobby was permeated with cries of sorrow, anger, and hope – reliving that of the atmosphere during the Martial Law period.

    The Marcos regime prided itself of building numerous infrastructures and facilities. However, these are only facades on the increasing poverty and atrocities made during the Marcos regime – and the cost of building these overpriced establishments is, and will be shouldered by the Philippine generations to come. This was surfaced on the opening act of Danas, an activity to remember Martial law and the events that transpired during the era. There was said to be violations of human rights, including arbitrary killings, mysterious disappearances, tortures, and arbitrary arrests.

    Marcos was an orchestrator of terror. He ruled with fear. No number of infrastructures or buildings can remunerate the injustices that took place. As such, I believe that Ferdinand Marcos is no hero and that him, being a dictator and oppressor, must be remembered and made known to all. We should never let this happen again. We should never forget.

  21. For “lara” : Thank you for your post. Note that this, still, does not correct the erroneous legal discussion in your previous post regarding bank records. Kindly review the class discussion on the nature of bank records under our laws. Marami pong salamat. -marichu
    xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx
    Hi, ma’am! I am very sorry for the inaccurate information. Here is the revised version of the last part of my exercise: “… while in position. With this, the President’s bank records and action of accepting monetary gifts, regardless of whether or not it was for past/current favors, are of public interest as it violates our law for government officials. Transparency among public officials is a must, and the president should not be exempt from this.”

  22. BONUS


    After witnessing the piece by Prof. Glecy Atienza and singing along to the history martial law song “Martsa ng Bayan,” I felt a sense of pride knowing that many still cared for the events that occurred in the past. Seeing the UP community stand together and honor the martyrs of martial law is a sight that I believe many should be given the chance to see. Upon visiting the event, I was also able to view the FQS@50 book fair which contained many books on criticisms and personal experience form the martial law. The UP Remembrance Day was made for the those who fought during this era, and I am happy to have taken part in an event that highlights the many protests, forums, and other efforts the UP community has done in creating giving the people a voice. My favorite part of the event was reading of Emman Lacaba’s piece as it gave me an insight into life during martial law. My aunt used to tell me of stories when she was a UP student during the martial law and I couldn’t really understand where she came from, but hearing such stories from the event really opened my eyes to the horrors of that time. This event brought me to a deeper perspective of the martial law, and I could say that I will continue to stand and be active to all matters concerning our people.

    I was unable to take a selfie, but linked here is a drive with pictures I took of the event. I attended with Justin and Bitania during the event.

  23. Big Data and Policy Development

    ‘Let’s do actual things!’: Commuters huddle on solutions to address traffic

    “With #CommutersNaman at the spotlight, around 15 participants joined the “Move Huddle: How do commuters reimagine EDSA?” on Saturday, August 31 to discuss possible solutions following the crisis on public transportation.” The meeting was meant to get insights and suggestions from actual commuters, some participants started with the gravity of the effect the traffic is causing. In one case, a student said that the time he spends commuting could be spent studying etc. The meeting highlighted how the traffic in EDSA is not only a problem for experts and urban traffic participants but also for commuters and that we should all work as a community to solve this. Vince Lazatin said, “You are in a bus or jeep, you take down the license plate, the vehicle or ID number of particular vehicles. And then you rate it, you say it’s clean or dirty. Bus driver is good, inconsiderate. Whatever. We need to collect data about how the commutes are because once we have this data, we can use it for policy reform.”

    The last statement talk about the quality of the commuting experience, Lazatin urges the collection of information data regarding the drivers in order for the government to understand the malpractices within public utility vehicles, in order to create policies or reform existing ones for the betterment of the quality of our public transportation experience.

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