J201 The Philippine Press Graduate School commemorative activity Marcos Martial Law @50 (in line with the U.P. President’s Memo on #NeverAgain #NeverForget )

J201 The Philippine Press Graduate School commemorative activity Marcos Martial Law @50 (in line with the U.P. President’s Memo on #NeverAgain #NeverForget ) .

Deadline Sept. 24, 2022 at 4pm

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4 thoughts on “J201 The Philippine Press Graduate School commemorative activity Marcos Martial Law @50 (in line with the U.P. President’s Memo on #NeverAgain #NeverForget )

  1. Times Journal – One of the Marcosian Crony Press

    During former dictator and Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.’s implementation of Martial Law in the Philippines on September 21, 1972, media suppression has been rampant in the country. While the administration claimed before that press freedom was very much present, a ton of Presidential Decrees, Letter of Instructions, and guidelines for the media has been strongly in effect, that made it hard to publish anything ‘real’ about the Marcos regime.

    The guidelines implemented by the numerous regulating agencies, namely: Mass Media Council, General Order 12-c, and Media Advisory Council, had similar agendas from the government: the media must operate with consent from the governing units; the President must have a say regarding a publication’s approval; and no certification to operate meant that the media company won’t be running operations. (1)

    Marcos, however, did pay favor to a couple of media outlets and allowed these companies to operate during the Martial Law. This is the so-called crony press, or press stories and releases from government spokespeople, other officials, and allies.

    The ones permitted to operate during the rule were the following: Bulletin Today, run by presidential aide-de-camp General Hanz Menzi; the Times Journal, owned by the former First Lady Imelda Marcos’ brother, Benjamin Romualdez; The Daily Express, owned by a Marcos ally Roberto Benedicto; the National Media Production Center (NMPC), which became the government’s main channel homed in channel 4; The Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), also operated by Benedicto, which took over ABS-CBN; and Kanlaon Broadcasting System (ran by Benedicto as well), to name a few. (2)

    On October 17, 1972, the former dictator approved The Times Journal to operate as a broadsheet in the country, again, owned by the former first lady’s brother, Benjamin Romualdez. (3).

    Romualdez instated the Philippine Journalists Inc. (PJI), where a certain Augusto Villanueva was made the group editor of the Journal Group of Publications (JGP). He was also one of the founders of The People’s Journal. On October 21, 1972, Villanueva reported that they were permitted to publish the very first volume of their flagship paper, The Times Journal. (4)

    The Times Journal, under the PJI, operated along with some supplements that were also permitted to publish: Campus Journal, Architecture Journal, Sports Journal, Parade, and People. Among these supplements, the company also launched a tabloid called People’s Journal, which began publishing in October 1978.

    Former Assistant Secretary of Public Information, Lorenzo J. Cruz, reported that the staff of the Times Journal consisted of “respectable” journalists who did not engage in insurgencies. According to Cruz, the staff complied with the authorities to only publish positive news and would not be allowed to comment on stories.

    Upon researching on the Times Journal in the university library’s microfilms, I noticed that most of the articles in some of the broadsheet’s issues contain less news about the government. I did find stories about certain issues in the country such as jeepney drivers being harassed, land disputes, some advertisement probes, and more about economic matters/savings on interests. (5)

    The freedom of the press during Martial Law, while the Marcos administration dismisses the fact that there is no repression, is very much controlled. Aside from the fact that these crony media have been widespread in the country, there’s also the fact that any story or feature produced that in any way criticizes or maligns the government would instantly be stopped from publishing. The writers or publishers who would not cooperate with the governing agencies’ guidelines would be fired, threatened, detained, or worse, killed.

    History has shown us that we can learn something from the past. A free press means the masses’ voices are heard by those who govern, and those in power must do what they were sworn to do: to serve its populace.

    (1) Class reading – https://dr.ntu.edu.sg/bitstream/10356/86135/1/AMIC_1988_08_10.pdf

    (2) FAST FACTS: How Marcos silenced, controlled the media during Martial Law – https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/how-marcos-silenced-media-press-freedom-martial-law/

    (3) New York Times – Marcos approves of new newspaper- https://www.nytimes.com/1972/10/17/archives/marcos-approves-new-newspaper-daily-will-print-positive-news.html

    (4) CMFR – Marcos and the press – https://cmfr-phil.org/media-ethics-responsibility/ethics/marcos-and-the-press/

    (5) The Times Journal; Feb. 1, 1986 issue and July 18, 1983 issue.


  2. J 201 (The Philippine Press) Saturday, 24 September 2022
    Atty. Marichu Lambino Notes on GTV Channel 4

    Media organizations that are critical to the administration of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. were forced to shut down. It became possible upon his declaration of Martial Law under Proclamation No. 1081[1] on 21 September 1972 but took effect only two days after the signing (23 September 1972).

    By then, the close allies of Marcos Sr. took over the control of these news and current affairs companies[2]. During those challenging times, they were the only networks, publications, and other mediums of communication allowed to write stories—reports that are greatly in favor of the Marcos family.

    One of the considered crony news groups during the Martial Law era was the Government Television[3] or otherwise known as GTV-4. It has operated through the National Media Production Center (NMPC) and used the airwaves of media giant ABS-CBN.

    The government channel was first headed by Lito Gorospe[4]. After some time, the leadership of the media group was turned to Francisco Tatad, the Press Secretary of Marcos Sr.

    In 1980, it was renamed as Maharlika Broadcasting System[5] under the supervision of then-NMPC minister Greco Cendana, and the network started to broadcast in full color. During those times, it was the last national television station to transition to color broadcasting.

    Following the 1986 People Power Revolution, which hinted the fall of Marcos Sr. and his administration, MBS officially rebranded as People’s Television (PTV)[6]. It can be remembered that it was the national broadcasts of the Summer Olympics in 1988.

    Due to the stifling of human rights, democracy being under siege, and journalists being suppressed during the Martial Law era, freedom of the press and the right of the people to correct information became two of the most evident collateral damages. Apart from these horrific circumstances, many Filipinos have been tortured, detained, and some of them, disappeared[7].

    Some might argue that since there was crony press still operating despite the announcement of Martial Law, it cannot be denied that reports being published at that time should conform to the Marcos family[8]. Censorship was heavily mandated and that prompted a number of journalists doing underground reporting, which was later called as the “Mosquito Press”[9] that fought disinformation.

    As the Philippines elected the dictator’s son, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., to the highest position in the land, it is important that we resist any act of abuse of power and that we still remember the atrocities happened during his father’s time.

    [1] Official Gazette. Proclamation No. 1081, s. 1972. https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1972/09/21/proclamation-no-1081/

    [2] Fernandez, D. (1988). Freedom lost, freedom won: a study of the Philippine press system. Asian Mass Communication Research and Information Centre. https://dr.ntu.edu.sg/bitstream/10356/86135/1/AMIC_1988_08_10.pdf

    [3] Fernandez, D. (1988). Freedom lost, freedom won: a study of the Philippine press system. Asian Mass Communication Research and Information Centre. https://dr.ntu.edu.sg/bitstream/10356/86135/1/AMIC_1988_08_10.pdf

    [4] People’s Television. History of PTNI. https://ptni.gov.ph/history/

    [5] People’s Television. History of PTNI. https://ptni.gov.ph/history/

    [6] People’s Television. History of PTNI. https://ptni.gov.ph/history/

    [7] Amnesty International. (25 April 2022). Five things to know about Martial Law in the Philippines. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/04/five-things-to-know-about-martial-law-in-the-philippines/

    [8] Pinlac, M. (1 September 2007). Marcos and the Press. Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility. https://cmfr-phil.org/media-ethics-responsibility/ethics/marcos-and-the-press/

    [9] Olea, R. (23 September 2020). How the mosquito press fought the disinformation under Marcos. Bulatlat. https://www.bulatlat.com/2020/09/23/how-the-mosquito-press-fought-the-disinformation-under-marcos/


  3. Media plays an important role in ensuring that there is a free circulation of information in a society (Infographic: The day Marcos declared Martial Law, n.d.) The Philippine press, then, was widely regarded as one of the freest press in Southeast Asia which is why media outlets and professionals were able to enjoy freedom without censorship for a brief time before Martial Law was declared (Rosenberg, 1974).

    In his rise to power, Former President Marcos, Sr. was well-aware of how critical the role of media is – that’s why his first order of business when his declaration in 1972 was to seize and shut down all private media so that he can control the spread of information and distort the truth (Breaking the News: Silencing the Media Under Martial Law, n.d.)

    As private media were ordered to close, access to information was only made available to the public through the rise of Marcos-controlled media or also known as the “crony press.” Marcos-controlled media are media outlets supervised and operated by his cronies (Elemia, 2020.) One of Marcos’s crony presses was The Daily Express which was owned by Roberto Benedicto. Benedicto was Marcos, Sr.’s classmate and fraternity brother at the University of the Philippines Law School who later served as the chairman of Marcos’ political party, Kilusang Bagong Lipunan. He was Marcos’ appointed chairman of the Philippine National Bank, ambassador to Japan, and head of the Philippine Sugar Commission (It Takes a Village to Loot a Nation: Cronyism and Corruption, n.d.)

    The Daily Express was one of the media outlets that reported only news reports of positive national value where information was strictly censored and controlled by the presidential palace.

    Fast forward to 50 years later, Duterte’s administration took a major hit on press freedom by shutting down ABSCBN, attacking Rappler, and silencing journalists. It didn’t need an official declaration of such, but the state of press freedom in the country is somewhat like how it was during the Marcos regime – distortion of truth, censored news, and propagandist media.

    Breaking the News: Silencing the Media Under Martial Law. (n.d.). Martial Law Museum. https://martiallawmuseum.ph/magaral/breaking-the-news-silencing-the-media-under-martial-law/

    Elemia, C. (2020). FAST FACTS: How Marcos silenced, controlled the media during Martial Law. Rappler. https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/how-marcos-silenced-media-press-freedom-martial-law/

    Infographic: The day Marcos declared Martial Law. (n.d.). Official Gazette. https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/featured/infographic-day-marcos-declared-martial-law-september-23-1972/

    It Takes a Village to Loot a Nation: Cronyism and Corruption. (n.d.). Martial Law Museum. https://martiallawmuseum.ph/magaral/it-takes-a-village-to-loot-a-nation-cronyism-and-corruption/

    Rosenberg, D. A. (1974). Civil Liberties and the Mass Media under Martial Law in the Philippines. Pacific Affairs, 47(4), 472–484. https://doi.org/10.2307/2755948


  4. Note from the handling faculty: The Marcos crony press does not refer to “media publications which covered and delivered news curated by the Marcoses” (and the word “curated” in reference to news items collated in the internet did not come into use until the advent of algorithm-based online news services). The Marcos crony press refers to media networks and news outfits awarded to friends or dummies of the Marcos family or those set up by these on their behalf, bannering and publishing/ broadcasting/ disseminating only sunny weather news, the “projects” of Imelda, and Malacaňang press releases . -marichu
    *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
    The “Marcos crony press” focuses on the media publications which covered and delivered news curated by the Marcoses. Its regime gave the public a positive view on the administration and the state of affairs within the Philippines. The term can further be defined not merely through a publication’s friendship or close ties with the late dictator, but through Marcos’ direct ownership of them at the time. Hence this gave their other name called the “establishment press”. Publications who weren’t labeled as “crony press” such as ABS-CBN went through a series of seemingly unending letters of instructions halting publishing and visitations from military personnel. They were being inspected through the articles they wrote.

    Bulletin Today started its publication in 1900 by Carlson Taylor. They started as a news outlet for updates on important businessmen. Together with Daily Express and Bulletin Today (now known as the Manila Bulletin) were permitted to continue publishing operations without interruption. Given that they are forced to publish articles and coverage that brought the Marcos administration under a positive light. However, this does not mean that members of these publications were satisfied with merely reporting on news the administration deemed appropriate to show to the masses. Bulletin Today’s shares were taken control of the Marcoses with over half at 53.86% (Montalvan, 2022). This gave way for the Filipinos to believe and see the reality of the ill-gotten wealth of the family. Unfiltered news gained the public’s interest and criticism against the Marcoses was not the course to take. Tyranny in the Philippines started to take place at this time–Filipinos at this time were then disempowered. The freedom of the media was then slowly being oppressed and Filipinos, particularly notable journalists, are getting scared of how the future of media is being molded into something else. A mockery out of their passion for journalism.


    CMFR Staff. (2007, September 1). Marcos and the Press. CMFR. Retrieved September 24, 2022, from https://cmfr-phil.org/media-ethics-responsibility/ethics/marcos-and-the-press/
    Montalvan , A. J. (2022, April 27). How Marcos ill-gotten wealth extended to media. Press One PH. Retrieved September 24, 2022, from https://pressone.ph/how-marcos-ill-gotten-wealth-extended-to-media/

    Tuazon, R. R. (2015, June 2). The Print Media: A tradition of Freedom. National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Retrieved September 24, 2022, from https://ncca.gov.ph/about-ncca-3/subcommissions/subcommission-on-cultural-disseminationscd/communication/the-print-media-a-tradition-of-freedom/


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