HINDI naaalarma ang National Press Club (NPC) sa mga naging pahayag ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa paggamit nito ng kapangyarihan upang magdeklara ng Martial Law sa sandaling lumala ang kinakaharap na problema ng bansa sa illegal drugs.
“A more sober appreciation of the situation can only lead to the conclusion that far from laying the groundwork for martial law, Pres. Duterte even ensured the primacy of the rule of law and the strengthening of Philippine democracy very early in his term,” ayon kay NPC president Paul M. Gutierrez.
Tinukoy pa ni Gutierrez ang dalawang mahalagang aksyon ni Pangulong Duterte sa unang bahagi pa lamang ng kanyang termino ng lagdaan nito ang Executive Order no. 2 noong July 2016 at Administrative Order no. 1 noong October 2016.
“EO No. 2, for the first time, mandated the entire executive branch of the government to give freedom to all Filipinos, not only to the members of the press, to get information previously being withheld from them, except those involving national security. AO No. 1 on the other hand, created the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) focused mainly in protecting all members of the Fourth Estate. Let us give credit where credit is due,” giit pa ng NPC president.
“These are two very significant and historic actions by Pres. Duterte that many Filipinos, including media organizations, have labored so hard to realize since the lifting of martial law in 1981 but with all these past efforts proving to be in vain.”
Aniya pa, tanging si Pangulong Duterte lamang ang nagbigay halaga na maisakatuparan ang mga ito na hindi nagawa ng nakaraang administrasyon.
“Yet, barely three months into office, Pres. Duterte gave substance to our democracy. This he did by giving to our countrymen what they have always clamored for—the freedom to access government records plus the assurance to the members of the media that they can practice their profession with less fear of death, harassment or intimidation,” binigyang-diin pa ni Gutierrez.
Kaya patunay ito, wika pa ng NPC president, ina kinikilala ni Pangulong Duterte ang kalayaan at kapakanan ng mamamahayag na hindi nagawa ng nakaraang afministrasyon.
“Thus, for some quarters, to include some of those in the media, to raise the fear of authoritarian rule on the part of Pres. Duterte is interpreting too much from his statements. The facts established do not support such fear. Further giving credit where credit is due,” giit pa ng pangulo ng NPC.
Nagpasalamat din ang pangulo ng isa sa pinakamalaking samahan ng mga mamamahayag sa bansa kay Presidential Communications Sec. Martin Andanar dahil sa walang-humpay nitong pagsisikap upang kumbinsihin si Pangulong Duterte at buong gabinete upang aprubahan at suportahan ang nasabing mga hakbang.
“It goes without saying that without Sec. Andanar’s intervention, such ‘talks’ about the return of martial law could have gained credence. While there may be grounds to chide Sec. Andanar for lapses, it would be going overboard to savage him in media commentaries that, on close analysis, is but another side of the efforts by some quarters to sow division and ultimately, to weaken our national government,” binigyang-diin pa ng NPC president.