12 Aug Your Freedom Ends Where My Nose Begins

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JUAN SAYS: “Your freedom ends where my nose begins.” We wouldn’t have reacted to Fashion Pulis’ blogger Michael Lim’s arrest hadn’t he cried out about “press freedom” being curtailed as he was in CIDG following his arrest on charges of libel as filed by actress/model Deniece Cornejo. (Read full story here.)
 
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Press freedom. This got us thinking, where does it end? We have always been thoughtful of that opening line we wrote, as we too have been bordering on libelous or scandalous articles that may hit those whom we are writing about. Should Michael Lim’s arrest scare many writers, bloggers and websites like ours who’s sole existence is just to write about what is real? When do we stop hitting people? Where do we draw the line?
 
The dawning of the vast information highway has given the much needed opportunity to many aspiring writers to have their own venues to be heard. And in this crazy world where basura sells – sex, bashing and chismis – so called writers have succumbed to giving in to what their audience want instead of writing about what journalism dictates. Blame it on the number of clicks and likes that every website, blogsite must elicit in order to monetize their sites, but the fact is, many writers and bloggers have skewed their views into what is saleable instead of writing about what their hearts and the ethics of journalism dictate. FACT: chismis sells. Notriety sells. Bashing sells. And somebody’s making big money out of it. And that somebody is NOT YOU!
 
Let’s take this case as an example. Sure we understand why Fashion Pulis is playing the “press freedom” card. This is the first line of defense of any journalist or writer that maybe charged with libel. But if you inspect Fashion Pulis closely, it is not about what its blog’s name suggests. It is no longer about just fashion, but it has become a source of entertainment for the chismosas guessing who the blog is talking about. Siguro nga maraming tao ang may oras. Siguro nga fun ang chismis. Siguro nga millions and millions of people will flock to a site just to get the juiciest details about other people’s lives, maybe because they don’t have a life of their own.
 
True to form Fashion Pulis published medical records that were leaked by a certain clinic who took medical exams of Deniece. These records contained details about Deniece that are otherwise very private and not exactly for public consumption. As the records allegedly showed, it says that Deniece has STD. As of this update, it was pointed out to us that Deniece DOESN’T have STD. This libel case was filed in October of last year for this very reason that Fashion Pulis posted on its blog that Deniece is sick.
 
Let’s chew and digest this bit of information. What does her having an STD have to do with the lives of the millions and millions of Fashion Pulis? Does it even suggest anything that would help one overcome such illness? Does it even teach you how NOT to live a life of promiscuity so you won’t contract like one. Parang kay Kris Aquino lang ito eh when she declared on primetime national TV that she contracted STD. Sa totoo lang, ano bang maitutulong niyan sa paglalagay ng pagkain sa lamesa ng mga naghihikahos na JUAN. Anak ng isang milyon baka, wala talaga!
 
And there is such a thing as doctor-patient priviledges, doctors are not allowed to release records, much less talk about their patients conditions unless the higher courts would subpoena the records. And yes, no matter if it contains the truth about a certain person. Not even congress nor the senate can barge on a clinic or a hospital and get patients records with or without force, because this law, our dear JUANS, protects everyone of us. And we believe that no matter how much we cry for press freedom, when it already involves the privacy of a person and it doesn’t affect the security of the nation, nor does it affect the economy of the country, nor does it help in solving the problems of the traffic in EDSA, we simply have NO RIGHT to it. Press freedom is NOT absolute freedom. As our opening line says: “Your freedom ends where my nose begins.” If it becomes personal, if truth about a certain person is exposed but it doesn’t concern the lives of the vast majority of the country in general, then yes that’s where freedom ends. We don’t think that Deniece’s having contracted STD (as said/implied in the blog post, which as of this update, she apparently has no such sickness) will cause a widespread of STD epidemic in the country. She is not even on a wild rampage of spreading the “sickness” as a form of revenge to men who have misused her. So why did Fashion Pulis deemed it necessary to be published for public consumption? For the hits? For the clicks? For the shares? Alam na sino ang kikita dito. At hindi kayo yun!
 
Chismis lang naman ang hanap ng iba sa atin. Kaya chismis din ang ibinibigay ng ibang websites at blogsites. Hirap sa atin, kinakain natin ang chismis – agahan, tanghalian, hapunan. Hindi naman tayo yumayaman diyan. Ibang tao ang pinayayaman natin.
 
Information is sacred. People will kill for it. Information given to empower the people (how they can alleviate their lives, curve their attitudes, etc. etc.) is good information – as long as it benefits the country in general, makes people think, and draws out the true sentiments of the people. Pero ang pagkakaroon ng STD ng isang tao? Sa totoo lang, wala na dapat tayong pakialam diyan.

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