Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Under Siege!

When I unexpectedly bumped into another long lost friend over the weekend, I noticed that she was bringing along a copy of Andrew Marshall's Time magazine essay, "A Philippine Shame."
"Why on earth are you bringing that?" I asked Ruby Padilla for having missed her all these years, I was in a very jovial mood and was prepared to tease her about anything. But Ruby's answer shocked me.
"Because he was writing about me." I was puzzled because I had read the article earlier but did not see her name on it, so, I looked again and realized that the reason I did not recognize her was because she was using her husband's family name.
"Ruby Sison is waiting for someone to kill her," Marshall wrote in opening his essay. He met Ruby at a Kidapawan cemetery while paying their respects to slain journalist couple George and Maricel Vigo. George and Maricel were killed on their way home in June last year by unidentified assassins, one of the increasing number of journalist killings in the country that until now remain unsolved. For someone who had known Ruby back in our much happier, younger days in Kabacan, the simplicity of the statement struck me like a lightning bolt. The journalism profession is indeed, under attack and any self-respecting journalist could not afford to just sit around while state forces continue their assault on press freedom and freedom of expression, which is supposed to be the hallmark of a working democracy, the basic element in every journalist's quest for truth.

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