In these times of global crisis when strong measures need to be implemented and people need to co-operate and work together with their governments to mitigate further risks to the rest of humanity, people like Rappler “reporter” Natashya Gutierrez are a dangerous lot. Calling for people to demand conditions before complying with government measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 can have a deadly effect on untold numbers of people.
Flawed as any government directive could be, the quality of governance is something that is an outcome of decades of “democracy” that shaped dysfunctional behaviour in elected officials. However, there is something to be said about media personalities with significant followings suggesting things just short of sedition. In a crisis scenario, acts like these that incite panic or anarchy should not be tolerated.
Nonetheless, this is the system Filipinos signed up to. Filipinos have always been proud (assuming they care at all) about their “free press”. Much as this “free press” see themselves as the people’s anointed “fact checkers” and government “critics” there really is no strong mechanism to keep “media people” like Gutierrez honest.
It’s high time somebody does the job.