The "Right of Reply" bill, both the senate and House versions, were obviously crafted and, in the case of the Senate bill authored by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr., already passed, with total ignorance of the workings of news organizations. They were done without undergoing committee hearings where journalists were invited as resource persons. If they had, they would have known that the bill is unnecessary and a waste of time. Persons and organizations that are the subject of news stories are already given the right to reply-in fact, asked for their comments-which are published at the same time as the first story. No need to wait one or three days.
When the reply or comment is not published at the same time as the story, it means one of two things: the subject is not available or withholds comment until he or she reads the story in the newspaper and/or he/she wants to consult his/her lawyer. In any case, the story says why there is no comment from the subject in spite of efforts to contact him. A third reason is that the subject is guilty or does not want to incriminate himself further or does not know what to say and would rather not say anything. You know, no talk, no mistake.
Read the whole article. GMA Arroyo and Manny Villar were cited as examples of stonewalling.
More from Ellen Tordesillas and Dean Bocobo.