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The Stone Throwers:
A Man-Hunt For Vietnam War Draft Evaders


“Reading maketh a full man; conference, a ready man, and WRITING, an exact man” emphasized aphoristic essayist Francis Bacon. Writing has often been described as one of the most conscious activities of man thereby making him “complete and exact.”

Journalism is a field that demands broad knowledge, sound judgment, quick decision and the realization that a word a writer jots down may influence the lives of many people. This sharpens their intellect, promotes keen alertness, gives courage and passion for truth and justice, cultivates one’s commitment to freedom, human dignity and the gratification that comes from a work well done. This career has multiple responsibilities with crucial role to accomplish and the person involved in it should not be suppressed by ordeal, soulful supplication, mendacity, sarcasm, condemnation, threat, among others in order to prolong his survival.

Journalism is a dignified but the most jeopardized profession because of its limited self-expression, disclosure, freedom of the press and the pros and cons as well as several taboos regarding the pursuance of truth and the write-ups credibility. It is the formidable task of a writer to serve the growing population with integrity and fairness.

A writer must be inquisitive, a keen observant with creative imagination based on facts. He must be sensitive but devoted, tactful, diligent, persevere and honest in dealing with other fellows and his writing as well. With firm conviction and reliable bird’s eye view, he is also assiduous who can’t divorce his work from his personal life.

There are times that he is being discouraged to turn away from the risky or imperiled tasks but a true mass communicator seems to be unaffected by the unhappy situation of our status quo and prioritizes the world and the society as well by bringing then the factual event or news. He is the critic of the higher-ups and pilot of change especially when the iron hand repression becomes the ultimate remedy for the stalwarts of power.

It is very hard to be a product of the so-called “Developmental Communication” which is writing about what can be rather than what it should have been, that in order to become a productive or persuasive communicator, one must be an issue-oriented than event-inspired because effective writing comes in by being personally involved with what he divulged.

Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal quoted that “pen is mightier than the sword.” A rational persuasion is longer lasting, that it is much better to convince us of what to do or what’s going on than those who use force and threatened. By means of the pen, fellows from all walks of life would come to think, ponder and grasp the real score. The press can help build a sense of nationhood, can be a motivating force during the period of disappointment and a moving agent for social change.

The journalist does enjoy the stimulation of being close to events and knowledge that his abilities can help shape the future. He must have integrity, concerned mostly with the honesty of motives with the capacity for truthfulness. He must be a committed reporter in this time, place and condition who can’t simply close his eyes to the tragedy of human plight in our midst – the sham, the shenanigans, the feeble-mindedness, the hypocrisy, social injustice, mass poverty, to name a few.

It is so difficult to be an opinion-molder without deploring what is wrong with the country, the community or the school and exposing those who misuse their power. A true writer can’t stay aloof from and unaffected by the society’s sad situation nor be scared of the threats in his life. He should courageously face tribulations, hurdle the high standards of journalism and always willing to assume his dangerous obligations come what may. Journalist like me is not chicken-livered and I say courageously with all my heart what I can write beforehand.

Our motto: “It is not who is right that counts but what is right that matters.” Reveal the truth no matter how bitter it is!


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