Rappler’s scheme was an attack on the Constitution and our nationhood

RAPPLER president Maria Ressa’s caterwauling that the corporate regulatory body’s decision to close down her outfit is an attack on the free press is pure, unadulterated rubbish.

She is lying through her teeth. She fully knows that it took the Securities and Exchange Commission the whole of last year to investigate the allegations that Rappler violated the constitutional provision banning foreign money in and control of media firms. I don’t think anyone can accuse the SEC chair, Teresita Herbosa, of being a Duterte lackey: She was appointed by former President Aquino 3rd in 2011.

Ressa obviously doesn’t respect our laws nor our country, that she imputes other motives to the SEC decision, thereby portraying the Philippines as a dictatorship going after critical media.

Rappler was given a whole year and opportunity to respond to the allegations, with Ressa herself appearing in meetings with SEC investigators, who were even so patient as to acquiesce to her last-minute requests for postponement “for personal reasons.”

By taking P50 million from two US media outfits—even from one notorious in the world for destabilizing a Ukrainian government the US didn’t like—Rappler attacked our Constitution. It undertook a scheme that would have opened the doors to foreign control of an institution crucial to developing our sense of nationhood: media.


Rappler actually functioned as a tool of the Aquino regime. It was set up in 2011, when the Yellow Cult realized that in its ambition to completely control Filipinos’ minds, their hold of traditional media, through the two dominant TV networks and through the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star, was not enough, especially in the new social-media world emerging.

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Bury that ‘Bangsamoro’ nonsense, it is an affront to the Republic

WHILE President Rodrigo Duterte had initially been supportive of the past Yellow Regime’s so-called “Bangsamoro Basic Law,” he said in a speech last month: “I do not think it will hurdle constitutional objections. Binabasa ko paulit-ulit… there are clear constitutional barriers.”

He is right, and I’m glad that unlike past presidents, this President isn’t that kind of egoist who refuses to change his mind, even in the light of better analysis and data.

The BBL is patently unconstitutional. The term is even a misnomer, as it was never passed into law. Former President Aquino 3rd’s attempt to railroad it into law was derailed because of public outrage against the Muslim insurgents who massacred 44 of the elite Special Forces soldiers in Mamasapano in 2015.

The Constitution’s Article X, Section 1 very categorically specifies that “the territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays (as well as the) autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras as hereinafter provided.” No other kind of political entities , such as the “Bangsamoro” as defined in the BBL, are allowed.

Its Section 15 then specifies that these autonomous regions must be set up “within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.”

By no stretch of language could the “Bangsamoro” as described in the BBL be interpreted as the “Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.” (more…)

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‘The telco duopoly has become the CPP-NPA’s biggest funder’

THE country’s telecommunications duopoly, consisting of PLDT-Smart and Globe Telecom, has become the biggest single source of financing for the Communist Party and its terrorist group, the New People’s Army, sources at the highest levels of government disclosed.

The sources claimed that since the start of this decade, the telcos have capitulated to the CPP-NPA’s demands for extortion money so that it will not destroy or damage their 20,000 cell towers spread all over the country, many of which are in far-flung areas too distant for the police or the military to protect.

That certainly explains why attacks on telcos’ cell-sites have dramatically gone down to practically none in the past several years, from about one each month before.

The telcos have calculated that it is cheaper to pay the NPA than hire heavily armed private security guards, who have proven again and again to be so quick to surrender to communist terrorists. “The NPA in many instances, didn’t even have to fight the security guards,” a source said. “The NPA simply tells them they will attack the site, and the security guards abandon their posts. Why shouldn’t they?”

The source estimated that based on reports on the ground on the actual payments, the two telcos may have been giving as much as P3 billion yearly to the CPP-NPA, a huge part of which are received directly by their top leaders.

He’s definitely grateful to telcos: NPA spokesman Ka Diego at a press conference.

The accuracy of this estimate is bolstered by data reported in a study on the armed conflict in Bicol published way back in 2006 by (more…)

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Ex-Palawan governor Reyes is innocent – he is the forgotten victim of the Yellow Cult

I BELIEVE former Palawan governor Joel Reyes is innocent of the murder of Palawan broadcaster Dr. Gerry Ortega in January 2011. My studied opinion borne of research is that he was a victim of the alliance of a political overlord with an oligarch, in connivance with officials of the past Yellow regime.

I didn’t make this conclusion only with the Court of Appeals Special Division’s January 4 decision to drop the murder case against Reyes, on grounds that there was no evidence against him, and the sole accuser’s claims were “riddled with inconsistencies.”

I had the same conclusion seven years ago, when Reyes was first accused of the crime, which was explained in my column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer published on May 4, 2011, reproduced below. I had written the piece admittedly with some trepidation because I was the only writer to take such a stand – understandably because of the frenzy over the murder of a journalist. I cannot pretend that I am not relieved that a five-man court of justice has agreed with conclusions I made seven years ago.

The powerful Philippine Daily Inquirer at that time condemned Reyes in a ruthless trial by publicity. One of its reporters who returned to his Palawan home province as the paper’s correspondent there spewed so many articles that portrayed Reyes as a cold-blooded murderer, and claimed (in a complaint to PDI’s editors) that I was a paid hack.

The PDI reporter never disclosed that his book on Palawan was at that time being heavily financed by then Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn, Reyes’ political arch-enemy who had just two weeks after the murder accused him of the deed. The PDI and now Rappler, another Yellow media, obviously haven’t dropped their campaign against Reyes, as shown in its recent frontpages. (See accompanying image.)

Joining the Yellow Cult’s delirium against Reyes at the time, now Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque volunteered as a lawyer for the Ortega family. That is foul: he is dragging the Palace to join him in his former frenzy.

The Yellow Press, and the once-yellow Roque, are still after Reyes, despite a Court of Appeals ruling. Why are they reporting only the views of the minority dissenting opinions?

Sole accuser
I believed Reyes was innocent for one major reason. The sole accuser was one Rodolfo Edrad, who claimed to have hired Ortega’s killers. (more…)

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PDI’s selection of a Yellow blogger as ‘Filipino of the Year’ is an insult to the nation

DUTERTE IS OBJECTIVELY AND IRREFUTABLY THE FILIPINO OF THE YEAR

THE Philippine Daily Inquirer chose blogger Jover Laurio as its Filipino of the Year, and placed the soldiers and policemen who fought against the IS-linked terrorists in Marawi only in the second rung. This not only is an indication of the very sorry state of journalism in the country.

The Inquirer has spat on the graves of our uniformed men who were killed by terrorists in Marawi. Because of its Yellow partisanship, one of the country’s biggest newspapers in the country has insulted the nation.

As this newspaper’s investigative series on the Battle of Marawi has revealed, (more…)

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Aquino gang hijacked P10.6-B senior citizens’ funds

IT is another blatant, scandalous instance of the previous regime’s culture of impunity in violating budget laws.

Just a few months before he stepped down from power, former President Benigno Aquino 3rd in connivance with his budget secretary, Florencio Abad, and health secretary, Janette Garin, hijacked P10.6 billion in funds that were mandated by law to be used for the insurance premiums of the country’s 7 million senior citizens, according to government documents.*

This P10.6billion was instead allocated to dubious health department projects that Congress had not authorized. At best, these projects were designed to boost the Liberal Party’s candidates’ chances in the 2016 elections, by prettifying the administration’s image as taking care of citizens’ health needs.

At worst though— and probably their real nature—the projects were of the type that since the Republic’s founding have been widely known as a source of facile corruption: construction of small structures difficult to monitor if they complied with specifications, or even if they were built at all.

 

Another, bigger project of the Dengvaxia trio?

This P10.6 billion hijacked funds were triple the P3 billion the Aquino gang spent to buy the defective Dengvaxia vaccine. The former president’s inordinate rush to purchase it, to the point of violating budget laws, (more…)

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Dogmas Duterte demolished in 2017

THE year 2017 will be remembered as the year a mayor from Mindanao who surprisingly became President demolished long-held national political and cultural dogmas and myths, whose persistence has been a formidable obstacle to our growth as a nation—and yet he continued to be immensely popular.

First, Duterte demolished the dogma that a Philippine president and the Republic should consider the United States as its big white brother, that its national interests are our national interests. In our post-war history. Cory Aquino, her anointed, the West Point-trained Fidel Ramos, and her son Benigno III were totally subservient to the US, while the other two just paid lip service to the policy of undertaking an independent foreign policy.

In a period when the US maneuvered geopolitically and pressured Asian countries to isolate China for its alleged aggressiveness in the South China Sea, Duterte drew the country closer to the emerging Asian superpower, not just diplomatically but in terms of economic relationship.

He has managed to change Filipinos’ centuries-old anti-Chinese bias, with the nation now looking at China as its main trade partner and the funder for its much-needed infrastructure projects.

Part of the love-America dogma was that no president would remain popular—and would become ripe for overthrow—if he crossed the US overlords. The reasoning was that—in sharp contrast to our neighbors— probably nearly all of middle- and upper-class Filipinos have relatives who migrated to the US (or its sister country, Canada). Most of the masses on the other hand still dream of migrating to that land of milk and honey.

Duterte broke that myth, with his popularity even surging to a record 69 percent of Filipinos (based on the latest December polls) satisfied with his rule, a rise from his 65 percent grade when he assumed office in June 2016.

He destroyed the hold of these three on the nation.

Second, (more…)

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