Funding to PCIJ, CMFR at least P100M
IT’s serendipitous that we have unearthed at this time the huge funding that the National Endowment For Democracy (NED)—widely viewed as a CIA propaganda surrogate—has been giving to the four rabidly anti-Duterte news websites here, the grossly misnamed Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), Vera Files and Rappler.
This is because the discovery, which the four have not denied, comes at a time when the ugly results of the NED’s dirty, vile work in sowing chaos in a sovereign country in order to overthrow the democratically elected administrations have become riveting news.
I am talking about Venezuela, where the NED has funded opposition groups and PCIJ-type media outfits since 2000 against then President Hugo Chavez. The NED and the US have not let up on their efforts, intensifying these against Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro. During Chavez’s watch, Venezuela even filed criminal cases against an organization funded by NED, for getting foreign funds to incite Venezuelans against its government.
The US no longer conceals that it wants Maduro overthrown, with the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo recently threatening to send US troops to do so.
Don’t believe everything US media has been saying about Maduro and Venezuela. Chavez and Maduro had made some very bad economic policies. But it was the US effort to topple the oil-exporter that precipitated the political crises which turned into economic crises.
This American obsession with Venezuela is such because it is a key battleground for the US. Maduro’s survival will be a precedent for other Latin American countries to end the US’ total control over them.
The Philippines under President Duterte is similarly an important battleground for the US. We had been a US puppet, its proxy in Southeast Asia since World War 2, and recently its surrogate in the South China Sea that the US wants to continue being the overlord of. Duterte has been ending that, at a crucial time for the US when China is rising to replace it as the Asian, even the global, hegemon.
Popular blogger Rey Joseph Nieto’s data, culled from the US AID website, shows that the PCIJ and CMFR received money through NED totaling $1.1 million each from 2009 to 2018, which at an average exchange rate in that period of P46 converts to P50 million.
Our sources, however, claim that NED started funding PCIJ and CMFR in late 1999, to help in the propaganda to topple then President Joseph Estrada. If this is true, PCIJ and CMFR would have received at least P100 million so far.
To be honest, I was shocked when blogger Nieto discovered the hard facts about NED’s funding of PCIJ. Its past executive director Sheila Coronel and the current one Malou Mangahas were leftists in their youth, intellectually brought up in historian Renato Constantino and communist demagogue Jose Ma. Sison’s narratives about US imperialism and the Central Intelligence Agency’s subversion of our sovereignty.
As investigative journalists (Coronel is now head of Columbia University’s Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, which I will report later has joined the anti-Duterte mob here), how could they not have known that NED, funded by the US AID, has been reported by their fellow investigative journalists as a CIA surrogate?
Why would they conceal PCIJ’s NED funding, apparently since 2001? The only logical answer is that they knew that this foundation is known to be a CIA conduit, but that would have to be kept secret.
Traditional media has been mum on the NED revelations, probably afraid that PCIJ’s chairman Howie Severino and executive director Malou Mangahas who are top media executives at GMA-7, the country’s biggest network,could use it against them.
Patriotic netizens like Nieto give us hope about the future of journalism in our country. It is netizens like him who will stop NED’s minions from spreading their lies here, to overthrow a democratically elected president. NED’s minions might be on the brink of victory in Venezuela, netizens will crush them here.
NED in Venezuela
To give you a vivid description of NED’s nefarious activities in Venezuela, the following are excerpts from an article published way back in 2004 by the respected US investigative journalist Eva Golinger, titled “The Dirty Hand of the National Endowment for Democracy in Venezuela”:
“Anti-government protests in Venezuela that seek regime change have been led by several individuals and organizations with close ties to the US government. Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado — two of the public leaders behind the violent protests that started in February — have long histories as collaborators, grantees and agents of Washington. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have channeled multi-million-dollar funding to Lopez’s political parties Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, and Machado’s NGO Sumate and her electoral campaigns.
These Washington agencies have also filtered more than $14 million to opposition groups in Venezuela between 2013 and 2014, including funding for their political campaigns in 2013 and for the current anti-government protests in 2014. This continues the pattern of financing from the US government to anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela since 2001, when millions of dollars were given to organizations from so-called “civil society” to execute a coup d’etat against President Chavez in April 2002. After their failure days later, USAID opened an Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) in Caracas to, together with the NED, inject more than $100 million in efforts to undermine the Chavez government and reinforce the opposition during the following eight years.
The NED, a ‘foundation’ created by Congress in 1983 to essentially do the CIA’s work overtly, has been one of the principal financiers of destabilization in Venezuela throughout the Chavez administration and now against President Maduro. According to NED’s 2013 annual report, the agency channeled more than $2.3 million to Venezuelan opposition groups and projects. Within that figure, $1,787,300 went directly to anti-government groups within Venezuela, while another $590,000 was distributed to regional organizations that work with and fund the Venezuelan opposition. More than $300,000 was directed towards efforts to develop a new generation of youth leaders to oppose Maduro’s government politically.
One of the groups funded by NED to specifically work with youth is FORMA, an organization led by Cesar Briceño and tied to Venezuelan banker Oscar Garcia Mendoza. Garcia Mendoza runs the Banco Venezolano de Credito, a Venezuelan bank that has served as the filter for the flow of dollars from NED and USAID to opposition groups in Venezuela, including Sumate, CEDICE, Sin Mordaza, Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones and FORMA, among others.”
“Another significant part of NED funds in Venezuela from 2013-2014 was given to groups and initiatives that work in media and run the campaign to discredit the government of President Maduro. Some of the more active media organizations outwardly opposed to Maduro and receiving NED funds include EspacioPublico, Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS), Sin Mordaza and GALI. Throughout the past year, an unprecedented media war has been waged against the Venezuelan government and President Maduro directly, which has intensified during the past few months of protests.
In direct violation of Venezuelan law, NED also funded the opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Table (MUD), via the US International Republican Institute (IRI), with $100,000 to “share lessons learned with [anti-government groups] in Nicaragua, Argentina and Bolivia…and allow for the adoption of the Venezuelan experience in these countries”…
IRI has helped to build right-wing opposition parties Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, and has worked with the anti-government coalition in Venezuela since before the 2002 coup d’etat against Chavez. In fact, IRI’s president at that time, George Folsom, outwardly applauded the coup and celebrated IRI’s role in a press release claiming, “The Institute has served as a bridge between the nation’s political parties and all civil society groups to help Venezuelans forge a new democratic future…”
Detailed in a report published by the Spanish institute FRIDE in 2010, international agencies that fund the Venezuelan opposition violate currency control laws in order to get their dollars to the recipients. Also confirmed in the FRIDE report was the fact that the majority of international agencies, with the exception of the European Commission, are bringing in foreign money and changing it on the black market, in clear violation of Venezuelan law. In some cases, as the FRIDE analysis reports, the agencies open bank accounts abroad for the Venezuelan groups or they bring them the money in hard cash.
The US Embassy in Caracas could also use the diplomatic pouch to bring large quantities of unaccounted dollars and euros into the country that are later handed over illegally to anti-government groups in Venezuela.”