C’MON, let’s be honest and even just barely objective. No Philippine media practitioner who knows Maria Ressa, except of course her shamefully servile staff, thinks that she deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.
She’s a fraud. She hasn’t written any work of journalism to claim that award. Rappler isn’t being persecuted with what she melodramatically calls a “thousand cuts.”
Her cases are for libel, filed by a private person and for Rappler’s taking in foreign money, expressly prohibited by the Constitution. But compared to the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s continuous stream of attacks against President Rodrigo Duterte, as the opposition’s official organ, Rappler is a timid pussy. Except for its misinformation exaggerating the number of casualties in Duterte’s anti-drug war, Rappler has not produced any real work even scratching Duterte’s popularity.
The awards Ressa deserve would be for acting as Duterte’s victim and for fooling the Nobel Committee.
But not really. The only reason Ressa got the award was because the hegemonic US of A wanted to express its extreme loathing for Duterte, as much as it hates its unarguably authoritarian enemy — Vladimir Putin — who has effectively ruled Russia for 22 years.
That is quite expected: After the US moved heaven and earth to dismantle the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), and get Russia to jettison its communist party system, a former KGB official — Putin — comes along to lead a new Russia more threatening to the Americans than the old Soviets.
And why would the US hate Duterte so much that it would use its hegemonic soft power to get the five-man Norwegian Nobel Committee to give Ressa the peace prize? The answer is that he is the first Philippine president to “separate” the country from America’s hold and move it closer to its superpower rivals, China and Russia.
Worse, Duterte suddenly reversed his predecessor’s policy of quarreling with China and of making the Philippines the most useful and malleable US proxy against the Asian superpower in the Americans’ so-called “Pivot to Asia” started in 2010.
Imagine, the United States manipulated the clueless Benigno Simeon Aquino 3rd administration into filing the arbitration suit against China in order to frighten the country that it felt it needed the US military bases to prevent a Chinese invasion that it became a full-fledged puppet. And then Duterte comes along, sets aside the arbitration suit and makes China its premier friend.
For Ressa to be given the Nobel Prize is so absurd it borders on the hilarious if you really honestly think about it. Her co-awardee — who shared the $1-million prize — is Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov, who set up and has been the editor of Novaya Gazeta, one of the few independent papers there, for 24 years. How long has Rappler been operating? Nine years since 2012.
Is Rappler independent? Far from it, it was a tool of the Aquino 3rd regime, even unabashedly leading the black propaganda campaign in the then new internet-based news world to help remove Chief Justice Renato Corona. It had never run a critical piece on the Aquino administration. When Duterte assumed office, it was publishing nonstop fake news and innuendos against him.
Novaya Gazeta does not have a ruble of foreign funding that Putin could accuse it of being a “foreign agent.” Mikhail Gorbachev, the last premier of the USSR, used the money from his 1990 Nobel Peace Prize to help establish it in 1993 and purchase its first computers.
In contrast, Rappler survives on foreign funding. It had boasted of getting $1.5 million of American funds, even if this was in violation of the Constitution. It gets income as Facebook’s “fact-checker” and in 2019 — despite the SEC’s decision that it should be dissolved for getting foreign funding — got additional funds from another US entity, the Media Development Investment Fund.
And these are not just funds from banks, but from “foundations,” which have admitted to in effect doing the propaganda work in developing countries that the Central Intelligence Agency had been doing in the Cold War in the 1950s. After Novaya Gazeta published an investigation by journalist Denis Korotkov about a Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin in October 2018, its offices got deliveries of a severed ram’s head and funeral flowers. But that’s nothing, Since its founding in 1993, six of its journalists have been killed, including Anna Politkovskaya, whose reporting exposed high-level corruption in Russia and rights abuses in the northern Caucasus republic of Chechnya.
The only thing Ressa has had to suffer was to pay her bail (funded by her US investors) for her libel conviction for having published a piece very falsely claiming that an accomplished businessman was a murderer.
Among the Russian newspaper’s admirable pieces was its series of investigative articles in 2004, which accused Sergey Kiriyenko of embezzling $4.8 billion of International Monetary Fund funds in 1998 when he was prime minister of Russia.
By contrast, the only “investigative” piece Rappler has written was that by Ressa herself when she wrote that the Resort World attack in 2017 was by an al-Qaeda operative named “Abu Khair al Luzonee.” The police didn’t even bother to respond to Ressa’s hilarious report.
To put Ressa on the same level as Muratov, her co-awardee for the Nobel Prize, is to put Yellow blogger Jover Laurio on the same level as National Artist F. Sionil Jose. A person of integrity would have declined the award.
Why, Ressa can’t even hold a candle to the anti-Duterte editors and writers of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The US, of course, is so arrogant that it can do this through its influence over the Nobel Committee in order to falsely portray that Ressa is as crusading and accomplished a journalist as Muratov.
Through the Ressa award, the Americans are obviously sending the message to Duterte: We have put you on our list of enemies forever as Putin. Take note, whoever will be your successor,
American arrogance is such that they have worked to get the Nobel even if it is so obvious that in this year, or two years of crisis all over the world, there are more heroes worthy of the prize.
Foremost is the Australian Julius Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, who gave the world access to data, which revealed how ruthless were the wars waged by the US against Afghanistan and Iraq, how it is the biggest violator of human rights in the world. The US even demonstrated its arrogance by getting a UK court to rule on Assange’s extradition to America on the same day that Ressa would be receiving her Nobel award.
The 18-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg has done much to draw the world’s attention to the need to address the climate-change crisis decisively. In the two years of a pandemic that has threatened the lives of millions of humans, nobody had a big role in dealing deserving the Nobel? Not the scientists that developed the vaccines in record time? Not United States’ Dr. Anthony Fauci with his critical role in addressing the pandemic in America? Not the nurses who risked (and sacrificed) their lives for meager pay to take care of those hit by Covid-19?
But, of course, giving those people the Nobel would be useless for American propaganda needs. The US, the Nobel Committee and Ressa should apologize.
Rather than being proud that a fellow Filipino (even if she is also an American) winning the first-ever Nobel Prize, I am ashamed. A megalomaniac Filipino American has demeaned a prestigious prize, which should have been given to others to inspire others to serve humanity.
Ressa serves only herself and American hegemony.
Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao
Book orders: www.rigobertotiglao.com/shop
International Book Orders, buy from Amazon: https://amzn.to/3wE7AFV
Sales and Order Inquiries: email@example.com