I SWEAR, one of these days, if it doesn’t drop its anti-China, anti-Duterte thinking, the Philippine Daily Inquirer will publish inflammatory but fake news that will rouse Filipinos to go to war.
Last Friday, the newspaper put out a banner headline: “Foreign fishing crowd PH waters.” Covering two-thirds of the front page were satellite images of what seemed to be an invasion of boats into the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone(EEZ). I myself was alarmed, as the images were compiled by the respected Karagatan Patrol from a weather satellite using infrared sensors that detect lights, day and night, hundreds of miles away from earth. The assumption in this technology is that the lights are from fishing boasts.
The piece’s spin was that these “foreign ships” were mostly Chinese, quoting international law expert Jay Batongbakal, that there was a “high likelihood” that many of these were Chinese vessels. The piece of course fits into the PDI and the Yellows’ narrative that China is intruding into our territory.
Probably because of the sharp decline in the PDI’s credibility since President Aquino, whom it supported, stepped down from power, no other media outlet – not even its ideological sister Rappler – followed up (so far) on the newspaper’s banner story. Thank God. Or the country would have been caught up in another ‘the-Chinese-are-invading-us’ frenzy.
I think it is still necessary to expose it as fake news, as in all likelihood the Yellows will regurgitate it to claim that President Duterte has been allowing the “invasion of Chinese fishing vessels” into our country.