BASED on events solely in the past 30 days, it is incontestably US shadowy entities and their principal agent here, Rappler and Maria Ressa, who are inarguably suppressing Filipinos’ right to express their sentiments. We should be outraged.
Case No. 1: Rappler takes down its own polls
Ressa’s US-funded propaganda site, Rappler, launched on October 7 an online poll for viewers to vote whom they want to be president in May 2022. It said that the poll would run for three days and would be done monthly. Although Robredo was winning in the first several hours, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. subsequently overtook her the next day with huge margins.
This was despite the fact that Robredo’s camp, or Rappler itself, deployed a thousand trolls to vote for her; so stupidly obvious as the voters had Arabic or Indian names and many having their identities written in Sanskrit or Arabic.
By the second day, Marcos was winning nearly by a landslide, with 72 percent of netizens voting for him, and only 24 percent for Robredo.
CONTRARY to what most people think, the way we practice All Souls’ Day, which has come to be called “Undas” only in recent years, wasn’t a creation of Catholicism nor is it a practice among Catholics all over the world.
Only Mexico, the Philippines, Brazil — and in less intense forms, a few other Latin American countries — celebrate the Day of the Dead in the way we know it; that is, one day of the year when people go to the cemeteries to honor their dead. “Todos Los Santos” to us, this was an import from Hispanic Mexico, the reproduction here of its Dia de los Muertos.
Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter in the privacy of their homes with their families. Why would they commemorate their dead, who obviously passed away at different days of the year on one particular day when everyone does so and undertake this in one crowded place with strangers — crowds — all around them; thus, diminishing the solemnity of commemorating their loved ones?
The absurdity of the practice has become so obvious as our population has swelled, and more and more die, so more and more people visit their dear departed in cemeteries, which obviously have not grown in size, creating mammoth crowds in these places on November 1 that risk people’s safety.
THE national elections next year could be the worst timing ever for the opposition to the current administration. The pandemic will be ending by that time, while an economic boom is highly likely, following the usual bounce-back phenomenon of economies in the doldrums.
Based on figures in the past few days, the pandemic is easing, with cases dropping gradually in the past month, yesterday to around 3,000 from its peak of 26,000 in September.
This isn’t a fluke, with OCTA Research recently reporting the reproduction rate to be 0.4, below 1, which means Covid-19 is, theoretically, at least not even reproducing 100 percent of itself. It is also the same trend in most other countries such as among our neighbors like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The pandemic is running its course, its spread slowed down by increasing numbers of people being vaccinated. The third and last wave is ending. It appears to be mimicking the second deadly pandemic in modern times, the Spanish flu which “officially” started February 1918 and ended April 1920, or a period of roughly two years. If the Covid-19 pandemic mimics that life span, it will be ending March 2022, or just about two months before the May elections.
PARDON my language, but this really got my goat for reasons you’ll understand below.
Idiots calling themselves the Oxford Philippines Society (yet not identifying themselves individually) last week issued a statement that claimed that leading presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos had not graduated from Oxford University in the UK. Bongbong “only had a Special Diploma which is not a degree,” the statement said.
That’s totally false. Oxford’s official document dated March 31, 2015, titled “Degree Confirmation,” reads:
“This is to certify that the student named below has satisfied all the requirements to the award of the degree indicated below:
Student name: Ferdinand Martin Romualdez Marcos
College: St. Edmund Hall
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Qualification: Special Qualification in Social Studies
Programme of Study: Special Diploma in Social Studies
AWARDING Maria Ressa the Senate Medal of Excellence for her being conferred the Nobel Peace Prize is an insult to us professional Philippine journalists, and to all Filipinos.
The peace prize (and not for journalism) was given by a five-man panel of Norwegians — most likely because of US maneuvering or pressure — who don’t know anything about the Philippines, like most of the other US media outfits that similarly praised her “work.” The Norwegians probably thought, because of Ressa’s claims, that we are a country somewhere in Africa barely out of the Stone Age.
Please read the Nobel committee’s sole justification for giving the award: “Ressa’s Rappler has focused critical attention on the Duterte regime’s controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign. The number of deaths is so high that the campaign resembles a war waged against the country’s own population.”
But it is not just President Duterte that the Nobel insulted through that award to an American Filipino; it is all of us.
IT’s incontrovertibly an indication of its desperation that the opposition, led by its fake vice president, Leni Robredo, has fielded 11 senatorial candidates whose commonality is that most have been accused by, or are the accuser of, each other of some crime or misconduct.
Just by joining this band, the candidates are announcing to the world that they will drop their principles in a heartbeat for the sake of their egos, which a Senate post inflates. How could former vice president Jojo Binay be with a band that includes Antonio Trillanes 4th, who accused him of plunder and continuously announced he would be thrown to jail before the Aquino 3rd administration ends? In the first place, how the heck did he get the idea that Filipinos want two Binays in the Senate?
Not just unprincipled but, well, stupid. What value would Robredo and her running mate Kiko Pangilinan give to their candidacies? Why, they can’t even give their band a name to tell voters what they stand for or why they are banding together. The Finks? “Labing-isa, kanya-kanya?”
Do they think that the “Le-Ki” tandem would have any funds to throw at them? If they’ll have anything left over, they’ll set it aside for their retirement funds, which, given the odds of their winning, is really their motive for running.
And it is so obvious even at this early stage of the election cycle that the usual big-business contributors aren’t wont to fund losers. The Lopezes, the only oligarch that would move heaven and earth to prevent a Duterte 2 administration, have been practically bankrupted by the closure of their ABS-CBN network and their efforts to keep it alive via cyberspace.
A FACEBOOK-based poll by Rappler, a US-funded, anti-Marcos news website, showed Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. taking 54 percent of votes, and Leni Robredo, 42 percent. The poll was initially scheduled to run for three days from October 7 to 9. It was abruptly shut down on the second day though, when a Marcos win was obviously irreversible.
The poll results were deleted from the website, but fortunately, not a few patriotic netizens took “screengrabs,” even videos of these.
The Manila Bulletin undertook an exactly similar Facebook poll from October 15 up to yesterday at 12 noon, and its results would likely have also been similar to that of Rappler’s if it had continued its poll. The Bulletin was obviously taking a potshot at Rappler when it said in its announcement, “The survey will not be taken down and will be archived as we do this once a month.”
The Bulletin poll showed Marcos winning by a landslide, getting 72 percent of votes with Robredo just 24 percent. Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso was a far third with just 2 percent of the votes. Senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao and Panfilo “Ping” Lacson each got less than 1 percent. They should just quit.
If you have doubts that the Manila Bulletin rigged its polls, note that its publisher is Herminio “Sonny” Coloma, who was the late president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd’s very loyal occasional spokesman and the head of his Presidential Communications Operations Office throughout his term. The Bulletin has had a tradition and a track record for being boringly nonpartisan to a fault.
RAPPLER CEO Maria Ressa continues to humiliate our nation. She has arrogantly defied our rule of law, in effect saying her stature and the West’s adulation of her place her beyond our legal system. To this day, Rappler continues to publish the article for which she was convicted of libel, and which she claims was President Duterte’s move to suppress her website’s critical coverage of his administration.
Ressa’s allegation is such total rubbish it is amazing that Western media believed it, which explains how it was easy for the US to get the Nobel committee to award her its peace prize.
She and the writer of the article himself, Reynaldo Santos, were convicted of libel by a regional trial court in June 2020 for claiming that a businessman, Willy Keng, was a murderer. The piece was part of a huge 2012 media campaign with Rappler’s “editor-at-large” Marites Vitug as one of its leaders, launched by the Aquino administration to demonize and remove Chief Justice Renato Corona from his post. It claimed that Keng, whom it claimed was a “shadowy” businessman, was the magistrate’s close friend and that Corona was even using his SUV.
Judge Rainalda Estacio-Mendoza, a highly regarded magistrate, pointed out in her decision that Ressa and Santos did not offer a “scintilla of proof that they verified the imputations of various crimes against the businessman.” Their only defense was that the cyberlibel law was enacted only in September 2012, months after the article was published in May 2012.
As a mere website without any hard copies, Ressa claimed they could not be charged under the law. In her arrogance though, and despite the businessman’s offer to withdraw his case if the article was taken down, Ressa continued to put it in the Rappler site, even updating it in February 2014. She and the reporter (who left Rappler in 2013) were convicted of libel under the new cybercrime law, sentenced to imprisonment of six months to six years, and made to pay damages amounting to P500,000.
IT was jailed Sen. Leila de Lima’s comment on the Nobel committee’s grant of the Nobel Peace Prize to Maria Ressa that was most accurate, a part of it, that is. “It is a big slap to the face of [President Duterte],” she said.
But not only to him: it is a huge insult to the Philippines itself and especially to all Filipino journalists. The award, in effect, portrayed the country as being in the league of countries like Haiti, Sudan or Uganda in the 1970s with a brutal dictator in power, a cowardly citizenry and a press doing nothing about it — except Ressa who is, therefore, being granted the Nobel peace award.
For whatever explanation Ressa and others have given for her getting the award, the Nobel committee’s justification is given solely in what is called its “announcement.” In its arrogance or by tradition, the Nobel committee and its members do not give any other explanation.
In Ressa’s case it was as follows: “Ressa’s Rappler has focused critical attention on the Duterte regime’s controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign. The number of deaths is so high that the campaign resembles a war waged against the country’s own population.”
If you agree with those claims, then congratulate her and praise her for being the first American Filipino to be awarded the Nobel. But that Nobel justification is clearly a total lie, a fabrication that Ressa has strived to disseminate to US media since 2019 when a private businessman sued her for libel, claiming P50 million in damages to wiggle out of that suit, and another the next year involving her media outfit’s violation of the Constitution by taking in foreign money.