Locsin talks as if he were the US spokesman

ONE of President Duterte’s historic legacies has been, as he put it, “to separate the Philippines from the US.” That is a bit of understatement: in so many words (and curses), Duterte has declared that the Philippines under his leadership is ending its decades-long puppetry to the US, and it will no longer be the American surrogate in Asia in that superpower’s campaign against China, as his predecessor scandalously was.

Locsin’s puppetry to the US was most recently demonstrated last week when he issued a shamelessly pro-American statement supporting the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (Aukus) Enhanced Trilateral Security Partnership, and its first major move, the US’ sale of nuclear-powered submarines to Australia, the first ever turnover of such highly secret high-tech weapons system to a foreign country.

That sale sent shock waves around the globe, not only in Asia but in the world. It was the equivalent of China taking in Cuba to its alliance with Russia, and selling it its own nuclear submarines, so it could patrol the Caribbean.

The US propulsion technology is one of the “crown jewels of the American military” because it allows submarines to be stealthy when submerged and helps evade sonar detection,” the Financial Times reported. Nothing can prevent Australia from reverse-engineering the technology.

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Netizens overrun anti-Marcos Facebook posts

THE Yellows’ intense campaign last week to propagate their view that the martial law era was all black and that the strongman Ferdinand Marcos was the devil incarnate backfired on a nearly catastrophic scale.

I estimate some 300,000 comments deluged posts by Marcos bashers, among them the University of the Philippines’ (UP) “Dambana ng Gunita” series, Bam Aquino, and even the tiny opposition social club 1Sambayan’s “roundtable discussion on bridging generations.”

It was the equivalent of a people power uprising, this time against the Yellows, in cyberspace.

Nearly all angry comments against him and Bam
Nearly all angry comments against him and Bam

A similar show of force occurred in the 20-million-plus “unsubscribe” actions against Raffy Tulfo’s YouTube channel in retaliation against his declaration that he would bring ABS-CBN back when he wins as senator.

The DDS — diehard Duterte supporters, who are also all pro-Marcos — now control social media, a formidable force in the 2022 elections, especially considering that even by early next year, Covid-19 will likely still be with us, limiting in-person campaigning. Anybody who knows how social media and Facebook work would laugh at the Ressa or Hontiveros kind of allegations that President Rodrigo Duterte has a massive “troll farm.” Check out for yourself that Bam Aquino post described here and go over the comments — these come from ordinary people.

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Dictatorship of the Dilawan through Facebook?

TO be quite honest, there was a moment of fear, nervous apprehension that an Orwellian Big Brother was monitoring my every post.

As melodramatic as that may sound, you’ll feel it, and be ashamed of yourself for feeling it, when, after such an innocent move as reposting an inspirational maxim (I think I was reposting a Krishnamurti quotation), you get a message as I did several days ago: “Account Restricted.

You can’t post or comment for 24 hours.” I clicked on the button “Why?”, and got the message, in really bad English: “Multiple posts from the last year didn’t follow our standards.”

Bad English, as it wasn’t clear, “from the last year”? You mean the last year 2020 or the year to today?

No button to click to ask for an explanation, which posts? which standards? In my 11 active years as a Facebook user, I have never been blocked nor suspended. In all my decades as a journalist, not one of my articles was blocked by the publisher, nor was I asked not to write a particular piece.

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‘Ateneo Martial Law Museum’: Fake and a disgrace to the university

WHAT will they think of next?

The gall of this phantom entity that calls itself the “Ateneo Martial Law Museum” to claim that TV host Toni Gonzaga was not doing her job for not interrogating Ferdinand Marcos Jr. fiercely enough in her one-on-one interview with him.

In the first place, the “open letter” was unsigned, a sure sign that the author does not have the balls to be identified and is hiding behind this entity that carries the lofty name of Ateneo.

Those who set up this entity and named it such are either ignorant of the term “museum” or are devious propagandists. For Christ’s sake, check any dictionary, and it will tell you a museum is “a building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic or cultural interest are stored and exhibited.”

Britannica even emphasizes: “The museum differs markedly from the library, with which it has often been compared, for the items housed in a museum are mainly unique and constitute the raw material of study and research.” An entire library can be demolished and its books converted to a digital library. This can’t be done for a museum.

The expert on martial law: The site’s executive director
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The Covid-19 pandemic: Where are we?

WHAT’s happening? We, like most of the world, are in the midst of a surge in Covid-19 infections – in effect the third wave of the pandemic that started in March 2020 and worse than the first two. Even the world’s richest nations with massive vaccinations undertaken are being hit. For example, the US, with 54 percent of its population already vaccinated, still had cases the other day of 122,212 per 1 million people compared to our 18,898.

The third wave has particularly hit badly nearly all Asian countries; even those (like Vietnam and Malaysia) that had seemed to have the pandemic under control last year. Japan, for instance, has posted 12,469 cases per 1 million population.

What happened? As all organisms are wont to do because of their imperative to survive, Covid-19 mutated into what is called the Delta variant (in the epidemiologists’ Greek-letter nomenclature). The variant was first detected in India in March. Probably since the virus had infected numerous people (33 million) in that country, it gave it a huge number of bodies in which to evolve.

Delta is now the most dominant strain responsible for infections worldwide. The World Health Organization reported that its genome sequencing showed 70 percent of infections here are by Delta.

Source: National Task Force against Covid-19
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US spent an astounding $6.4 trillion in post-9/11 wars

NOT a few US newspapers after the fall of Afghanistan reported information that made Americans grimace: the US war cost its taxpayers an astounding $2.3 trillion.

But there’s an even more shocking figure that is hardly reported: The US spent $6.4 trillion* in the wars it undertook after the 9/11 attack on the New York World Trade Center that took 3,000 lives, mostly American lives.

These wars were either the most horrible, bloody and expensive revenge campaign in history or the costliest manhunt for its admitted perpetrators, the Saudi Osama bin Laden and his gang.

These wars demonstrated how the Americans’ expertise in propaganda packaged these conflicts as noble crusades as the “War on Terror” overall, but even for each country.

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‘I was sold overpriced PPEs!’

TO be sure, the government must answer point by point the politicking senators’ allegations of corruption at the Health and Budget departments.

This is especially so as its quite obvious that whether these are true or not, these are obviously part of an all-out campaign recently launched by the Yellows and their newfound allies (like Senators Richard “Dick” Gordon and Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, I would think) to throw dirt at President Rodrigo Duterte to prevent a Duterte 2.0 administration very likely 10 months from now.

It is a despicable campaign: we’re in the middle of the battle against Covid-19, yet the likes of Gordon and Franklin Drilon want to grill the officials – the Department of Health – leading our fight.

It’s not the time to do that, dear senators, not now. The documents won’t be lost and those people you are accusing are certainly not the type to flee overseas as Lacson did in 2010 just before an arrest warrant was issued against him.

Purchase order during Aquino 3rd term: P3,500 to P3,864 per piece
Purchase order during Aquino 3rd term: P3,500 to P3,864 per piece
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