Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics, particularly members of the Liberal Party and their supporters, hate fake news. They even disseminate a list of web sites that they believe publish fake news. The list includes our very own blogsite proving that what they consider “fake” are publications that they do not agree with. They don’t seem to even know the difference between a news site and a blogsite. It doesn’t matter to them that a blogsite like Get Real Post is an opinion site, not a news site. It’s either they are not using their critical analysis faculties or they just want to ruin the reputation of people who have differing views. Either way, it just shows that they are very intolerant of people who don’t belong to their clique.
While Duterte’s critics hate fake news, they tolerate fake or unsubstantiated allegations from people like Senator Antonio Trillanes. Their cognitive bias is preventing them from realizing that what they demand from others – sincerity and truthfulness – is exactly what is lacking from the very people they idolize and consider “heroes”. Yes, there are people who consider Trillanes a “hero” because of the way he bullies their perceived enemies. Apparently, some people prefer assholes as their heroes.
Trillanes became the national laughingstock once again after the recent Senate hearing regarding the P6.4-billion worth of shabu smuggled into the country from China last May. The senator claimed that Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte is a member of a Chinese triad. He said he has in “foreign intelligence” showing that the President’s son has a dragon tattoo on his back that proves he is indeed, a member of a Chinese triad.
Apparently, Trillanes’s so-called intel on Duterte is unreliable. His source should already have a photo of Duterte’s actual tattoo on his back if they did have the goods on the Vice Mayor. They also gave Trillanes a problem. The senator had to request Duterte to take his shirt off during the hearing just to prove he is right. Of course the Vice Mayor had the dignity to say no.
Deep inside I think Trillanes knows how silly he was, but he just had to keep going because he had no other choice but to keep up the charade. A lot of people are starting to see his antics as nothing more than a diversionary tactic. He just wants the public to get distracted from the real issues like Commission on Election (COMELEC) Chief Andres Bautista’s hidden wealth. The Senate was supposed to conduct a hearing on his multiple bank accounts that were not included in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net worth (SALN), but now the pressure on Bautista to resign has gone down because the public is distracted by Trillanes’s antics. It is a sad reflection of the state of affairs in the Philippines. Those who support Trillanes do not care to find out if Bautista has sold the people’s votes to the highest bidder. They would rather see the Dutertes brought down than find out the truth about the allegation that there was electoral fraud in the last election. Democracy in the Philippines has become a sham.
Duterte’s critics are so biased that they would gladly throw the rule book out the window whenever doing so serves their agenda. They even criticize Senator Richard Gordon for insisting that Trillanes follow the rules and code of conduct expected of a senator. They say that Gordon is thin-skinned for filing an ethics complaint against Trillanes after the latter insinuated that Gordon is absolving the Dutertes. Gordon’s complaint actually forced Trillanes to be a bit more respectful in the last hearing. He could be seen biting his tongue and avoiding nasty remarks against his colleagues — a stark contrast to how he lashed out nonstop in the previous hearing.
It would be hard for the Philippines to progress when so-called lawmakers like Trillanes are the first to break the rules. His supporters don’t mind him cutting corners and throwing baseless accusations because they know that throwing forth baseless ideas – like insinuating Duterte is a member of a triad – will plant doubts in the public’s head. But it is a good thing that Trillanes’s reputation for lying has caught up with him. Most people do not buy his style anymore. He’s done it to so many of his enemies in the past. He’s just coming across as stupid now. His supporters are worse though. Their intelligence is so low.
Speaking of Trillanes’s supporters, the economist Winnie Monsod is someone who supports the notion that Duterte is hiding something. She said that Duterte could have easily put the matter to rest by showing his bare back. But whether Duterte has a tattoo or not is beside the point. Having a tattoo doesn’t prove someone is a member of a triad and having a tattoo doesn’t prove that someone is a criminal either. Monsod is showing her bias by writing a long article analyzing Duterte’s behavior, but merely glossed over COMELEC Chair Bautista’s alleged hidden wealth in her previous article. She was even kind enough to Bautista to simply dismiss the issue as a matter between him and his wife. She did not even insist that Bautista resign from his post for the damage to the integrity of the agency he had already caused.
Another person who is behaving irrationally is former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay. For a man who is supposed to embody the law (he is also a professor of law at the University of the Philippines College of Law), he is promoting mob rule. In a Twitter post, he said that the citizens have the right to convict Duterte in the court of public opinion…
The Vice Mayor may have a right of privacy to hide his tattoo.
Citizens also have the right to convict him in the court of public opinion.
He is basically saying that it doesn’t matter anymore whether Trillanes has proof of his allegation or none. What matters is public perception. It’s a good thing most people perceive Trillanes to be a fool.
Trillanes has turned the Senate into a circus. It is quite baffling that there are actual people who support his actions. Some of his supporters even claim that Trillanes finally had the goods on the Dutertes even when he clearly had not proven anything. If there is one thing Trillanes proved, it is that he is good at digging his own grave. It would be fun to watch him continue to do so, except that he is wasting time and taxpayers’ resources just to persecute his enemies. We can only hope that his colleagues in the Senate will finally have the balls to get rid of him for good.
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