If there is one thing I hate about President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent tirade in which he threatened to cut ties with the European Union and the United Nations is he didn’t include cursing members of Philippine mainstream media and those from the Opposition who invited the so-called foreign delegates to visit the country. It has emerged that the so-called “international delegates” are left-leaning individuals who support the socialist causes of the country’s leading leftist group Akbayan. The latter’s fingerprints are all over this “mission”. They probably provided the foreigners with the placards that read “Stop silencing dissent” and “Stop the killings”. Akbayan Representaive Tom Villarin proudly joined the pictorial holding one of the placards.
The opposition has become so desperate that they have resorted to using foreigners to make their claim “legitimate”. But their tactic was exposed by the European Union itself.
They think most Filipinos would be gullible enough to think that the sight of white folks protesting against Duterte would be enough to trigger mass hysteria. It is quite ironic that Akbayan would use foreigners to advance their causes. Aren’t they supposed to be espousing nationalistic causes? Perhaps they’ll use anyone or anything as long as it favours their agenda. Members of the mainstream media allied with the Opposition jumped on the story straight away. The Philippine Daily Inquirer even featured the visit as a top headline on its 10th October edition.
The Inquirer wrote “Malacañang had no immediate comment on the EU mission’s statements” at the end of their write-up. Either they purposely wanted to make people believe that these foreigners were members of the European Union or they didn’t bother checking if they were EU representatives as their profession requires them to. Either way, this is more proof that mainstream media, particularly the Inquirer, cannot be trusted to give accurate information.
The Inquirer has not issued a correction despite the EU issuing a statement that these so-called foreign delegates do not represent the sentiments of the EU. They simply moved on as if they were not party to the spread of false information. How can the operators of this major publication sleep at night? They do not care if their actions result in damaging the country’s relationship with the international community.
While Duterte’s tirade was misdirected at the wrong group of people, it compelled the EU to distance itself from the actions of the foreigners who as Manila Times columnist Rigoberto Tiglao decribed as “brazen”:
We have lost all sense of nationalism and integrity as an independent people if we are not angry at the PDI’s front page. It insults our country on three levels.
Firstly, we should be mad at such a brazen interference in our domestic affairs. We are a sovereign country with our own Constitution, our own body of laws. What right do these Europeans have to meddle in our affairs, when we obviously still have the rule of law.
Have they meddled over the US invasion of Iraq; over the hundreds of Muslims kidnapped by the US and tortured in their Guantanamo fortress, many kept nearly a decade without charges; over alleged genocide of the Rohingya in Burma; or even over the ruthless police brutality in their continent, in Catalonia?
What’s shocking is that these foreigners in the PDI photo don’t even represent their countries, and don’t have any substantial European constituency. They are mostly small-time but noisy NGO activists in their countries.
The EU has categorically denied sending its representatives to hold a protest against Duterte and stated that media reports like the Inquirer’s report were false:
“The recent visit of the delegation of the ‘International Delegates of the Progressive Alliance’ to the Philippines on 8-9 October was not a ‘European Union mission,’ as falsely reported by some media outlets,” Jessen said in a statement.
These foreigners should be deported as soon as possible and banned from entering the country again. They are meddling on issues they don’t understand. They only get information from biased sources like members of the Opposition. The faces of these foreigners look even more pathetic in their photo-ops now that I know they are not official members of the EU.
The Inquirer should be held accountable for their false and misleading report. They have done enough damage to Philippine society. They are causing confusion locally and exporting negative perception to the world that the Philippines is a failed state without a functioning system. The publication is adding to the mounting problems the country is already facing since the previous government mismanaged it.
Akbayan should also be held accountable for orchestrating this circus and misleading the public. Voters should be wary of putting them in power in the next election. Their claim that the government is silencing dissent is ridiculous since they have not stopped speaking against Duterte from Day One of his term. Their use of Senator De Lima’s detention as proof that Duterte is silencing dissenters does not make any sense since the Supreme Court also agrees that she has to stay in jail to answer the charges against her in connection with her violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act for allegedly receiving money to fund her senatorial bid in 2016 from drug lords operating a drug ring while serving time in the country’s national penitentiary.
It’s about time the public identify and take a stand against the real enemies of the state. The enemies of the state are also Filipinos who are too impatient to wait for the next election. They would rather use all kinds of tactics to topple a legitimate government and cease control themselves than use democratic process. They have their own agenda but are using the guise of “caring for the victims” of the war on drugs to make the claim that Duterte needs to be removed at all cause. They will not stop until they succeed.
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