Who are the real enemies of the Filipino people? No, it’s not the Chinese nor Americans. In fact, we don’t need to look too far to see that the real enemies are Filipinos themselves – those who will do anything including betray their own countrymen just to achieve their own personal agendas. They are rotten to the core. They do not have compassion for the majority of the public who are suffering due to the negligence and criminal behaviour of the public servants they support. Their only focus is to bring down those who do not belong to their group.
If we are to be specific, the members of the Opposition particularly those who support the Liberal Party are the real enemies of the Filipino people. They turn a blind eye to the previous government’s criminal activities that still affect millions of Filipinos today. This is evident in how mainstream media allied with the Opposition publish articles that highlight the negative aspects of President Rodrigo Duterte and members of his government.
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Since mainstream media still has a wider circulation and is still viewed as more “legitimate” than social media, it still has the ability to shape the national discourse. Meaning, the public still considers what mainstream media publishes as “official” and “true”. Case in point is when the Philippine Daily Inquirer publishes an article about Assistant Secretary for the Presidential Communications Operations Office Mocha Uson. One wonders why she has to be in the front page of a major publication considering she is only in charge of social media.
Uson was in the headlines recently because the Inquirer decided to highlight the people who complained about the government service award from the Alumni Association of the Univesity of Santo Tomas (UST). They made it look like the whole country was up in arms against her award. It wasn’t even something that she asked for. The publication only published the reactions of Netizens who were outraged, but did not include those who were not against it or those who didn’t mind that Uson received such an award.
Yes, publications such as the Inquirer and Rappler made it look like an Armageddon scenario after Uson received the award from her alma mater. Even though she passed the simple criteria, which is being an alumna and being a government employee, her critics still thought she didn’t deserve such an “accolade”. It doesn’t matter that the alumni association was merely recognising the fact that she was an alumna and now a government employee. It was pure publicity for the school.
Unfortunately for Uson, there were members of the UST community who are disowning her and didn’t want her name associated with the school. This could be because of her previous role as a sex guru and “liberal” artist. In its defence after the backlash, the alumni association said that they did not take into consideration the moral uprightness of the recipient or lack of it. Who would have thought being morally upright was important to some Filipinos? I don’t see the same outrage over movies, or television programs that showcase immorality and lewdness. Even noontime shows that are supposed to be for general patronage showcase skimpily-clad dancers gyrating in the background.
Even after Uson returned the award back to the alumni association, mainstream media still did not give her a break. During a Facebook live video appealing for her detractors to move on to more important issues, she made a mistake in locating Mayon Volcano at Naga City instead of Albay in the Bicol region. Her critics showed no mercy. They could not forgive her honest mistake even after she apologised. Some of these people are the same ones who defend former President BS Aquino’s criminal negligence that result in hundreds of deaths by saying he did it in “good faith”. They kept asking for Uson’s resignation for a simple geography error, but give BS Aquino free pass for far worse crimes. Once again, the Inquirer and Rappler highlighted her error and featured reactions from Netizens who echoed outrage over that little gaffe.
These major publications are also exhibiting laziness in journalism when they use “netizens’ reactions” on social media and publish them as news. They do this a lot when outrage over certain issues erupts. They screen grab a Twitter or Facebook post from individuals and then compile them in one article. This saves them from conducting interviews in person or getting soundbites from the public. This proves that mainstream media has become so reliant on social media for public opinion. Despite Rappler CEO Maria Ressa’s complaint that social media sites like Facebook have become a threat to democracy, social media has become a source of news and information of mainstream media itself!
Speaking of Ressa, as the days go by, she’s beginning to look more pathetic. Weeks after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked Rappler’s licence to operate, she continues spreading the false information that there is no press freedom under the Duterte government. Of course she’s not making any sense since a lot of news outlets are still operational and journalists can still do their jobs without a problem. Because of her lies, UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard believes Duterte has ordered the shutdown of Rappler. We don’t really expect Ressa to correct the wrong impression she propagated.
During her attendance at the rally dubbed “Black Friday for Press Freedom”, Ressa relayed once again her narrative that she was scared that she was going to get arrested and that she was shocked with how being a journalist is now regarded a crime in the Philippines. But it’s been weeks and she hasn’t been arrested. Why would she be arrested to begin with? She did not commit a criminal offense. Her fears are unfounded. She should stop saying things as if the cops were actually at her door with handcuffs ready for her. Ressa is coming across as a drama queen. Somebody did remind me that she has a degree in theatre. That’s obviously where she got that skill for theatrics.
So who needs foreign enemies when Filipinos like Ressa, other members of mainstream media and Liberal Party plus their supporters would not think twice about destroying the reputation of government officials who get in their way? It doesn’t matter to them that in the process of maligning others, they drag the Philippines down with them. Indeed, they are the real enemies of the Filipino people.
In life, things are not always what they seem.