The Philippine Opposition led by the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtards) have gone way beyond feeding Western media with slanderous and downright misleading information about the Philippines. The Yellowtards are now resorting to lobbying — even bullying — a media organisation into withdrawing content they summarily deem “undesirable” in this most recent instance of their talent for plumbing lows to achieve their ironically uppity goals.
The object of the Opposition’s current vilification campaign is noted Filipino director Brillante Mendoza and his TV series Amo which starts streaming over Netflix this week. The Yellowtards insist that the show whitewashes Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs” and, according to International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) executive director Judy Chang, “[glorifies] mass murder, killings and human rights abuses”. Chang is one of a number of “activists” who are calling on Netflix to cancel the series.
These, after all, are the same political cliques that would use their vast corporate media resources and their connections with Western media organisations to invite foreign intervention into the Philippines’ internal domestic affairs just to further their respective agendas. Rather than step up their game and compete on the production of content and narratives that resonate with the Filipino public, the Yellowtards would rather sit on their entitled behinds and whine about how “unfair” the world is. Worse, they are now aiming to actively suppress the proliferation of content and narratives that run counter to their views on how societies ought to be.
To be fair to the Yellowtards who have, after three decades of monopolising the Philippines’ so-called “thought leadership”, been revealed as more a hindrance to rather than a motivation for progress and modernisation, Mendoza is a formidable artistic edifice to go head-to-head with…
His films have been well received in Europe and in 2014, Mendoza became the first Filipino director to receive one of France’s highest honours, the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters).
In comparison, the output of traditional mainstream media outlets and production studios in the Philippines at the disposal of the Yellowtards are, as observed in that Channel News Asia report, “dominated by syrupy, star-driven productions”. As such, the entire industry evidently lacks the deep well of world-class artistic talent needed to produce film and TV features that could give Mendoza’s work a run for the money on the international stage much less get a company like Netflix to give these a second look.
It’s just plain old garden-variety crab mentality that the Yellowtards are exhibiting, and they do so without shame. Rather than compete in the much-vaunted free market of ideas, they would rather rig the game in their favour using all-too-familiar Filipino methods of “winning” through dishonesty and cronyism. Filipinos deserve a better Opposition than that — one consisting of true leaders who encourage competitive juices to flow and not discourage Filipinos from exhibiting the courage to explore new pathways to advance as a society.
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