An article appearing on a website called Bistado made the rounds screaming that Senator Loren Legarda had stripped hundreds of thousands of poor but deserving children of free education.
The first few words on the lead paragraph is already a dead give away of the shoddy attempt at journalism as the unnamed writer couldn’t make up his/her mind on whether 350,000 or 359,000 kids were deprived of education.
Moreover, the use of an overly dramatic tone and the smattering of arcane Filipino words commonly found on pamphlets of communist-ish organizations gives it away as propaganda masquerading as an exposé type of news story.
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Other articles on the Senate’s decision to pull out of the nearly P2 Billion funding for the Tulong Dunong Program say that the funds were added to the fund for Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act — a program of the Duterte Administration.
In short, the pull out of the fund does not necessarily mean that poor but deserving kids would no longer get funding for their education. It may mean that their education would be provided for under a different program.
Put even simpler: No, Mr. Doronio. Kids haven’t been deprived of free education. And to describe them as nagdarahop or extremely poor is an overstatement bordering on the hysterical. Given the multitude of challenges facing every child born in the Philippines, those who manage to even graduate high school are way ahead of the countless thousands who don’t.
The news source or talking head quoted quite liberally in the article is introduced as the Director for Visayas of Filipino League of Advocates for Good Governance (FLAGG) and he is a guy by the name of Junex Doronio, who also happens to be a tabloid columnist for Hataw.
Hataw, as I have written about in a series of posts called “The Real Enemies and Traitors of the Fourth Estate” is the sort of “newspaper” fit only to wipe dog turds with.
Reading a couple of Doronio’s columns is enough, for me at least, to pass him off as another stooge in the tabloid syndicate.
Digging some more and this time into what the Filipino League of Advocates for Good Governance is, I came across an article citing that its founder Ed Cordevilla claiming to file a complaint against Presidential Adviser RJ Jacinto for allegedly creating a duopoly in the telecoms industry for merely proposing to limit the number of tower companies to two.
Whether the complaint was filed or if it prospered, I can’t say as of this writing.
Anyway, I have to note that like Doronio, Cordevilla is with Pilipino Mirror (which I presume is also a tabloid) according to one LinkedIn account and is its Business Operations head. At the same time, the same account also lists him as being with Media Trends Advertising and PR Systems.
(I gotta hand it to whoever coined the name of the company and used the word systems to describe how they do advertising and PR.)
The Bistado propaganda piece’s objective is clearly to cast Sen. Legarda in a bad light in the eyes of a key demographic on social media (people with ages between 17 to 24).
But who would do this and why?
In this link here you will find the profile of DENMAR “DENZ” GATCHO where he is described as CEO as well as Web/App Developer.
On the lower right of the screen shot, the profile’s recent activity lists Bistado News Link as its recent activity.
The article on Bistado is authored by someone who signed of as BNT.
Beyond this, I cannot say if Gatcho was the one who actually created and actually published the news item.
Nevertheless, the writing style and the fact that other articles on the site have actual by-lines or the names of reporters/authors at the end of the article makes it appear suspicious.
According to the same people who sent me the screen shots, Gatcho was contracted by outgoing Antique Governor Exequiel Javier who is now running for congressman against Sen. Loren Legarda, whose term ends this year.
The Javier clan has lorded it over Antique’s politics for about three decades and according to the Philippine Statistics Authority Yearbook of 2017, the province has the highest poverty incidence among the provinces in Western Visayas at 26 percent.
What makes this seem worse is the revelation that the 72 year old Javier not only figured in the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam of the Aquino Regime, word is that the old man hasn’t returned the P58.514 million he received.
Because PDAF is unconstitutional, it would follow that it would be illegal for him to keep the money and perhaps, with that amount, could make him liable for plunder.