Reporters Without Borders Lists Duterte Admin As Press Freedom Digital Predator

I do not necessarily agree with Reporters Without Borders listing of the Philippine government or the Duterte Administration as a press freedom digital predator because of the opposition faced by ABS-CBN’s efforts to renew its legislative franchise.

In fact, I continue to be skeptical of foreign “press organizations” that continue to publish reports and ratings of press freedom in the Philippines based on news reports or even assessments from their associates here in the Philippines.

Human Rights Watch, for example, is an organization I encountered during my work with President Duterte’s Presidential Task Force on Media Security which aided in the pursuit of conviction of those who perpetrated the Maguindanao Massacre. In a number of instances, Human Right Watch’s Caloy Conde was caught several times basing his reports to the foreign press organizations on news reports which he did not himself validate. In a number of instances, his tally of supposed government sanctioned killings were erroneous as it included homicide cases unrelated to the government’s anti illegal drugs drive.

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

In my mind, I tend to lump organizations like Reporters Without Borders (RSF) with organizations such as Human Rights Watch and others.

It doesn’t help that in its 2020 list of 20 Press Freedom Digital Predators, it makes a bare claim that “call center hubs” are being used in “Disseminating fake or maliciously edited content, and fake memes, conducting targeted harassment campaigns“.

Even more disconcerting is RSF’s claim that “President Duterte’s supporters have launched a campaign to smear and boycott the ABS-CBN radio and TV network with the aim of blocking the renewal of its licence. They have even gone so far as to denounce an imaginary conspiracy by various media outlets to overthrow the president. Cyber-troll armies, which have become big business ever since Duterte’s 2016 election campaign, support and amplify the messages of members of the government with the aim of smearing the media and manipulating public opinion.”

That’s a rather ham-fisted way of going about using RSF in ABS-CBN’s fight to renew its legislative franchise. It’s just too damned lazy.

If I were to read more into RSF’s allegation of call centers being brought to bear against ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal efforts, I would think it would be saying that government resources were being used for a propaganda war against a legitimate privately owned media organization. 

That would, in fact, be saying that a privately owned media organization was being illegally penalized  by government using public funds to employ criminal means that would amount to libel.

If RSF were to go about using rigorous and legitimate means to expose what looks like government funded thuggery, it would have to use its Filipino associates to dig into the executive branch’s budget allocations for intelligence as well as communications to find proof that actual call centers or its equivalent in a government set up is being deployed against ABS-CBN.

That would be nearly impossible in the case of intelligence funds but not so for government agencies with hefty communications budgets.

To unmask such an operation, it could use a program to mine and map publicly searchable posts on social media and links on search engines for clues leading to their source or sources.

Eventually, this could lead to identifying social media accounts and websites. But even then, these social media accounts and websites may still be virtually anonymous.

Then again, with persistent sleuthing and perhaps given the enormity of such an operation, there’s bound to be a trip up somewhere.

It could be one or several call center agent coming out into the open to admit to such an operation being perpetrated against ABS-CBN and showing clear evidence of such.

But, until then, this call center theory is another one of those conspiracy theories.

I still maintain though that the overt, rather than covert, means of keeping ABS-CBN from getting its legislative franchise renewed is the one at play here.

On the judicial front, some see the hand of former Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco — whose son Cong. Lord Allan Velasco is supposedly in a term sharing agreement with current House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

On the legislative front, we see the hand of House Speaker Cayetano who was reported to have admitted to stalling deliberations on bills proposing the grant of ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise.

Para que pa ang deep dive?

7 Replies to “Reporters Without Borders Lists Duterte Admin As Press Freedom Digital Predator”

  1. Reporters without Borders is nothing but a liberal leftist organization , financed by the leftist billionaire, George Soros, to promote his leftist and socialist political agendas.

    The Information Technology Age has brought us a lot of good, and some bad in our way of sending and receiving information. However, before the advent of the internet and the social media. The media conglomerate like the ABS CBN, was used and still being used as the “propaganda media and propaganda machine” of the: Aquino Cojuangco political axis, the oligarchs, the CPP/NPA, the leftist front organizations, some bad politicians, etc… they monopolized the airwaves, to promote their self serving agendas.

    Now, that they have a competition , in the form of the ” social media warriors”…they are complaining, because they cannot beat them … why not present good and sensible arguments against these bloggers, tweeter, FaceBook jerks, and other kind of “citizen journalists” that come out, and “cause your trouble” in the social media world !

    1. The problem with so-called social media warriors is that their agenda is to attack or defend, not to merely inform and allow people to make up their own minds. That’s just as bad as supposedly neutral and objective journalists hawking “news”.

      1. @Paul Farol:

        Social media warriors are not journalists; they blog and write Opinions that can awaken anybody’s common sense, and allow them to think sensibly.

        The internet is still in the development stage, that we cannot prevent people from spewing blogs that are nonsense. Anyway, it is the reader who will determine the nonsense or with sense.

        If the social media warriors call/name : you; the Aquino Cojuangco political axis people; the oligarchs; the Liberal Party people; Lugaw Robredo; Andres Bautista; the useless COMELEC people ; the Roman Catholic clergy; Jose Maria Sison and his bunches of CPP/NPA; the leftist commie fronts;
        the crook and corrupt politicians ; the prostituted politicians; etc…. bunches of “sons/children of bitches”…

        These deplorable people must look deep into themselves, why they are called : “sons/children of bitches”… Social media warrior need not have to explain more !

  2. Chalk it up to the fact that it’s another organization which for the last 4-5 years had to defend their colleagues in the MSM and people who they approve and share their politics from accusations of “Fake News” while playing partisan politics in every country they go to, and there’s also the fact that the Philippines is a soft target for these organizations who try to justify their existence, look at Amnesty International trying to fight the power while begging for more donations, and I’ve a bit surprised that they took those Yellow Bloggers who said that Duterte attacked their blogs and websites with “Paid Professional Hackers” with zero proof, I just open my jaw and say “what” to those insane stories.

    And there’s little to respect for the journalism field, just look at the amount of panic they induced with the Coronavirus Pandemic, back then they didn’t bother to warn people, now they’re fomenting mass hysteria and insanity while playing politics, and when several Independent Media tried to warn the public and tell them to prepare, Reporters Without Borders said nothing when several of them were banned in Social Media to limit their reach.

  3. who has contributed more to the general well being of the world, duterte or reporters sans borders? i’ll wait for your answer

    1. The WHO contributed scary news about fake virus it’s a flu not renamed as covid, search flu virus pics it’s the same as covid.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.