Barely the president has warmth the seat of the presidency and yet his critics, few supporters, and some political pundits are insinuating the beginning of an end of his administration. The bucks stop at him, they may say, as he’s the one the most to blame for all the trouble with the press both local and international. Some may even consider his seemingly wishy-washy decision is already a writing on the wall he may not survive in a year or so before his term expires.
The touting call of the president to seemingly challenge the US CIA to eliminate him once and for all did not help a bit to calm the nerves of many. Some quarters are already apprehensive that if the president is removed from power, it may pave the return of the drug syndicates in their locality and it will just resurrect the drug abusers and criminals threatening their communities. The gains they enjoy now cannot be just thrown away with a simple charge of lack of president’s diplomatic courtesy.
Recently, a French paper published portraying the president as a serial killer. As the Philippine Senate already established the fact the extra-judicial killings are not the handiwork of the administration, it remains to be seen if the paper would recant or make a correction that their write-ups are based purely on the hearsays and just relying too much, too soon, on the news fed coming from correspondents or other pronouncements from known politician and local papers they have no means or interest of verifying its veracity under a legal definition.
With these developments, few things worth noting:
1. The international community largely presupposed that their local correspondents or sources are reliable
With the degree of seriousness of this charge like the president somewhat depicting a brutal monster by scouring his people of likely victims, it demands closer look into the issue how possibly their source is plainly mistaken or less reliable. The news of brutality of a certain kind can easily spread and it is very suspicious why the charge are coming from the same quarters who are the least victims – the press, the loyal followers of the previous administration and their loyal supporters.
It is just plainly absurd the majority as evident in the president’s approval rating are all praise of the president’s achievement which can easily be defended as a result of a strong drive against criminality within the bounds of legality. If the president would make it a pattern of terminating suspects to achieve his end, the scale cannot escape his prying subjects many of whom are more vibrant followers of political feeds than they used to be under the previous administration.
The intensity of interest in the common people should have detected this monstrosity and it is very ironic those who are not living under the auspices of the administration can instead sense better the deep trouble of an abusive regime in operation. The international news organizations that pride themselves in libertarian ideals cannot thrive in promoting a brand of journalism too reliant on unreliable feeds.
2. The Philippines role in a proxy war
An international relation expert just posted on his Facebook wall the chance the US, UN, and the International media are in cohorts to prop-up a proxy war, where the Philippines will be the battleground of interest among their close enemies in China and Russia. If this is true, then this explains a lot why checking the veracity of the news feed coming from the Philippines, no matter how outrageous it is, has to take a back seat as long as it serves their purpose.
Duterte is declaring a war against being lampooned as proxies in the world theater of war and every honest nationalist should instead rally on his back than siding with the foreign agencies that would like to promote themselves as the ultimate guardian of contemporary liberty.
3. The “unknown” motive and external funding make sense
Apart from criminals, the next likely victim of Duterte’s relentless drive against criminality is the local media, which relies heavily on advertising income as the main factor of its viability for business existence. For months after the May presidential election, it is instructing that these media organizations for many years feasted on the online traffic might have somehow bear the brunt of loss after so many trolls and other legitimate pro-Duterte sites prop up like mushrooms, each of them slicing the budget related to Philippine political settings.
True their intriguing stories may cause citations and readership from these small websites and social pages but the number of user engagement is what counts. By comparing the internet traffic they got pre-Duterte era and the current ones they’re now regularly getting may indicate the huge decline in their source of bread and butter. Factoring also the number of people they have to hire to maintain their online presence comparable to bots and legitimate smaller competing sites who don’t normally have to fork huge amount of money for their overhead, the impact to their lifeline may be much higher than their acceptable loss.
Maria Ressa of Rapper issuing statement of getting back social media they once trudge can also mean the readership and profit they are losing on a daily basis after they failed to ride on Duterte bandwagon and aligning instead with the international advocates of human rights probably thinking they can dismantle contrary positions by the lofty pre-commitment to their presumed superior ideals.
So the question arises, what makes these local news organizations survive after their bloody loss of income from advertising? Some would day drug money but the intensity of the president’s drive against it may discourage them to consider funding their business existence from the dark world.
It is feasible that the international agencies are channeling hard curries to prevent these mainstream news online and print from closing shop. These benefactor countries and organizations may have truckloads of cash to spare for this kind of war and the fact that they believe they do it for the sake of contemporary libertt and human rights, the disbursement may not stir much conscience on their subordinates and donors.
4. New dimension of war
In not so distant past, we’ve seen the wave of changes in the political arena transplanted by the power of social media. Places in the Middle East where libertarian freedom is seemingly impossible to germinate have succumbed to the power of the new formidable army. One authoritarian state fell after another like dominoes and the Western countries that had some hidden agenda capitalized riding on the tidal wave of freedom in the form of business opportunities.
Unfortunately, in the Philippines, the same thing can’t be said about the position of the Western World in the way they are fighting their presumed enemy of freedom chief of them the highest leader of the archipelago. Added to the fire in the bellies of many is some level of political maturity concocted from the long culture of discontent. The Western world instead ironically becoming on the wrong end of the war and the fact that they mishandled the Filipinos like a piece of rag, their perennial coverup of aids no longer can trick much the informed citizenry.
The painful reality is that they can instead count on the support of the uninformed, those who lack deeper understanding in history and every time they engage online for their support of their old benefactor, they easily lose in the debate for lacking a solid argument to support their position of being a lapdog of America.
The sooner the Western World realizes that they are banking on the low end of the debate, the better they can recalibrate their international policy with the Filipino leaders headed by no less than a veteran of psywar strategies
If they could win against their supposed enemy, the president of the country, for whatever means, they too would lack the right ascendancy repeating the same mistake when Cory was at the helm. Robredo maybe a good person but she has not shown enough how to continue the winning formula of the Duterte presidency. Her close ties with the Yellow Army put her in a very precarious position having spent a half a billion pesos in a campaign with which the campaign donors would jump at first sight to recoup their loss if Leni would reach the top.
And it maybe a short victory which may translate to nothing substantial. The powerful social warriors will not grant their hard-fought freedom to anybody else even if they may lose, God forbid, their hero in Digong by propping up another. As long as the inclination of the voting public is toward democracy and election, any other hopeful that can be identified with ineptness much like President Noynoy will surely bite the dust in the next presidential election. Sarah or Bato, among others, may be considered as the next in line of the throne after Digong or after he runs out of luck to remain in power.
5. Money game
The US taking up the leadership in the fight against supposed enemies of freedom may have lost the strength of their resolve in their recent presidential candidates in Trump and Clinton, both of whom do not exemplify superior ideals and image of being a world leader to look up to. Worse, the next batch after then may even a little less further down the track. Take for instance Kanye West mentioning his intention to run 4 years later. With all the “good” things America has produced, it comes to the sordid fact that their head of state is not a true representation of unbridled freedom but a testament to the power of money.
It is an allusion to the power of money, which makes the suspicion that everybody bows down at the altar of the almighty dollar. And so ends their resolve they are promoting superior ideals but instead propagate the worrisome impact in the power of money.