Opinion: The Duterte Administration doesn’t want a free-media, but a gang of YES-MEN!

Today its official the House of Representative has put the nail in the coffin for the renewal of the media house and franchise ABS-CBN. This has been an on-going battle for the media company and its associates. What this does is close radio stations across the Republic and also TV stations. They are deliberately closing one of the strong independent media houses.

ABS-CBN have had the ability to actually bring content of facts. Yes, it has its wrong like everyone does. Everyone who publish, distribute and address news will sooner or later do blunders. What this Presidency is doing is to silence and muffle media houses that dares to question them. Just like Ressa of Rappler, the ABS-CBN is in the same regard. They dared to have provocative ads and such in the campaign ahead of this administration. That’s why this sort of thing is a retaliation, as the Congress is filled with YES-MEN and people blindly loyal to the President. He won the recent mid-term election and has less of opposition to ever stop him. Everyone that oppose get into dire waters and awaiting sharks.

ABS-CBN now is in the same waters. Rappler, which is a small digital operation has survived. Even when the authorities and the state has challenged it at every possible way. Now the media house of ABS-CBN is getting detained and possibly closed because it offended the Don in the previous Presidential Elections.

There is no other way to see this. It is a political retaliation. They can use legal means and spin-it, but that is the end-game. If ABS-CBN had been positive and been less objective, if it had been as friendly as GMA and 24 Oras. They wouldn’t come in this situation. The ABS-CBN is here, because it dares to question the powers to be. It dares to challenge and also go nuts about it. If it didn’t do that and was a only broadcasting what Malacanang and the PCOO wants spread. They are just to copy verbatim and memos without questioning it.

If you do that? Then, your in trouble. Big trouble, possibly either losing your job or getting court-side. The government will figure one way or another to bring you down.

With this in mind. If anyone in the House of Representatives that voted for the closure of ABS-CBN ever speaks of freedom of speech and liberty to express themselves. Than, they got to look in the mirror and remember what they did today. The 70 members should be remember, because they clearly don’t give an rats ass about freedom of expression. They are just loyal lackey’s of Duterte.

This here shows that this administration again doesn’t trust the media to cover their actions. Neither, does it accept them pressing on issues. They are just supposed to dance along with the President and his team. Not supposed to question or speak up. If you do?

You gone go missing and be denied. Just like the ABS-CBN or Rappler who both been under fire. The ones loosing out is the public, the employees and in the end, also the men who stopped ABS-CBN. Unless they want to clap in the same echo-chamber and wants the same psalms to sing from Manila to Davao. They just wants empty-headed tabloids and scripted songs in favour of the administration. These representative don’t want to be questioned or investigated by reports. They want to have empty love like celebrities.

These people want the red-carpet treatment, they want to be kissed and get the love. That’s why they are closing ABS-CBN. To prove a point, but its a flawed point. Only undressing their motives and the message is clear.

If you don’t show us love, we will close you down. Peace.

Namibia: Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation – Subject: Reports in the Namibian and Zimbabwean Media that the Government of Namibia donated rapid Corona Virus Test Kits to the Government of Zimbabwe (26.06.2020)

Niger: Tous pous la Republique (TPLR) – Declaration de Presse (18.06.2020)

Philippines: Ressa finally pinned by the Authorities

This has been a slow train coming. The Philippine authorities has gone after her since the beginning of the reign of President Rodrigo Duterte. If you thought the ABS-CBN issues was a retaliation from the government towards the press. The same authorities has directly gone after Rappler and Maria Ressa since the start. They have wanted this so bad and found their escape.

Ressa and her online news organization have had issues with Duterte since the campaigning before the election. Duterte Campaign even blocked a Rappler reporter from his campaign. I’m sure plenty has forgotten about that part. So, to me there are clearly merits to the libel against Ressa, but they are not sanctioning the company. The company that they have gone after for its ownership and structure. Just like they have done with ABS-CBN. If you see pattern, I see it too.

That they finally got Ressa was just a matter of time. They got an old article and found some discrepancies and could with this get her detained. That’s because she is challenging the throne without any fear. The way the Rappler and Vera Files are going after the state officials and dropping juicy bombs that interfere with the way they are operating. The state doesn’t want that, but want clapping and cheers from the media houses. They want empty suits and celebrities cheering on and praising the team. This is not what the Rappler does and that’s why its so hard hit.

For the ones following, this was just a matter of time. The authorities have worked hard to pin something on Rappler and Ressa. They have been so on their case, that they have to more careful than anyone else. Whatever they do and whatever they say: It would scrutinized to hell and back. That is why we are here and seeing this happening over an old article from 2012 republished in 2014. It is just so fitting.

Yes, there are merits to the wrongdoing of some statements in the article and allegations towards the Wilfredo Keng. Still this is very fitting that this happens to a CEO and leader of a Media House or Outlet, which publish articles and stories that the government don’t want to have out. That’s why this is happening here and not to government friendly press. They are shielded, even if they could do something similar.

So with this in mind. Duterte and team can celebrate. They finally got one of their targets and possibly detained up to six years. Ressa is a target for who she is and what does. She is maybe not always correct about it. Still, the need for these voices are there. If this was cyber libel and defamation of character. Than, its weird that the article is still online. The one that is the reason for this case.

Now it will be easier to get rid of unfriendly stories. To give way to the ones writing, narrating and documenting wrongdoing by the authorities and the associates. The pork barrels and other schemes can be easier hidden. Since if you might write about it. They can libel your ass and your in the slammer. Instead of revealing a dishonest civil servant or public official, which the media should do. They have the microphone and the platform to undress the kings. However, if they are not allowed to do this. Then there is something wrong with the leadership.

This is worrying, this set a standard for possible criminal cases towards journalists and credited media persons. The saddest part of this is that it happened because of SUV and a Court Justice driving a car. The story on an SUV broke the back and was used a weapon against Rappler. That is how far the state goes now. The same government that are proud of destroying illegally imported vehicles. The ironies couldn’t be more blatant than this. Peace.

Tanzania: ACT Wazalendo Leader, Zitto Kabwe, to appeal censorship judgment (29.05.2020)

Philippines: Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) – “This Is How Liberty Dies…” (05.05.2020)

Opinion: The ABS-CBN closure is political retribution and nothing else

The ABS-CBN sent a few questionable and harsh ads towards the President Rodrigo Duterte during the 2016 campaign for his election. This is certainly the reason why the termination of license of the franchise and the gag-order earlier in the year was put on the media company. As this company has the ability to put pressure on the hard-headed Presidents of its time. That is why the last time it happen it was in 1972. A record Duterte should compete with, but clearly he wants too.

This is a battle and method of retaliation of the President and his team. As this is silencing a open critic. Just like they did with Leila De Lima and Antonio Trilanes. The state has also been fierce against the independent media house Rappler too. So, its not like ABS-CBN is getting a new treatment.

It might be a temporary set-back as a way of the President to prove that you don’t mess with him. That is why I call it a retaliation, because the Senate is the final place for consideration of the license of the Franchise. Even if the National Telecommunication Commission put the cease and desist order on the media house.

What we do know, is for the ones claiming that the owners are not paying taxes. The government as late as February 2020 said they were no liabilities and no arrears. The company has paid its taxes and paid its employees. Therefore, the thought of using as an argument for the closure is futile. Unless, your docile and believe anything.

ABS-CBN only gets this, because it dared to challenge Duterte and aired certain ads. This is his way of firing back and showing flex. Not that its any good. It only shows that he doesn’t have the heart or the ability to strike back with sense. The President doesn’t have the arguments or the ads to address his opposition. Instead, he uses his office and his power together with comrades to close it for a while. Just to show the owners, the journalists, that they should all be like 24 Oras on the GMA Network, because they will never sound the whistle at any government.

That’s why we are here today. We are in our 1972 moment. Where a President and his team uses their office to silence critics and by all means. Rappler was the owner structure and ABS-CBN its the franchise and its license. I am sure the government friendly press will never get into these issues. The ones who doesn’t air critical ads and content, which challenge the President in any form. But if you do, you better lawyer up and have your tools ready. Because, its going to get rocky and the road to redemption is long.

ABS-CBN is getting the full Duterte treatment. The full fury and furious intervention, maybe he will beg for forgiveness later. If he cares about the 11,000 people in limbo. However, that is not so important, as long as the President can signal that he doesn’t accept critical ads. ABS-CBN better follow the Duterte line, if not they will walk the plank. Peace.

Namibia: The Presidency – On World Press Freedom Day, President Hage G. Gein applauds the role of the Press in the fight against COVID-19 (03.05.2020)

Philippines: Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) – Statement of Solidarity on the Occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2020 (03.05.2020)