Philippines: Duterte’s inconsistency…

Well, it is about that time. When you can show to the fact that someone has a strong opinion and uses massive force against certain people, but when the buck stops. The person changes totally. For God knows what reasons, but usually monetary gains is the long-term perspective for why.

In this instance, it’s the hypocrisy and the double standard from President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. The President has used the law enforcement and the army to kill, destroy and detain the cartels, the drug-smuggling rings and the addicts as well. He has used extra judicial killings and went after these criminals with brutal during his reign.

The same man has also been very vocal about his disdain on the matter of independence and sovereign as a state and would not accept interference from other states on its behalf. Especially, in concern to this violent crackdown and the use of force against criminal civilians. However, now … his issuing a pardon to a soldier, a U.S. Marine who has committed a homicide or a murder in the Republic.

This is from the same President that went on a warpath against a nun, who dared to question his moral authority. The same man that has accepted to criminalize a certain aspect of society and deemed it fit to kill them without a trial. The same person is now pardoning Joseph Scott Pemberton with an absolute pardon.

That amazes me and the double standard is obvious. Because, if this man wasn’t a soldier, a U.S. Citizen and someone with suction within the army. There would be nowhere in hell that he would walk free after this. He would answer to the courts of law and would be in deep trouble. Because, he took a life and killed another civilian. That’s what the soldier did. Killed a Filipina in cold blood and his getting away it.

That should be a thing. It shouldn’t’ have happened, but not that it has occurred, and the life is taken. The soldier should at least answer for it and be tried in courts. That is, if life has any value and people are subjects under the same law. The soldier has done something illegal and beyond his jurisdiction. He has committed a crime, just like the criminals selling drugs. So, if the President should be fair. He should be killed to in the streets like thief and a drug-dealer. Alas, this man is walking free. Just because he has a US Passport and is part of the US Army.

This is all just to do a friendly political move towards the US. So, that the Trump Administration can free one of their own and send the private home. To be an example of good graces and show how much power the US still have globally. Since, they could free a man who was detained rightfully for homicide. Still, that life didn’t matter to Duterte nor the US.

Pemberton is now the epitome of injustice. He walks away from the burden of answering from his crimes. Since, his is possibly a bargain chip in a political gambit of the President and his administration. While the remaining family of the deceased will never see the return of the family member that got murdered. That is the injustice in this.

This is all happening from the same President who has no issues taking lives and using extra judicial killings as a method to stop drug cartels. The same man clearly should see the double standard and as the mischief this is. As he issues a pardon for homicide.

There shouldn’t be vindication for this, as the victim cannot be returned, and the damage is indefinitely. If life matters, if justice matters, he should answer for it. Just like any other criminal, but instead because of circumstances. He gets off easy and with very little cost. Peace.

Philippines: Archdiocese of Manila’s Clergy Statement against the Re-imposition of Death Penalty (04.08.2020)

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.

Philippines: Statement – Participation of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in the 36th ASEAN Summit (26.06.2020)

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.

Philippines: Sen. Vincente Sotto III letter to Chairperson Sec. Francisco Duque III (03.06.2020)

Philippines: The levels of quarantines can boggle you mind!

Well, its about that time. Well, it isn’t really… Just another Sunday in quarantine and awaiting the “new normal” or back-to-life. If I may, this is about the news updates and the Omnibus Guidelines on community quarantine from the Inter-Agency Task Force of the Philippines. Which is fine by itself, but it’s sort of flexibility between similar terms can make a brother fuzz a little bit.

Because you have the “General Community Quarantine” for instance. Than you have the Enhanced Community Quarantine”. If you thought it was tricky, no you have the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine” and the Modified General Community Quarantine”. Last, but not least of these is the Modified Community Quarantine”

The big one of these is the ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) and the GCQ (General Community Quarantine). With the ones in between. A mind can be messed up by less. By all means, these words are in play, because of the variations of spread of COVID-19 and the ratio per capita. However, its still hard to know what all means. Even with the Omnibus Guidelines. Its a hectic mess.

In this sense, there is five quick types of Community Quarantine and to get the grip of that. We all there is levels to this, but just to listen. You could easily get confused. Very few read the whole Omnibus Guidelines and what it entails. It’s like a whole mix of statutes and measures. There isn’t in the guidelines any tables showing the vast difference. They are lined down after each other, but you have to really study it to see the minor differences.

Since, there is so many of them and the way they are mentioned in News Flashes on 24 Oras or other broadcasts. Its hard to follow or even get a grip. It isn’t well explained in a simplified fashion. Its all hectic and bunch of both legal terms and medical terms. Which in the end only confuse a brother even more.

It is easy to understand the basics, but when you blend in five types of quarantine and also has various of types of lockdowns. You just loose the understanding of things. It might been done for the common good, but the reality is that this shouldn’t be this hard.

You should easily know what to do in a quarantine. Whose allowed and what. Who should stay home, who can go to work and who has to close. If schools are open, if factories can remain open or closed. If ports can continue or if people can go to the market for a limited time. If there is a curfew and if they need a paper-stamped for passage through road-blocks. All of that would make sense.

However, when you have so many different terms, so many words and so many types. Its easy to be confused. Get your mind boggled. Especially, if a local mayor changes or Barangay Captain changes from one of those Modified Community Quarantine to a General Community Quarantine. Because, then what happens or is it just paper tigers playing around with words?

The essential thing so be to ensure the stop of the spread of COVID-19. That the public respect the quarantine and that the state delivers it promise of funds to its workers and the public in general. In the time of need. That the ones whose eating to much get called out and the get punished for the punitive damage they do to the other workers. When they are promised thousands of peso’s, but only getting leftovers. That’s not right and the ones eating the pork should be punished.

With this in mind, the variations of quarantine is a maze. You can wonder what does what and even reading the guidelines confuses me. Like I said, it would be nice with a table showing the difference. So its idiot proof. Nothing ever is, but simplifying things is positive. Especially, when you have such a vast lingo of terms. Peace.

Philippines: The Animo’s Official Statement on ABS-CBN Shutdown (05.05.2020)

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.