So who is taking away the freedom of the press, of speech here?

Based on the events of the past 30 days alone, it is unmistakably dark American entities and their main agent here, Rappler and Maria Ressa, that unmistakably suppresses the right of Filipinos to express their feelings. We should be outraged.

Case n ° 1: Rappler withdraws his own polls

Ressa’s US-funded propaganda site Rappler launched an online poll on Oct. 7 to get viewers to vote for who they want to be president in May 2022. He said the poll would run for three days and would be performed monthly. Although Robredo won in the early hours, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. then passed her the next day with huge margins.

This despite the fact that the Robredo camp, or Rappler himself, deployed a thousand trolls to vote for her; so foolishly obvious that voters had Arabic or Indian names and many had their identities written in Sanskrit or Arabic.

On the second day, Marcos almost won by a landslide, with 72% of netizens voting for him and just 24% for Robredo.

Rappler suppressed Filipino free speech and withdrew the poll, leaving no record that it had been undertaken, claiming that he “realized that the poll was not in line with our goals, so we decided to withdraw it “. It was certainly not “aligned with their goals” which was obviously, with the help of trolls, to distort the portrayal that Filipinos preferred Robredo to Marcos.

Case n ° 2: Application against Ressa withdrawn

The petition reached 160,000 signatories until it was withdrawn.

On October 25, an internet user (I haven’t even heard of his name) started an online petition on change.org asking the Nobel Prize Committee to recall Ressa’s peace prize.

He claimed Ressa’s award was based on her blatant lies that she and other journalists were being persecuted by the Duterte government. The truth is, it was his most despicable way of escaping his prison sentence (six months and heavy financial penalties) for defamation filed by an individual. Respected government agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice have also won cases against Rappler for violating the media’s constitutional ban on taking foreign money, which they took to higher courts. .

Two days later, when more than 160,000 Internet users signed the petition (which is almost impossible to cheat, since it requires an Internet user email), it was abruptly taken down by change.org, without any explanation. The number of people signing was accelerating at a viral rate and could have reached 500,000 in a week.

Obviously, Ressa and her tentacles had enough influence on change.org that she withdrew the petition, even though she had the potential to make money for the outfit because she was “asking” (without demanding) a 100 P donation to each signatory.

Internet users have put forward two explanations for how Ressa managed to have the petition withdrawn.

One explanation is that, according to the reputable GRP Insider blog, the Philippine “campaign manager” of change.org – that is, its staff in charge of its operations here – is Ma. Salvacion “Inday” Espina Varona, arguably the most open left activist in the Filipino media.

Varona is said to have quit her low-paying jobs with the National Union of Left-Wing Philippine Journalists and other NGOs to get a job with change.org, which pays at least a living wage, and wants to join Rappler as an editor. chief.

The second explanation, which I think is the most important, is that a major investor in change.org is the Omidyar network, set up by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar who has inexplicably funded entities that undertake the kind of work. propaganda that the CIA had made. done in the 1950s. This work aims to undermine the governments of developing countries that refuse to be subservient to the United States on the grounds that they are not democratic enough.

Announcements on the Omidyar site: Top, in 2013; below, in 2016.

It was Omidyar, along with another American company, North Base Media, which invested 100 million pesos in Rappler in 2016. Without these funds, it would have closed, because its investor Benjamin Bitanga refused to pay more money to it. who was a heavy loser. company, in which Ressa, however, was earning P 300,000 per month as CEO.

Such funding is a blatant violation of the Constitution, which prohibits all foreign money in the country’s media. For a country Ressa claims to be authoritarian, its lawyers, which Omidyar funded with a 30 million peso line, have managed to drag cases to court – for five years now.

Ressa has obviously asked the funders of change.org, also its own backers, to withdraw the petition.

Case n ° 3 Facebook column “Pink Taliban” deleted

The third case in just a month of how the Pinks are taking away freedom of the press and speech is as outrageous as the first two. A column by my esteemed colleague Antonio Contreras – who wrote so many anti-Duterte articles – was not simply deleted on Facebook. It was banned from doing FB Live for days.

In his column, Contreras points out that the Roses are so “dominated by people who are so drunk with arrogance and who think they are a gift from God for the future of this country”.

“They talk about free speech and applaud Maria Ressa for winning a Nobel Peace Prize, while they cringe at the fate of ABS-CBN, but they are intolerant of any offensive speech that comes to them from the other side of the political divide. They harass, intimidate and threaten to prosecute a poor woman who claimed that the people who joined the Pink Caravans were paid, but would freely accuse anyone who supports Marcos as a paid troll. redefined the art of hypocrisy to a new level. They won what I invented to call them. They became the Pink Taliban of our country. “

Contreras was of course livid when this column he posted on Facebook was deleted. He wrote in his following column: “I was told that I had violated Facebook’s community standards. Thus, a column of legitimate opinion which has been verified by the editors of a legitimate newspaper, has now been found to have violated standards of decorum. I examined my column, and it did not contain any allegations of facts that could be interpreted as “fake news” and it did not incite violence. It did not contain offensive, sexual and graphic language. It was a valid criticism of the behavior of supporters of presidential candidate Robredo. “

And to think that no one, not even the fake news providers, has ever claimed that Duterte or any of his officials and supporters deleted any post critical of him or her, whether in Rappler, Facebook or any other newspaper and audiovisual media.

It is the Pink Taliban and their American masters who are cracking down on Filipino freedom of press and expression. Just as the United States funded the Taliban (and al-Qaida) in the 1980s to fight the Soviets, it is funding the Pink Taliban to topple Duterte and his likely successor.

We are besieged by American entities who will move heaven and earth to prevent a Duterte 2.0 administration, and especially a President Marcos, from assuming power next year. Our independence as a nation is threatened with death.

Awake to this reality.

Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao

Twitter: @bobitiglao

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