The Grand Deception

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When Rappler, through its president, Maria Ressa, was caught trifling with an important tenet in the Philippine Constitution that mandates that Philippine media should be 100% owned by Filipinos, the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered it closed. Rappler was parading like it is wholly owned by Filipinos but turned out it accepted investment from Omidyar Network which is known for its notoriety in destabilizing heads of state that are not docile to America. It tried deception by claiming that the Philippine Deposit Receipts (PDRs) it issued to ON money was for philanthropic contribution. The attempt dragged them deeper in shit as the PDRs were actually commercial instruments. When this trick did not work, Ressa again tried another act — this time claiming that Omidyar signed a waiver on its veto power.

Again, this did not pass scrutiny of the SEC because the said waiver was discovered to be just a scrap of paper as the document was not notarized.

Running out of deceptive tricks, Ma. Ressa went berserk when she was served the closure order and went about town crying her freedom is being curtailed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, no less. Her partner Pia Ranada did the same screaming that she will be jailed by Duterte’s military.

The grandstanding, it was obvious, was to stonewall the criminal violation they committed and to paint Rappler and its staff headed by Ressa as victims of oppression and dictatorial regime of Duterte.

Contrary to its claim that they have lost their freedom of expression, more than ever Rappler had increased the crescendo of its unfettered attack on no less than President Duterte himself. Ressa spearheaded a Black Friday movement supported by a handful of students from where else, the University of the Philippines campus and the usual garrulous but moribund Liberal Party stalwarts headed by VP Leni Robredo. They were joined in by UN Rapporteur Agnes Callamard and her local counterpart Chito Gascon in denouncing the Duterte government for curtailing the freedom of the press. Other foreign-funded media outfits joined the fray for obvious reason.

Theirs is a cacophony of ridiculous chants. Robredo warned that the closure of Rappler is a symptom of a dark future of the country. The juvenile delinquents in the UP campus joined pipsqueak assemblies with screaming placards denouncing Pres. Duterte and his “malignant forces that continue to peddle lies to justify their tyranny and dictatorship”.

They cut classes to face the TV cameras and klieg lights unmindful of yet another spectacular grade of survey firms Social Weather Station and Pulse Asia showing an “excellent” grade on the sustained trust and popularity of the nation on Duterte which they had been flagellating no end.

No one seems to mind their issue about tyranny and dictatorship as the World Bank (WB) grudgingly declared that “DDS killed democracy in the Philippines but they haven’t killed the country’s vibrant economy”. Forbes, an international business magazine, likewise quoted WB on its Global Economic Prospects, which asserts that “Duterte Philippines is the 10th fastest growing economy in the world”.

The statistics is a slap on the face of VP Robredo who remains to be an incurable pessimist despite the figures that cannot lie. She continues to see the future of the Philippines in dark glasses forgetting that she is a Vice President and therefore should have celebrated with the rest for the gains that the country achieved. For her part, Maria Ressa simply ignored what Forbes and WB declared.

Maybe out of outrage that the Robredo seemed to be out of sync and blinded by sheer politicking and negativism, UP Political Science professor and political analyst, Clarita Carlos, made a five-worded message to The Vice President, thus: “President Duterte moves the Philippines forward”. To those who denigrate Duterte from cutting the country’s umbilical cord to America, Professor Carlos had this to say, “Duterte has moved the Philippines away from the usual foreign policy and in turn ‘defined national interest’ by tracking his own way of foreign policy”. She admired Duterte for his political guts and courage.

It is indeed pathetic that while the Philippines rise several notches higher in political and economic arena, the opposition and foreign-aided media outfits shamelessly continue to belittle these achievements. It is no small feat that the Philippines came out stronger in economic growth than China in the 3rd quarter of 2017. On the 4th quarter moreover, China rallied (6.9%) and landed on top of Asian countries followed by Vietnam (6.8) and Philippines 6.7%. The Philippines, however, has been growing more than 6% for nine consecutive quarters and that sustained growth is best among Asean nations. Any which way you look at it, that spells economic stability and investment grade for investors service firms like Moody’s and other international credit rating institutions.

Cause and effect is a simple gauge to measure the impact of the tyranny and dictatorial regime that Rappler and its sympathizers have been accusing the Duterte regime of. But as I always say, no one can quarrel with success especially when institutions of unquestionable stature put the positive figures across. Expect the economy to grow even faster in 2018 when infrastructure spending commences under the Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program. As we all know, the government had earmarked P8.4-trillion to achieve the mega infrastructure projects comprising of railways, highways and bridges, irrigation’s, airports and seaports, to name a few. The job opportunities that these programs will generate are equally mind-boggling.

Nothing in these statistics is fake and neither are the future possibilities.

As we write this piece, the Philippine Stocks Exchange Index is rallying to breach 9,000 points.

The Duterte government is working hard to liberate us from want and stagnation. In the meantime, Rappler and the rest can go rally even without permit and rant for as long as they want. The Philippine is a free country.

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