I just saw in my newsfeed that the anti-Duterte blogsite Rappler was a recipient of the 2017 Democracy Award given out by the US-based National Democratic Institute. No surprise there. The NDI Is closely linked with the Democratic Party of United States, of which our least favorite filipino-AMERICAN billionaire, Loida Nicolas Lewis is staunch supporter.
The selection of Rappler was ostensibly due to its “being in the front lines of investigative reporting in the Philippines on the use of “trolls” and social media “bots,” which are used to distort the truth and disseminate false news.” But the truth is, the only thing that Rappler is in front of is in leading the campaign to destabilize the country by painting Duterte and the government as some sort of monster. And for this they are being feted by people who are clueless about the reality of life in the Philippines.
For her part, Rappler chief Maria Ressa celebrated the recognition by proudly declaring, “We are journalists and we will not be intimidated. We will shine the light. We will hold the line.” Too bad for Rappler’s investors that she and her team aren’t as good in holding the bottomline as the company is reportedly about to go under.
Even its shameless attempt to trick people into giving them money for nothing has fizzled out. So far, they’ve only been able to raise a little more than three hundred thousand pesos – a far and pathetic cry from their ambitious goal of raising five million. Whoever thought of this idea should be fired from Rappler. Now people will have a visible indicator of how irrelevant Maria Ressa and company are, simply by looking at the tepid response their fund raising scam has gotten from the public.
But of course, none of this matters to Ressa. Who doggedly holds to her distorted view that this is all somehow Duterte’s fault. That “bots and trolls” are to blame. That none of this is their fault. They are “award winning journalists” after all. And we should just trust them with knowing what is best for us mere mortals.
Apparently, the folks at NDI see nothing wrong with Ressa’s logic. Or Rappler’s anti-people stance. Maybe this is their version of democracy. Where decisions are made by a few, and enforced on the many by the power of the pen. Which we all know is at least just as mighty as the sword.
But of course, none of this – including that empty award – matters much for Filipinos who are more enlightened about what Rappler really is. NDI and whatever else like minded organizations can pile on the awards, and Ressa can rack up those frequent flier miles globetrotting around the world – in the end, nothing will save Rappler from itself.