In a Philippines that still continues to be divided along political lines long after the presidential campaign has ended, there are organizations that still stoke the flames of hyperpartisanship by maliciously attacking the very popular President Duterte. While it is normal, and even healthy for citizens to criticize the government, there is a point where such criticism becomes counter productive to the welfare of the nation.
For the editors, writers, owners, and investors of the digital media outfit, Rappler, this point has long been reached – and surpassed – in spectacular fashion with their slanted reporting that borders on outright anti-government propaganda. Hiding under the pretense of fair and balanced reporting, Rappler has waged an undeclared war against Duterte with the ultimate aim of discrediting him in the eyes of its rapidly dwindling readers.
In its latest and most virulent demolition job, Rappler writer Glenda Gloria has come up with an incredibly condescending piece full of subtle and not so subtle insults against Duterte, including characterizing the President as an immature child prone to “outbursts” and making “incoherent” statements.
While on the surface the piece, titled “where does the military stand with Duterte?” makes a big effort to appear fair and balanced, on numerous occasions the personal views of the writer floats to the surface like the pieces of shit that they are to reveal a darker objective – the sowing of discontent among the leadership of the Armed Forces and their Commander-in-Chief.
It is full of speculative hints at dissension and disobedience by the military presented by the writer in the guise of the AFP exercising its critical independence. Without citing any proof, the writer alleges that the military does not fully support the President’s war against the illegal drug trade, and that any participation on their part is merely a “face saving” gesture.
The writer is truly a master of the use of the left-handed complement, at the same time appearing to praising Duterte for visiting the wake of soldiers and policemen killed in the line of duty, while belittling the move as some sort of political stunt. What an asshole. In trying to diminish Duterte, she only succeeds in denigrating the ultimate sacrifice these men gave for their country.
Rubbing even more salt to the wounds, Rappler disparages Duterte’s instinctive style of leadership while praising his predecessor, Noynoy Aquino as a “president who loved drilling down to the last decimal point of a fighter jet’s cost and studying coordinates in a map during long briefings and powerpoint presentations.” Maybe they forgot, or are just too dumb to realize that these were exactly the same traits that made him micro-manage the cluster fuck that became the Mamasapano Massacre.
Someone should really slap the folks at Rappler with the reality that not only did Aquino mismanage the whole operation, he made it infinitely worse by deciding to skip the ceremony marking the arrival of those who died. Something that Duterte, with all his alleged flaws, would never, ever do.
But while the article is run of the mill as far as being an attack piece from the Rappler, what crosses the line for me is its understated support for a military-instigated removal of a duly elected President. The writer repeatedly and pointedly reminds her readers of the role that the armed forces has played in removing both Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and Joseph Estrada in 2001.
This is dangerous ground, something that must be thread on lightly. The Rappler can argue – as I am sure they will – that they have no intention of endorsing, let alone fomenting rebellion within the ranks. But the thing is, you have to take statements like “The military will know when it’s needed. Or when it’s not” in context not just with the whole article, but also with the organization’s demeanor and over-all view of the President and his administration.
The country is going through enough as it is. The common Filipino, having been ill-served by a succession of oligarchy-backed Presidents have grown tired of the status quo and have elected someone that they view as one of their own. A leader that represents their true interests. This obviously does not sit well with those whose personal and political interests have been shunted to the back, and these are the people who pose the most danger to the country. And right on top of that list are the fuckers in Rappler.
One cannot escape the fact that Rappler, starting at the top has been unapologetically anti-Duterte all along and they will stop at nothing to bring him down. Characteristically, President Duterte will most likely let this slide as he has other insults in the past. But we who support this government must not. Rappler must be made to realize that there are consequences – swift and vicious – to this kind of irresponsibility reporting.