BREAKING: Philippine Daily Inquirer APOLOGISES to Malacanang spox Sal Panelo!

Statement published by the Inquirer apologising to Malacanang spokesperson Salvador Panelo: apologizes for reporting on its social media platform that Secretary Salvador Panelo wrote a letter to BPP executive director Reynaldo Bayang recommending executive clemency for ex-Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez. posted Secretary Panelo’s clarification upon receipt of his statement on the matter. The updated reports stated that he merely referred the request of Sanchez’s family to Bayang.

Recall that the Inquirer, along with “social news network” Rappler was threatened with libel raps following allegations that they had misled their readership by “reporting” that Panelo had “recommended” presidential clemency be extended to convicted murderer and rapist Antonio Sanchez.

All eyes are now on Rappler now that the Inquirer had acceded to a demand earlier issued by Panelo to apologise or suffer the consequences.

He cited an breaking news tweet that used the word “recommending,” and a Rappler article which used the word “endorsed” in its headline in reference to his action on the Sanchez family’s letter.

“It is for this reason that I will be filing libel cases against the reporters of and Rappler, Inc. should they fail to comply with my demand for a public apology and rectification,” he said in a statement.

This follows a story earlier published on Get Real Pundit citing Inquirer staff writer Marlon Ramos for also using the word “recommend” in a tweet on the same subject.

Rappler and Inquirer in HOT water as Malacanang spox Salvador Panelo files libel raps

Did Rappler publish a libelous statement against Malacanang spokesman Salvador Panelo? The mystery persists. A statement posted on Twitter by Rappler in the form of an image outlined their response to the complaint.

For its part, the Inquirer, contacted by GMA News for its report on the story has declined to comment.

“We will wait for the actual libel complaint to be filed before responding,” the Inquirer told GMA News Online in a phone interview.

It seems, however, that an Inquirer staff writer, Marlon Ramos, claimed in a tweet that Panelo had “recommended” executive clemency for Sanchez.

Some prominent folks have, as a result, come forward to give their opinion on the matter…

Would a libel complaint against the two Yellow-leaning news media organisations prosper? Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.

Rappler hires EXPENSIVE lobbying firms to help Maria Ressa in “foreign relations campaign against Duterte”!

A CNBC report reveals that Rappler CEO Maria Ressa has engaged the services of “lobbying juggernaut” Covington & Burling to boost her PR campaign against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Ressa is currently being charged in the Philippines with a number of offenses in relation to her management of media firm Rappler.

The United States’ Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 requires that any engagement of lobbying services in the US be disclosed as a matter of public record. The CNBC report cites one such disclosure filed on the 16th August 2019 documenting the hiring of Covington & Burlington partners Peter Lichtenbaum and Kurt Wimmer to “build awareness and concern about the unfounded charges brought against Rappler and its CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa in the Philippines.” Ressa is indicated as the “client” in this engagement.

“We anticipate that in addition to providing U.S. legal counsel, our role will include briefing U.S. policymakers who are concerned with freedom of expression and the rule of law so that they understand all of the facts surrounding the Philippine government’s treatment of Ms. Ressa and Rappler,” Wimmer said.

Ressa and Lichtenbaum did not respond to requests for comment.

This confirms the extent to which Maria Ressa and Rappler are going to employ all means possible to slander the Philippine government and invite the intervention of a former colonial master into the Philippines’ domestic affairs.

It seems Rappler continues to draw from a deep pool of financial resources to fund endeavours like this. It would be interesting, indeed, to find out where those resources are coming from.

Maria Ressa is weaponising her media connections against President Duterte

Maria Ressa, CEO of Rappler, fashions herself as some sort of victim. But is she? It is evident that she has a lot of friends in high places and, more importantly for her, in Western places that she conscripts to her nefarious ends. Ressa speaks about how people are “weaponising” the Internet and even the Law itself. But if anyone hadn’t noticed yet, she has been weaponising the media!

Ressa evidently seeks to undermine the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. But her Scorched Earth approach is bringing down an entire country. Despite mature democratic institutions in place and the hardworking Filipino public servants doing their best to make these work, Ressa INSULTS all of these before the world stage and encourages her cronies in Big Corporate Media organisations to chime in with their so-called “journalism” on the matter.

Indeed, if there is any one person who could serve as the embodiment of the saying that “if you tell the same lie often enough, people will start regarding it as the truth”, Maria Ressa would be that person. Ressa has been beating the drum about an “assault on press freedom” for the last several years in front of anyone who could sit through her tirades long enough. No evidence exists that such an “assault” is happening.

Ressa has not added any new argument to her mantra — only reciting it over and over hoping that it may one day be immortalised in stone on a monument she hopes will someday be built in her honour.

Maria Ressa appeals to Facebook for help to silence her critics!

I read an article about Rappler CEO Maria Ressa on the Australian Financial Review where she is quoted appealing to Facebook to help hold Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to account. She said “the only people who can actually do something to level the playing field in the short-term are the social media platforms”.

Huh? Facebook and other socmed sites did level the playing field as I recall.

Ressa is being inconsistent. She can’t make up her mind about Facebook. One moment she praises it, the next she condemns it. Her opinion of Facebook seems to depend on her mood. Facebook already made Rappler a “fact-checker” but she is still not satisfied with that privilege!

This is why journalists like Maria Ressa lost their celebrity status. Ordinary citizens were given a platform to voice their dissent and hold journalists who publish untruths to account. Ressa is just bitter that most people in the Philippines don’t see her as a “thought leader” anymore.

Still, she is adamant. Ressa insists that Duterte is “weaponising the law”.

“How do you know when an online attack to kill you, burn you, rape you, shoot you or bomb you shifts from words to the time it becomes real,” she said.

“This is the biggest danger. It’s a psychological war. It’s made to silence and intimidate. And you couple that with a government that also weaponises the law. As far as I’m concerned, all of these charges are political harassment and it’s to stop us doing our job.”

That’s the dumbest thing coming out of her mouth. The law doesn’t pick and choose. The law applies to everyone. It’s there to protect innocent people from libelous articles.

The only thing consistent about Ressa is the script she uses to feed the international news media community – that Duterte is trying to “silence” her. She contradicts that by showing she is completely free to go on numerous junkets where she delivers her non-stop media blitzes that only provide her side of the story. No one from the foreign media even checks if any of what she says is true.

The @WashingtonPost “Editorial Board” is calling for US President Donald Trump to intervene in the Philippines

It seems the “Editorial Board” of the chi chi Washington Post is calling on United States president Donald Trump to intervene into what it describes as “the Philippines’ slide toward authoritarianism”.

It’s time for the Trump administration to adopt a new approach toward Mr. Duterte. A good first step would be to demand that the charges against Ms. Robredo and other opposition leaders be dropped.

Much of the “facts” it cites to back its position remain hopelessly debatable, however…

Since his election in 2016, Mr. Duterte’s so-called war on drugs has killed more than 6,600 narcotic users and dealers. Activists estimate that more than 27,000 mainly low-income and marginalized individuals have also been caught in the crossfire. Only one of the murders has resulted in the conviction of the police officers at fault. Now, for criticizing this shocking record, Ms. Robredo and other critics may face criminal prosecution.

All sound familiar? That is because these are all snippets of the prescribed campaign mantra of the current Philippine Opposition — the very fodder for an electoral bid that resulted in a catastrophic loss for its entire eight-candidate coalition this year.

This also presents a conundrum to the snowflakes that lead the Philippines’ “liberal” Opposition camps. Embrace Trump’s support if he decides to heed the Post’s call? Perhaps anything will do as long as it contributes to their end goal — to fast track their bid for a re-taking of Imperial Manila’s halls of power from Mindanao’s Dark Horse.

Rappler spins SWS survey on free speech negatively, possibly to save CEO Maria Ressa’s position!

A recent study conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) found that Filipinos disagree with Maria Ressa’s “assault on press freedom” fear mongering. Most of the major Big Corporate media outlets reported this consistently. Here is a rundown of the key headlines issued by these major media organisations.

Rappler bias in summary
(Photo source Twitter)

Note how one of them, albeit one not of the same standing and profile in the industry and professional community, begs to differ.

And here are the links to the above headlines:

Freedom of speech ‘very strong’ under Duterte admin — SWSInquirer

SWS: Pinoys ‘very strongly’ agree they have personal freedom of speechPhilStar

Pinoys agree: Freedom of speech ‘very strong’ – SWSManila Times

SWS: Most Pinoys find freedom of speech ‘very strong’ under DuterteABS-CBN News

SWS: 6 in 10 Filipinos feel free to speak up under Duterte administrationCNN Philippines

Amidst all that traditional media firepower, here, in contrast, is what the Rapplerettes at Rappler think:

Majority of Filipinos think it’s dangerous to publish anything critical of Duterte admin

Sofia Tomacruz, author of the above “report” quotes Mahar Mangahas, president of SWS, asserting that…

SWS assessed respondents’ fear not by asking them their fear of being a victim of extrajudicial killings, but by asking them to agree/disagree with the following statement: “I can say anything I want, openly and without fear, even if it is against the administration.”

Tomacruz refers to Mangahas’s noting of the difference in survey responses to a question framed in different ways. She lays out a rather convoluted story that cuts across opinion pieces written by Mangahas and former Inquirer editor John Nery last week to describe statistical nuances that she uses to support the preferred headline of her Rappler editor.

There is a point in there, perhaps. But it is lost in Tomacruz’s incoherent forced spin of a finding potentially damaging to the personal “activism” of their CEO Maria Ressa.

Raissa Robles believes she is the sole authority on “legitimate” journalism

It’s laughable how so-called investigative journalist Raissa Robles got triggered into ranting against an article about journalists. Robles still thinks she is God’s Gift to Journalism when in fact, her only motivation to write is to sell her books against Marcos and Martial Law.

Raissa Robles never criticised the Aquinos and their allies in any significant way. And yet here she is in typical form…

Robles likely refers to is RJ Nieto’s maiden Manila Bulletin article “What, exactly, is a ‘legitimate journalist’?”. But her tweet only seeks to attack Nieto’s character rather than comment on his message.

For that matter, journalists are supposed to report the news, not “throw tomatoes” at the politicians they don’t like. For a so-called “investigative journalist”, most of Raissa’s articles are baseless and mere innuendoes.

Indeed, Robles’s articles are generally all about the “evils” of former President Ferdinand Marcos and the atrocities allegedly committed by the military. However, she never mentions the atrocities committed by the communists who wreaked havoc in Philippine society over a far longer stretch. They got away with their crimes in part because of writers like Robles who prefer to stick to their one-sided take on things.

Respected journalists like Jessica Soho, for example, remain objective even as they deliver confronting messages to their audience. Folks like that serve as an example of what journalism really is. Raissa Robles, on the other hand, brings nothing but shame to her profession.

Latest SWS survey shows Filipinos disagree with Maria Ressa’s “assault on press freedom” fear mongering!

Is free speech really “under threat” as Rappler CEO Maria Ressa keeps screeching about? Apparently most Filipinos disagree as a recent SWS survey report reveals.

The report showed that Filipinos are in “strong” agreement that “they can openly say whatever they want without fear, even if their statements are against the Duterte administration”.

Results of a June 22-26 poll of 1,200 adults showed 59% of Filipinos agreeing that they are not afraid to criticize the government while 18% disagreed.

That yielded a net agreement score of +41, classified by SWS as “very strong.” The latest reading was 18 points above the “moderate” +23 net score recorded in December last year.

This further supports the possibility that the so-called threat to “press freedom” being brandied around by self-described “legitimate journalists” is all in the minds of Ressa and her Rapplerettes.

The report goes further…

Meanwhile, 67% of respondents believe there is freedom of expression and free press in the country while 10% disagree, for a “very strong” net agreement score of +57.

The evidence is all around for everyone to behold. The Philippines’ press continues to be as rumbunctous as it’s long been renowned to be and social media is a thriving free market of ideas. Maria Ressa and her whiney lot just need to learn to step up and compete.

Who appointed Maria Ressa and Amal Clooney as WORLD authorities on what is “true”??

According to Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, her new lawyer, celebrity “human rights” campaigner Amal Clooney, is the final say on what is and isn’t true and what is and isn’t factual information.

One wonders though, by what authority do these two ladies presume to declare what is true or false and what is information and “misinformation”. Are they today’s modern dictators who can summarily declare who are the “truth sayers” and who are the liars?

This is the sort of sense of entitlement that lost these so-called “activists” their credibility and gave their otherwise noble advocacies bad names.

For that matter, Ressa needs to decide whether she is a “journalist” or an activist. You can’t be both. The earlier requires that you be a disinterested observer and the latter requires one to be a monomanic rabid crusader.