Richard Heydarian (@RicHeydarian) says RJ Nieto has no right to criticise Leni Robredo because he lacks a college degree

Wow! Richard Heydarian is basically saying that only those with a college degree can criticise public officials like vice president Leni Robredo. This is wrong. We should be promoting egalitarianism where everyone has a voice, even ordinary people. The problem with Philippine society it that it is very credentialist.

Nonetheless, Leni may have a law degree, but you wouldn’t think so seeing the way she talks and analyses things. She’s more like a pabebe. It’s all subjective, of course. What you think is an insult is the truth to some people. And this is why one shouldn’t dismiss other people’s opinion.

Still, Heydarian is quick to defend Robredo

All Filipinos have a RIGHT to express their views, regardless of gender, religion or socio economic background. But to say our VP is empty headed? How on Earth is that NOT insult? Are you blind or playing a fool? Slander, libel, calumny — not exercise of freedom but abuse if it!

Well, then again, it’s hard to disagree with RJ Nieto who pointed out the obvious about the “vice president” in a clever meme that makes use of Heydarian’s pa-clever Inquirer non-article.

We should respect Nieto’s opinion. If he thinks Leni has an empty head, don’t dismiss it simply because you disagree. Perhaps ask him to explain why he thinks Leni has an empty head. Nieto would likely have pretty sound bases for saying Leni is dumb and should not simply be shut down just because you disagree with what he points out.

The whole trouble with “standing with” Maria Ressa

The current fashion statement of Yellowtard supporters of embattled Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is to express on social media that they “stand with” Maria Ressa because they stand with “press freedom”. The trouble with that is you set yourself up for a potential problematic ideological conundrum whenever you declare loyalty to both ideas and people.

In this case, loyalty to “press freedom” is not that bad a notion. After all, without “press freedom”, journalists will not be able to write about the “truth”, right? Right. However, does the equation Maria Ressa = Press Freedom actually hold? What about those who are not standing with Maria Ressa but are advocates of “press freedom”? Does the fact of their ambivalence to God’s Gift to Philippine Journalism make them less of a credible advocate of “press freedom”? According to whose judgment?

More importantly, Ressa is currently in the midst of a legal battle surrounding her tax evasion charges. This means that, at some point, a court will rule on whether she is guilty of those charges or not. When that time comes and, say for purposes of discussion, Ressa is found guilty and convicted of tax evasion, what then? Will these self-described advocates of “press freedom” who proclaim their loyalty to Ressa continue to stand with her?

Therein lies the whole trouble with loyalty to people above ideas in political discourse and polticial “activism”. People change. Principles, on the other hand, remain relatively consistent over time. So-called “activists” and social justice warriors should exercise caution when locking in their loyalties with the trending personality of the moment lest they set themselves up to be repeatedly called out for inconsistency later on when cult of personality no longer reconciles neatly with the principles at stake.

Desperation of Rappler CEO @MariaRessa on exhibit as she lashes out at bloggers!

Oooohhh…as if calling me a “minor, minor blogger” is a valid argument. As what they say, people like Maria Ressa who resort to insults are desperate. At least I’m not the one who’s in trouble with the law. Here is Ressa’s desperation on exhibit…

Hahahaha – wrong on every point, but once a propagandist, always a propagandist. Keep going with that minor minor blogger …

Seems Maria Ressa thinks only high profile people have credibility. Calling me a “minor minor blogger” says a lot about the way she looks down on those who she considers beneath her. In a truly egalitarian society, everyone has a voice, even ordinary people.

Not only did Maria Ressa call me a “minor minor blogger”, she also accused me of being a propagandist. What’s her basis in saying this? I base my opinion on facts. The fact is, she violated the rules on foreign media ownership and is in trouble for tax evasion.

Unfortunately, Maria Ressa exposed herself as an elitist and a credentialist in a single tweet. She thinks I’m a propagandist just because she doesn’t agree with my views and claims I’m a minor minor blogger just because…I have no idea why she thinks I’m a minor minor blogger.

If Ressa is really an advocate of rule of law and wants people to respect the constitution, then she should have followed the law when she registered her site and paid the taxes accordingly. She violated the law on foreign media ownership and did not pay right taxes.

Here’s why the Yellowtards are so obsessed with “fake news”…

The Opposition led by the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtards) would like Filipinos to believe that they are also on a crusade to “protect” the public from “fake news”. Their real agenda, however, is to be seen to be the singular authority on what to see/hear and what not to see/hear. Thus, under the guise of being the self-proclaimed Fake News Police, the Yellowtards really just want the power to control the information Filipinos consume.

We can see this obsession with control over information — and, therefore, the political narrative — in the screeching tantrums they throw over “historical revisionism”. The idea that their preferred historical account of the “Martial Law Era” and the legacy this “horrific” period left in Philippine society is dogma that cannot be challenged is what is behind the rage that permeates Philippine Opposition “activism” today. It is such that practically every kind of intellectual activity — from evaluating politics to analysing economic indicators — is backward-engineered from the Yellowtard dogma.

To be seen as a battler of “Fake News” is to be seen as an authority on “right” and “wrong” information. To be seen as such gives one the power to consolidate and centralise control over the information Filipinos exchange amongst themselves. With such power, any kind of information or point of view deemed not aligned to the Yellowtard agenda can be summarily lumped into the “Fake News” pile.

Filipinos should take steps to ensure that this power the Yellowtards are trying to seize be kept democratised and not monopolised by the self-appointed Fake News Police — a role the Yellowtards salivate over.