“Press freedom” is not the Philippines’ most important issue. It really isn’t.

If one uses Twitter to sample the general sentiment of the Filipino public, you’d think “press freedom” is top of mind for the majority of Filipinos. With the shrillness of the rhetoric of “activists” that populate social media, one would be forgiven in thinking that “press freedom” is the game-changing issue that will determine this year’s elections.

Sadly, this isn’t true. Most Filipinos don’t give a shit about “press freedom”. It doesn’t help that “activist” personalities who champion the cause of this dubious advocacy have come to be seen by many as elitist social climbers who are just out to satisfy their virtue signalling addiction.

The Philippines’ foremost activists like the left-leaning Inday Espina Varona and Tonyo Cruz come across as elitist even as they supposedly champion issues important to the masses.

The data shows that “press freedom” is not a strong election issue — which is why the primary poster person of this “cause”, Maria Ressa, is increasingly isolating herself and possibly dooming her organisation, Rappler, to a spiral towards insolvency. Rather than be a CEO, Ressa seems to prefer the embrace of the snowflake community. Rather than be a journalist, Ressa would rather be an emotional blackmailing shill. Rather than focus on her legal troubles, Ressa would rather seek comfort in an echo chamber she engineered for herself.

It seems, though, that the majority of Filipinos no longer fall for this sort of phony melodrama, and politicians are taking heed. Even the Liberal Party claim to be listening to their constituents’ concerns this time. Indeed, if they focus on the basics — listening and evaluating real data — Filipino politicians need no longer waste precious campaign resources on non-issues like Maria Ressa’s pet “press freedom” tantrum.

The Philippine Opposition is united only for their hate of Duterte and not much else as @TonyoCruz points out

I agree with what commie social media “influencer” Tonyo Cruz recently wrote in his Manila Bulletin column…

As we enter the new year and approach the elections, those of us so honored by earning Duterte’s ire and his apologists’ hate must be more creative, more courageous, more daring, more united.

By all means, wear the “badge” of being part of an anti administration community with “pride”. That is, last I heard, what an Opposition do. But do give yourselves a bit more credit and find something more lofty to aspire for and pitch as a compelling vision to Filipinos.

Without such a vision, you will be nothing more than a bunch of disparate cliques pretending to unite around a “good” cause. The reality is, beyond calling for an end to the Duterte government, you all have not much else in common.

Worse, because of a rabid short-sighted focus on ousting a legitimately-elected president, you desperately resort to getting in bed with terrorists out to violently overthrow legal governments in order to install a “dictatorship of the proletariat”.

Tonyo Cruz declares himself one of the “good guys” in a battle between “good” and “evil”!

The title alone says something of the lofty pedestal upon which some “thought leaders” of the Philippine Opposition have set themselves upon. Tonyo Cruz’s piece (Some) evil was defeated published on Rappler presumes to paint a narrative of Good vs Evil with, of course, his handpicked cronies cast as the good guys.

Most bizarre of all, they also declare themselves the winner in this “battle”…

We turned back this unholy triad of fake news peddlers in 2018. They are less effective now. Fewer people follow them. They have lost their posts in government. In the case of Uson, she faces graft and corruption charges which we hope the Ombudsman would hear and investigate immediately.

Cruz is referring, of course, to popular bloggers RJ “Thinking Pinoy” Nieto, Sass Rogando Sasot, and Margaux “Mocha” Uson. Whatever he is claiming is of course subject to debate on the bases of facts — say, engagement statistics or some measure of influence on public opinion based on other metrics. But the crux of Cruz’s message, that these three personalities are “evil” and he and his camp the good guys, is not even worthy of intelligent debate.

As my colleague Ilda observes, “I think it’s very self-righteous of some to declare other bloggers they don’t agree with as ‘evil’. Besides, it’s too early to tell if a popular blogger’s influence is gone. There is no proof of this. We’ll all find out after the mid term election.”

Tonyo Cruz is pretty sure of himself asserting who wears the halo in the “war” he imagines is raging in Philippine society. “Some evil was defeated this 2018. We have to work harder to defeat more of them in 2019,” Cruz crows.

Rappler contributor Tonyo Cruz

But of course. I’m pretty sure everyone is looking forward to seeing what you mean by “working harder” Mr Cruz, because, as far as can be observed, there really is nothing your commie friends and the Yellowtards who coddle them offer to ordinary Filipinos. To be fair, you were handsomely rewarded with the sorts of pats on the back most social climbers would salivate over.

Add to this powerful motivation, the likely reason you cook up this “good versus evil” war — a lame attempt to distract people from real issues. That pretty much sums up the only real strategy the Yellowtard-led Opposition applies to its dishonest bid to seize power again.