By Ado Paglinawan
Second of Two Parts: Delivered before the Association of Philippine China Understanding under the theme “The Role of Media in the Promotion of Amity between Peoples”.
Another company that factchecks Facebook in the Philippines together with Rappler, is Vera Files, a recipient of funds from the National Endowment for Democracy.
NED is the twin of the Central Intelligence Agency performing overt espionage for the United States since 1983 under the guise of a “private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democracy in other countries by promoting democratic institutions such as political groups, trade unions, free markets and business groups”.
For the past six years, we have also discovered Stratbase Albert de Rosario Institute receiving huge grants from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
According to the Economic Intelligence Review, CSIS seeded the funds in 1982 for the eventual removal of President Marcos from power. The next year 1983, Ninoy Aquino was assassinated, in 1984 the World Bank and International Monetary Funds strangled loans to the Philippines causing many factories to close, in 1985 the United States government forced to call for Snap Elections, and finally in 1986 after being reelected as president, they kidnapped and exiled him to Hawaii.
Many academic institutions are also laced with foreign-funded money. There is no regulation about these funds being used for profit, political or offensive public relations purposes to corrupt our institutions.
LtGen Antonio Parlade Jr has also presented to Congress with voluminous proofs, that Communist terrorists have sourced billions in Europe in order to fund their subversion against the government.
Our laws flex depending on how our lawyers make legal the horrendous these funds are not just being used to take out actual lives especially in the countryside but promote their political fronts and kill reputations in urban society.
I have proposed the legislation of a Foreign Agents Registration Act just like in the United States where incoming foreign funds most likely to be used to promote or lobby political interests, are registered with the Department of Justice and monitored closely by a fulltime agency, in addition to the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
Journalism vs information war
Encyclopedia Britannica provides a simple definition of journalism as “the collection, preparation, and distribution of news and related commentary and feature materials through such print and electronic media as newspapers, magazines, books, blogs, webcasts, podcasts, social networking and social media sites, and e-mail as well as through radio, motion pictures, and television.
What is news? News generally means information that has not been known earlier. But in journalism, we refer to news as the factual report of an event. The basic measure is the 5Ws and 1H, namely “who, what, where, when, why and how”.
Note that in the Britannica definition commentaries or opinions published and feature stories are to be related to the news. One cannot invent assumption, speculation or conjecture, report it as news, much more comment on it or enlarge it into a feature.
But today never has the truth been challenged by no less than mainstream media engaged in the distortion of the truth in that they have become purveyor of fake news.
What is worse is when fake news is weaponize onto lawfare and regime change.
Lawfare is the misuse of legal systems and principles against an enemy to damage or de-legitimize them, tying up their time or winning a public relations victory. The term is a portmanteau of the words law and warfare.
This was used by the George Walker Bush in justifying an all-out war against Saddam Hussein claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
There were no WMDs. The Americans merely wanted to attack Iraq to gain control of their oil, and to kill Sadam Hussein and some of their perceived enemies in the Middle East like Moammar Khadaffy and Osama Bn Laden.
Lawfare was used by Donald Trump in attributing Wuhan as the origin of the SarCov2 virus and the Covid-19 disease not just to demonize China but to frame up its culpability for reparations to the world.
I used international news reports, in a survey I published into a book, to show that the pattern did not point east but to the about ten miles from Washington DC, in an outbreak as early as June 2019 south in Springfield, Virginia and west to Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, before some 300 US servicemen participating in the World Military Games brought it to Wuhan in October 2019, a good three months before an outbreak was confirmed in China.
Lawfare was being used by former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Associate Justice Antonio Carpio in portraying that we are in a war with China over the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoals.
What we have is a dispute on territories and economic maritime zones, that is easily resolved by bilateral consultations.
Lawfare was used by Senators Antonio Trillanes, Risa Hontiveros and Franklin Drilon in portraying that there have been 27,000 victims of extrajudicial killings under the present administration, and as such President Rodrigo Duterte falls under the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
The number is more like more than 6,000 as per Police records of actual corpus delicti.
Lawfare was used by the Communist terrorists who claimed President Marcos had 20 years of dictatorship, when his martial law lasted only for 9 years starting September 21, 1972 but lifted in January 1981.
Lawfare was used by Amnesty International (AI) that said there were 107,200 victims, mostly killed, tortured, and imprisoned by the Marcos regime.
We are finding out that the claimants have only numbered less than 10,000, most of whom bore arms against our established government.
Carpio again fomented disqualification cases against Bongbong Marcos, about seven of which have already bee filed in the Supreme Court, for tax-related cases that have already been paid, resolved and adjudicated as not constituting moral turpitude by the appellate courts.
This is lawfare.
But the people themselves are showing up in great numbers their intention to resolve the matter of the next presidency by election and not through any judicial process. The choice after all of our next president is a political, not a legal matter.
Building Bridges through Amity
I devoted some time to pointing at the fundamental flaw of a culture of hate that 30 years of Aquino the mother that started in 1986 continued on the Aquino the son in 2016, manifested in information war and lawfare.
This delayed our cooperation with China for at least six years. But under President Duterte, a bridge has emerged easily given our interlinked bloodlines, cultures and traditions with the Chinese people since time immemorial, most poignant perhaps in the early 1400s in the friendship between Sultan Paduka Pahala and Emperor Yong Le.
I will no longer enumerate the many projects China has built since July 2016, but just thank the Chinese people for sending Sinovac, the medical supplies and equipment, without which the Philippines would not be looking forward to achieving herd immunity from Covid-19, this early.
I would rather address straggling mindsets of those in our society that are still bound by “wokism” amid facts that have continuously changed on the ground since the turn of the century to a world that no longer welcomes war as an instrument of foreign relations.
The key is in China’s concept of a harmonious society from Confucius, himself. There is no exact translation of the Mandarin word “Hexie” in English, but what it means is reaching agreement without conflict, the pursuit of co-existence despite differences.
Our foreign affairs department must school in the Confucius’ keys to harmony that provides the basic four ideas in China’s foreign policy.
The first is seek harmony but not uniformity. Second, big countries should respect smaller ones and vice versa.
Third, it is lonely at the top. This seems to be the driving power behind China’s overflowing action to share its wealth with the underdeveloped world.
Fourth, conflicts between states should be handled bilaterally, ensuring that any imbalance of power is corrected to achieve balance.
This is exemplified in the Chinese government’s policy of fostering an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood. China emphasizes on its own sovereignty without interfering in other countries’ internal affairs and by Chinese diplomatic concepts such as equality, mutual benefit, mutual aid, cooperation and “win-win” solutions.
Democracy under re-construction
The other aspect of mutuality that is very important to our present pre-pandemic recovery situation, is an understanding by our Western-educated minds of China’s evolving democracy.
Instead of private capitalism, it has state capitalism. Rather than liberal democracy, the Chinese have de-prioritized the democratic system, pushing economic rights over political rights of its citizens, and best, their prosperity.
Emerging economies are recognizing that democracy is not a prerequisite for economic growth. In the case of the Philippines, the biggest obstacle to prosperity has proven to be politics. On the contrary, places like Taiwan, Singapore, Chile, not just China, have shown that economic growth is a prerequisite for democracy.
Today with the enormous rise of populations, it has become evident how can anyone enjoy his freedoms if his basic economic needs are not fulfilled?
As China moves to becoming the largest economy in the world, the schism between the political and economic ideologies of the West and East is likely to widen.
So, we have to think our own model.
As we enter what is forming as an Asian Century, we must be willing to challenge assumptions regarding all systems, even democracy and private capitalism, while seeking the next evolution of prosperity for our people that have grown close to 110 million.
The construction of the beautiful China-donated bridge between Intramuros and Binondo was delayed when fake news spread by dissenting members of the Filipino-Chinese community that the it would “endanger” the world heritage status of San Agustin Church, one of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines and overstep Intramuros. There were also fictitious claims that some buildings on the Binondo side will be demolished.
As the media blitz eventually converted to lawfare, with the lobby reaching all the way to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Center, the Department of Public Works and Highways temporarily stopped construction. And to appease no less than UNESCO, DPWH had to undertake an Archaeological and Heritage Impact Assessment (AHIA) along with the National Commission for Culture and the Art, the Intramuros Administration, and the National Museum.
No major design changes were adopted, and on March 2019 construction resumed.
This is a classic example of how pro-Taiwan and pro-American elements in the Philippines will stop a project not just signifying peace and amity but aiming at decongesting city traffic, just for their political biases and twisted priorities.
The bridge is almost complete now, and will be inaugurated soon.