Aquino’s Senate and media demolition team foiled


VICE President Jejomar Binay’s surge in presidential-preference polls by three different outfits demonstrates that the yellow attack dogs in media and in Congress have lost their fangs – a very welcome development for our democracy.

The attack against Binay by President BS Aquino’s demolition team – his Senate lapdogs, the yellowish ABS-CBN, and one of the country’s three biggest newspapers – was on a scale that even beat that which was mobilized in 2012 against Chief Justice Renato Corona.

 Unlike that on Corona, this time it didn’t work:  Above, PDI’s 29 banner stories vs Binay. Below, Binay’s accusers Cayetano and Trillanes, basement-dwellers in the vicepresidential contest.

Unlike that on Corona, this time it didn’t work:  Above, PDI’s 29 banner stories vs Binay. Below, Binay’s accusers Cayetano and Trillanes, basement-dwellers in the vicepresidential contest.

Aquino and his sidekick, Manuel Roxas, probably thought that it was as easy demonizing Binay as they did with Corona, and before that, President Gloria Arroyo.
To be honest, I was shocked that a broadsheet could so openly be against a political figure to throw all media ethics to the waste bin.  In the 44 issues from Oct. 8 to Nov. 20, 2014, the Philippine Daily Inquirer had 29 banner stories on the allegations against Binay.  I can’t remember any such sustained front-page attack on a political figure.

On four consecutive days starting Oct. 8, PDI even had such screaming headlines that virtually convicted Binay of corruption: ‘Binay farm a 350-ha. estate;’ Binay’s P1.2-B estate behind overpricing; Village folk readily say Binays own hacienda, (with a huge photo of the mansion allegedly owned by the Vice President); and ‘P4B shared by Makati execs.’ Note that the editors didn’t even bother putting the second headline between single quotation marks to indicate “as alleged.” If you’re interested what the headlines in the same period of the other two broadsheets were, The Philippine Star and The Manila Bulletin, google my column “The Inquirer vs Binay,” published January 2015.

The excuse for such ruthless coverage, of course, was the Senate sub-committee hearings, which didn’t even bother to camouflage its investigation as undertaken in aid of legislation. Senator Antonio Trillanes 4th, the most arrogant legislator this country has ever seen, certainly didn’t hide his bile and aim in the hearings: “Pakukulong ko yang si Binay,’ he said not just once. There were a total of 25 Senate hearings that took 11 months purportedly to investigate the accusations of an admitted grafter, and big-time cockfight gambler. How many on Mamasapano, or even on the mega-robbery of the government budget called the Disbursement Allocation Plan? Just seven and four, respectively.

The recent surveys of vice-presidential preferences indicate how few believed Trillanes’ and his partner Alan Peter Cayetano’s accusations. Despite Filipinos’ wrath against the corrupt that they even get angry at those just alleged to have done so, and applaud even fake anti-graft crusaders, only 4 to 6 percent of those surveyed said they’d be voting for those two. And they had so much visibility because of the Senate hearings investigating Binay that most probably had the highest name recall.

Why did it fail?

Why did Aquino’s demolition team fail, in terms of getting Binay out of the presidential race, which was its mission?

The Binay camp, of course, would say, the truth can’t be repressed, and it was sooner rather than later that Trillanes and Cayetano, and Trillanes’ allegations, were proven wrong.

Another explanation is that it was undertaken way too early – last year – with public consciousness shifting to other issues as candidate Grace Poe-Llamanzares’ qualification and to Rodrigo Duterte’s shocking language, forgetting the accusations against Binay.

Still another explanation is that newspapers, even the largest ones, no longer mold public opinion as they did in the past.

The Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey last month, done for the Duterte camp, found that only 5 percent of respondents read the newspapers daily, while 7 percent do either “a few times a week” or weekly. And it is not the three broadsheets they mostly read but the tabloids, with Bulgar being the most read, and with 12 percent of the respondents saying they read it most often. Only about 8 percent read the Philippine Daily Inquirer or The Manila Bulletin, with Philippine Star, 3 percent.

The tabloids’ coverage focus, of course, has always been on crime and celebrity news.

The broadsheets’ reach when it comes to public opinion normally is magnified by radio commentators, who rely on them for their news and analysis. My limited monitoring of radio commentators’ reports on the Senate hearings indicate, though, that very few mouth the Inquirer’s line.

The three broadsheets’ role in molding public opinion has also been weakened – especially those of their opinion writers – by the rise of the internet and social media. World Bank data shows that internet users (defined as those who use it in the last 12 months by any device) in the Philippines have increased phenomenally, from just 2 percent of the population in 2001 to 40 percent in 2014, more than Thailand’S 35 percent, and way above Indonesia’s 17 percent.

Since print newspapers aren’t really cheaper at P600 monthly, more and more Filipinos, especially the youth, have, instead, been reading newspapers’ internet versions. This has been a boon for smaller newspapers like The Manila Times, Manila Standard, and The Daily Tribune, since the old barrier of locked-in subscribers and the cost of print paper don’t matter anymore, with their internet versions having the potential reach of the big three.

A major development in internet-usage dynamics is that increasing numbers of netizens don’t log in anymore to a newspaper’s home page. What has been happening is that somebody posts a newspaper article or opinion on their Facebook pages, and this is reposted on other walls, in some cases becoming viral. You can have an idea on the extent of readership an article or a column generates through its number of “likes” and/or “shares.”

This paper’s own internal statistics, for instance, has shown that several columnists – depending on their topic – have had 50,000 to 100,000 readers, stratospheric levels compared with the few hundreds and even less than a hundred (based on their likes/dislikes) estimated for columnists in the three bigger broadsheets.

Users of Facebook and Twitter, at least from my own monitoring, have become disillusioned with, or even angry, at this Administration, so much so that their posts more often are against Aquino, Roxas and Transportation Secretary Emilio Abaya, deafening the decreasing anti-Binay posts by celebrity has-beens servile to Aquino.
It is a very welcome development for our democracy.

The dominance of a single newspaper and a TV network in terms of its power over public opinion has been – since 2005 often in service of the yellow cult – as damaging to our Republican system as Aquino’s scandalous bribing of the Congress to remove Chief Justice Corona.

How can the people choose their leaders wisely now, indeed, if all they read in the past had been trash?


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  1. And guess what? Marixi Prito of Philippine Daily Inquirer and Dunkin Donuts didn’t pay Dunkin Donuts’ taxes for a year!

  2. Robertey Barrameda on

    Binay’s surge in the presidential preference polls, I hope PNoy would not end up in a WHELLCHAIR next year which happened in the past presidencies.

  3. I agree with your observations regarding what some in the media did on the propaganda against Binay. I desire decapitation for all corrupt gov’t workers in all levels – from the president down to the last office secretary in any gov’t office. But, the Binay crusade was an obvious ‘chess move’ from the camp of pnoy and or trillanes – mga “suya-an” according to the ilonggos. :)
    If they wanted to investigate and prove that he’s committed graft, there really was no need for the ‘show’. All they needed to do was collect evidence, send him to the courts, and tell the people that that’s ‘what’s happening’.
    Things would have progressed by now.
    But, then, again, it’s the pilipins! It’s fun in there…people kind of allow it to happen. They’re very vulnerable to story-telling. That’s why churches thrive there… :)
    I just hope that the people can see through the shrewdness of trillianes and remove this guy from the senate. He’s wasting money and time. And, he’s quite a coward. He surrendered, remember?!?

    • Trillianes has his army of consultants (55) of them to take care of, Not sure why Trillianes thinks it’s ok to pay his drivers and house boy with his senate budget but according to him it’s not against the rules but it sure does look like corruption from where i sit.

      How does a house boy count as a consultant in the eyes of COA which Trillianes claims approved his paying his house boy, driver, family drivers with his monthly senate budget.

      What is his salary for ?
      Does he have a pool ? Does he count the pool cleaner as a paid consultant ?
      Is that what he pays his brother 70,000 every month to consult on the condition of his pool ?

      Do we pay his rent, car leases ? his and his families and consulting staffs food bill as well ?

  4. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    25 December 2015

    Like it or not, JEJOMAR BINAY will be the next President of the Philippines–and his success will not depend on the obvious support Manila Times columnist RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO is giving him.

    This columnist seems to be putting across the impression that Vice President Jejomar Binay is the “cleanest” public official around, and that the Senate investigations into Mr. Binay’s alleged corruption as the former Mayor of Makati City, which have been reported accurately in The Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star, the Manila Bulletin and other papers, is nothing but a “demolition job” of his political enemies.

    Be that as it may, Jejomar Binay will be elected the next President because it happens that Filipino voters, the majority of whom are poor and reside in the boondocks, are not world-famous for exercising their constitutional “democratic” right on the basis of who among the aspirants is the best qualified for the position–but on the basis of “name recognition,” “celebrity,” and who is prepared to buy their votes for as low as P350 and for as high as P3,500.

    Jejormar Binay has “name recognition” as the Vice President who beat Mar Roxas in the last elections. He has become a “celebrity” like movie stars Joseph “Erap” Estrada and Fernando Poe, Jr., thanks to all the rumors swirling around his head and the [negative] publicity he has been getting in both the mass and the social media. And he has all the money he needs to buy those millions of votes in the boondocks, from the loot he allegedly got as former Mayor of Makati City and as the President of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.

    So, even as early as now, I say, the same way the Romans of old would hail Augustus Caesar: “HAIL, PRESIDENT JEJOMAR BINAY!”


  5. It has been obvious in your articles that you are rooting for binay. and, you have the right to root for whoever tickles your desires. However, there is bias in reporting that I don’t agree to. When other candidates are ahead of the poll, they are fixed. when it is binay, it is factual. you know it can never be accurate. if you read across facebook and find out that 90% of bloggers are for duterte, will you say it is fixed? the thing is, nothing is accurate because no polls can represent the whole pinoy voters unless it becomes the basis for cheating. if they fix the poll to reflect 60% is for roxas for instance and they want it fixed, then they will fix the election results to be 60% for roxas, making the polls the basis for the percentage. You keep attacking duterte’s language, and you know that sweet talk does not make a country, nor being a good christian, nor being a well clothed man, nor being a respectable person. It is in the backbone of a person, who will not be afraid to step on someone toes if he believes he is right that will make the country right. He has the backbone and the guts to do what he deems is right to make the country safer, has justice for the poor, and government service that is not ridden with laglag bala and many more. Surprised if most pinoys will root for duterte? because he is not a person who will sway towards where the money is. I don’t care and people don’t care about the language, I myself swore so mnay times about the corruption that is never ending in our country. so why not root for someone who stands for what is right? expletives? I would scream expletives to these morons who are extorting money from the poor, who are stealing money that belongs to the country, and who pretend to be sweet talking, coy, christianlike person. ahhh the ravening wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing. No more place for them in our country, the people are waking up, they research, they read, they talk, they discuss, the debate, they just don’t listen to one person. and that is where the beauty lies, we all get educated, educated enough to root for someone who says*%^(_^%!! I will throw them all to the ocean! I will do the same if I were president, time to make a change, time for the good to rule and trample the sick corrupt people!

  6. I am beginning to patronize your paper and your column sir, manila times always write fairly,unconditional and realistic. Iam disappointed with PDI and abias cbn already. never practice ethical journalism.It will be unlikely this elkection will give us a good result, the oligarchs will do all their best to win their chicken. Mar roxas will never win in fair competetion he will definitely CHEAT on this coming election.

  7. isidro c. valencia on

    JOJO Binay has not had an easy time that last two decades – except as victim of rumor-mongerers who are envious of his political luck and skill. His enemies have consistently spread all sorts of black propaganda against him but failed to convince most Filipinos of one simple fact.

    Senate has spent 7,100 hours throwing PUTIK to VP BINAY and cost a lot (billions of pesos for the taxpayers). It is the longest Senate BURLESK SHOW (Hubad sa Katotohan).

    In the last 22 years, the same period that VP BINAY has been rumored to amass great wealth, he has been the target of legal maneuvers to be accused and convicted of graft and corruption except for 2 ½ years during the Erap presidency,

    Former President Ramos was against VP BINAY. Rumored paramour Baby Arenas run for mayor against VP BINAY with the friends (like Inquirer’ columnist Solita Monsod) and allies of the Ramos presidency helping her. That was for the period of six years from mid-1992 to mid 1998.

    VP BINAY had a respite from presidential persecution for 2 ½ years from mid 1998 to 2000 when Joseph Estrada was the president.

    In 2001 to mid 2010, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and he whole political structure and list of cronies went against JOJO BINAY, reminiscent of the Ramos presidency. Gloria Arroyo even tries to remove JOJO BINAY from the Makati mayorship by force, using then DILG Ronnie Puno to try to evict him. This was for a period of 9 ½ years.

    From mid 2010, JOJO BINAY has been on the receiving end of the same accusations, merely of which ha had been formally accused of but exonerated when these same cases were dismissed – when the serving president was against him. Because of the election protest of the leader of the Liberal Party to run for the presidency again in 2016, the attacks and allegations against JOJO BINAY continue making 2014 the 22nd year when sitting presidents have been political opponents.

    If the powerful efforts of presidents and their political parties in 22 years had been brought to bear against any political figure, the target would have been accused, convicted andjailed.

    But rumors cannot convict one who has not committed the crimes he has been accused of, only evidence that no one in 24 years has been able to do.

    At present, VP BINAY has been the recipient of UNDECIDED votes created by the “low level verbal altercations between Roxas and Duterte” and is gaining momentum to lead in the presidential race.

    • But rumors cannot convict one who has not committed the crimes he has been accused of

      They can in the Philippines, Chief Justice Corona remember him ?
      Only cost 50 million peso for each yes vote.


    Good day and merry Christmas, Mr. Tiglao. When you are in other newspaper, I think it is Manila Standard, all of your articles were the ones I read firstly with enthusiasm, particularly if you are attacking BSA and his lapdogs. I do the same in this broad sheet. But when you started to praise Mr. Binay and being his campaigner, in a way, I started to loose interest on your columns. How could you!


  9. Leodegardo Pruna on

    Gloria made an irreversible error in not completely supporting Gibo. If only she did support Gibo, things would have happened differently. Besides, up to now nothing has come out for P-Noy in his case against Gloria but hate remains. God bless the Philippines.

  10. The ombudsman made a huge sacrifice by coming out of retirement and help prosecute the corrupt. If Binay would win. Such a sacrifice is definitely worthless and the corrupt will reign and enjoy taking advantage of the Filipinos. Definitely no one to blame but the Filipinos who believe and voted for him. There are definitely Filipinos amongst us who
    believe the Filipino government is eternally corrupt and for them a Corrupt president is nothing new and would make no difference at all as everyone is corrupt. Such a sad part of Being Filipino. We are given a chance to change and hope and yet there are those who keep pulling us down.

  11. Whenever I want my blood pressure to rise, I just watch ABS-CBN while reading the PDI. They certainly make my day.

  12. Manny De Guzman on

    Cayetano is nothing but thin skin onion. He has done nothing during hearing. He wasted a lot of time and money with one purpose to run this coming election. JUST PUBLICITY, GIMMICK, PRETENDING AS HE IS A GOOD SENATONG. Enriched himself and his family.Good corrupt, inept politician. Wasted the peoples money. VERY CORRUPT POLITICIAN.

  13. “If you’re interested what the headlines in the same period of the other two broadsheets were, The Philippine Star and The Manila Bulletin, google my column “The Inquirer vs Binay,” published January 2015.”

    Instead of this, please have someone just hyperlink it for you, sir.

  14. It is so sad to write and say how pathetic PNoy and his lackeys have prostituted the entire media yet the same are even willing victims to the same anomaly. Mr. Bobby Tiglao, you are correct, because the same Philippine media allowed PNoy, his oligarchs and cronies to do what they want to manipulate the public with lies and wrong information, they do not enjoy anymore of the credibility they have had before the martial rule of Macoy when even the old Manila Chronicle of the Lopez were a little bit partisan of Ferdinand Marcos. Since Corazon Aquino was given the Presidency, it also gave birth to media partisanship initiated by PDI, ABS-CBN, Bulletin and many others. It is true that when Cory took over, we also started reading and listening to media and journalistics trash.

  15. I have not been reading trash for quite sometime now. That is probably why Aquino is not one of my favorite persons in the Philippines and LP not my favorite party. Even on Manila Standard and Manila Times, I refuse to look at Liercierda’s picture, much more read his words. I now hate the color yellow, which used to be my favorite and all balding people with a smirk look evil to me.

  16. What is happening in he country now , politics and otherwise, is really pathetic.. There is the government who claims to have set the “tuwid na daan” but, in reality. a path of vengeance and divisibility; a forthcoming election to change its leader with: (1) candidate who’s disqualified, but stubbornly insistent, with a backing of people who would like to make a ‘mockery’ of the Consitution; (2) candidate who has been accused of not only once, but more, plunder cases, but simply cries political persecution without giving any explanation why he is ‘clean’; (3) candidate whose human rights record is a big question mark; (4) credible and very qualified candidate, but whose health is questionable; and, (5) administration’s candidate who is anointed and being backed up by the current administration who have shown incompetence, with no leadership, and seems to be a mere ‘duplicate’ of the coattail wearer he is clinging on to.

    In the ‘ultimate’ analysis, the clear loser is Juan dela Cruz, whether we like it or not,
    with each candidate for president having a ‘disqualification’ attached to his/her personal or work record, the country will just be the same. Unless, there is an exceptional will, political will if you may, to enforce the existing laws objectively, without the emotional and popularity considerations, but the weal of the people, the Philippines will always be the same.

    Are these all we got for a possible leader? Maybe so, because everyone did not do his responsibility for the past 30 or so years. It was a case of “to each his own” and no one cared about the poor and the oppressed, or, “us against you” culture of society of the country. Where have all the political ‘leaders’ gone?

    What we have is a government “off” the people, “buy” the people and, therefore, “poor” Filipino people! .

    • Near as i can tell, The only people that seem to have this countries best interest at heart, that identify problems and have researched solutions are the contributing writers of the Manila Times.

      The entire senate outside of one or two senators are thieves.
      Hundreds of house members are thieves.

      Where was the Justice Dept during all this ?

      Jailed 3 opposition senators out of 21 senate thieves.
      Jailed zero House members

      Former Justice head De Lima did not prosecute any of the liberal party pork barrel thieves.

      De Lima claimed the pork barrel prosecution as one of her great accomplishments. Now she is running for senate as a liberal party candidate. What a surprise.

      Everyone by now should be able to see the Aquino appointee’s corruption, Every agency headed by incompetent, subservient braggarts claiming accomplishments where none exist.

      Business as usual in the Philippines.

  17. Sir,I don’t read these three broadsheets you mentioned because its a waste of time in tagalog “wala kang mapapala’, puro kasinungalingan ang balita!’ i patronage the manila times because of its quality and mind quantity compared to these commercialized broadsheet newspapers with broadminded readers? I hope people will realize to spend their P18 to P20 pesos with good sense newspapers.Don’t buy Daily Inquirer,Philippine star and Manila Bulletin are thick with more pages they are good to be used for “pambalot ng tinapa!

  18. That’s what those yellow media did to Gloria, demonized totally so that her endorsement for Gibo won’t work!

  19. remember what Trillanes and Cayetano did during the Senate hearing on the so-called “Makati car park building” and let’s see if in the near future, the Binays will be convicted by the Sandiganbayan; or the hearing is just a demolition job, in aid of Trillanes’ and Cayetano’s quest for the vice-presidency in the 2016 election.

    As what Tiglao previously wrote, can’t they (Trillanes and Cayetano) have some decency and just buy some media spots instead of using the Senate hearings for free publicity?

    Let’s see if the court will admit as proof of ownership, the statement of Binay’s daughter in Instagram: “our house in Batangas.”

    As a lawyer, Cayetano should know that title of the land