The economic costs of the alternative reality of Leni Robredo, the EU and the New York Times

22

ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS

FOUR out of five residents of Metro Manila feel safer because of the war on drugs, according to a survey conducted by Pulse Asia from December 6 to 11 of last year.

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Nine out of 10 Filipinos, or 91 percent, are happy and satisfied with life, according to a survey conducted by Social Weather Stations from December 3 to 6.

Yet, in her six-minute speech which was delivered, albeit through a video-taped message, at a forum on the human rights challenges in responding to extra-judicial killings sponsored by DRC Net Foundation, a side event to the 60th UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs annual meeting held in Vienna, Austria on March 16, 2017, Leni Robredo painted a different Philippines. She boldly claimed that Filipinos “…feel both hopeless and helpless – a state of mind that we must all take seriously.” She presented a Philippines whose people are so disempowered and threatened because of the war on drugs.

In her attempt to paint a country in a state of horror, she lied. She gave patently false statistics on deaths from the war on drugs by claiming that as of the date she videotaped her speech, there were already 7,000 deaths from summary executions. It takes a big leap to label as deaths from summary execution those that happened in legitimate police operations, where armed suspected drug pushers and users engage the police in a shootout.

Even Mrs. Robredo, in a later interview with a radio station, admitted that she did not claim that all those deaths were drug-related. Hence, she made a deliberate misrepresentation not only in claiming that every death in that 7,000 figure is from summary executions, but also when she used the statistics in a speech on drug-related extra-judicial killings. To an uninformed mind, who doesn’t have knowledge of the real statistics, her failure to clearly state that not all the 7,000 deaths were drug-related gave the impression that they were.

And her failure to do so became a cost which our economy will have to bear, since it has serious implications on our economic outlook and prospects.

Three credit-rating agencies have just given the Philippines stable-to-positive outlooks. Standard & Poor and Moody’s both gave us a stable outlook. And Fitch gave us a positive outlook. A credit rating measures the credit worthiness of the country, and has a bearing on the cost of borrowing.

Our economy is positively positioned to take on the development challenge, but that has been undermined by Robredo’s alternative reality.

The 7,000-worth of lies that Robredo told, based on a faulty mathematical logic of Rappler, furthered the negative image of our country in the eyes of the international community.

The European Union, through its Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malstrom, has threatened to punish our promising economy. We face the risk of losing our tariff-free privileges for our exports to EU member countries, which cover about 6,000 products.Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez estimates that this would reduce our trade revenues by as much as 19 percent.

The New York Times, which has taken on the role of being an active critic of the President’s war on drugs, picked up this threat. In an editorial, it reproduced the 7,000 worth of lies about deaths from the war on drugs. It also had the audacity to echo the EU’s position, and exhorted other trading partners to do the same, and punish the Philippines by imposing import tariffs on Philippine goods. This will make our exports expensive, and can drive down demand.

The EU and the New York Times would like the Filipino people to suffer the consequences. It will not be President Duterte who will bear the brunt of the economic backlash of reduced exports. It will be our economy, specifically our people who depend on the export sector for their livelihood and employment. What is in fact being done by EU and the New York Times is economic blackmail, if not sabotage.

In her speech, Leni Robredo talked of a country whose approach to the drug problem must recognize the link between poverty and inequality, and drug use.

Yet, the discourse within which her speech is found, which is also replicated by her political allies, and that feeds into the international arena, as now articulated by the EU and the New York Times, threatens to cripple an economy whose credit ratings are ranging from stable to positive. Losses in exports can translate to people losing jobs, and budget cuts for government spending on public goods aimed at reducing poverty.

In spinning an alternative reality about the Philippines, by stating false statistics and unverified “palit-ulo” allegations, Leni Robredo has practically provided ammunition to the adversarial international community which the EU and the New York Times inhabit.

She has practically aided and abetted the intent to commit economic blackmail.
Had we been in a state of war, this would have amounted to treason.

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22 Comments

  1. Gloria C. Villanueva on

    I can’t help but think that Leni is involved in a conspiracy….and if she is, I just hope she will get out of it and do her duties in building a good, prospeous, peaceful Philippine society as the VP of the Philippines.

    Just to remind her and everybody, we will all leave this earth sooner or later and face our Creator, giving account for all that we have done while living here. Being the second highest official of the land, Leni has a very important role that she has to give account to when her time comes.

  2. Leni exist to destabilize the government. It is a democratic country, she is free to do so as part of the kultong dilaw LP. But definitely not as a Vice President. Fake vp, we all know she is. But impeach her NOW, this country needs to move forward. With Leni as a sitting fake VP, she is out there to destroy us and this country.

  3. Mario Santos on

    Ms. Leni Robredo (Vice President???) job is to destabilise, create chaos and most of all report unverified news to UN. The VP can not even defend the accusation of crimes committed by her husband, just wondering why the VP did not include these in UN report? These are the only job of the VP.
    What does the President do, nothing. This is how the President protect the Philippine Republic.

  4. “Leni Robredo painted a different Philippines. She boldly claimed that Filipinos …feel both hopeless and helpless – a state of mind that we must all take seriously.”

    well, what do you expect from a Liberal Party puppet? that’s the hallmark of the Liberal Party since 1960’s. LP politicians will do anything just to grab power, including treason and sleeping with the enemies (communist rebels, Moro National Liberation Front), sabotaging the government, economy (bombings), terrorisms (Light-a-Fire Movement).

    Isn’t that on August 2012, former senator Heherson Alvarez admitted that he, the late congressman Bonifacio Gillego, et al plotted and trained in the Arizona desert (USA) how to detonate bombs to destabilize the Philippine government (Inquirer’s news: FBI agents hounded PH freedom fighters in US.)

    I thought Boni Gillego was a World War II veteran soldier since some newspapers described him as a veteran, and he questioned the WW 2 medals of Marcos. But columnist Rod Kapunan later revealed that after some sleuthing, Rod found out that Boni Gillego was called veteran because he later became a soldier after the war.

  5. I am astonished at Ton-Ton’s daring boldness to navigate and “tackle” issues beyond his “entitlement” area of expertise — carelessly drift from one topic to another, as if he is fully competent to do so. He is not.

    If you follow his recent articles, he has taken on himself to be a lawyer, a stage play critic and now an economist, loosely picking up points from pre-selected sources and “stitch” his literary collage and make it believable — with one goal — take a cheap shot at the VP.

    Well, most of what he writes about her is an illusion. Clever but without merit.

    In his treatise, he sites several sources — Pulse Asia, SWS surveys and “official” data which I will not refute because the precise count does not really matter in the final analysis — i.e. if it is 7000 or 2500, the fact is that there are “unexplained” killings — with a perception there is minimal effort in containing it — if not ignored. The survey dates are significant. It excludes the time when the brutal slaying of a Korean businessman right next to the PNP Chief office happened. Unimaginable and embarrassing. Plus, the number of the killings at the time of the survey has not breached the level it is now.

    Worth mentioning is that the area surveyed is Metro Manila — where the strong presence of the police is evident.

    It does not include the whole nation or the countryside where law enforcers are scarce. Ask businessmen outside M Manila, they will tell you extortion by lawless elements and rebels (kuno) is back — with vengeance. No less than Pdu30 reported this during one of his press briefing. I wonder why the Pulse Asia survey left out Mindanao, specifically Davao which was bombed.

    These unpleasant events are happening and real. The approach to the illegal drug problem is not one dimensional — just arrest and shoot. Baril at bala lang ba ang solution?

    With respect to EU pronouncements — well they’re what they are — pronouncements by a concerned region over reports of EJK. It is not real — but certainly no joking matter — unlike some pronouncements of Pdu30.

    We are an integral part of the world community and if we want to do business, it is but proper for us to conform with civil society practices. We are not barbarians. As a democratic and peace loving nation, I see nothing wrong if we comply. It’s the easiest thing to do.The President’s rhetoric does not help — and it is compounding the negative publicity.

    It is not as rosy as Ton-Ton wants to portray. There’s an ugly dark side. His is not fake news but selective “pick and choose” news. False (conclusions) in a way.

    Definitely misleading.

    • Why don’t you just pare down your rambling to the essentials? Your epic saga can get really tedious to read. If you want a word count war, you likely won’t win against the combined pro-administration comments.

      “…data which I will not refute because the precise count does not really matter in the final analysis…”

      It is that precise count that is a major point in the issue. Robredo inflated the numbers, and now it draws all that flak to the country.

      “Worth mentioning is that the area surveyed is Metro Manila — where the strong presence of the police is evident.”

      On who else does the EJK noise focus but on the police?

      “Ask businessmen outside M Manila…”

      This is fit for a different topic altogether, concerning this particular group in society, as against the general sense of peace.

      “The approach to the illegal drug problem is not one dimensional — just arrest and shoot. Baril at bala lang ba ang solution?”

      *Points to the surrenderees and the government rehabilitation program*

      “We are an integral part of the world community and if we want to do business, it is but proper for us to conform with civil society practices.”

      The president’s priority is his own nation and what happens to it on the ground over the pressure of armchair officials and writers from half a world away. So they want to punish the country for looking after it’s own affairs? Are they dreaming that the Philippines is still a colony they can boss around like so?

      Oh, and who’s punishing Mexico for its cartels? Not those same people, I reckon.

      “His is not fake news but selective ‘pick and choose’ news.”

      You’re doing the same thing.

      “The President’s rhetoric does not help — and it is compounding the negative publicity.”

      What negative publicity? Oh yes, the publicity abroad. Well then, where do YOU live?

      You’re definitely misleading.

    • MISLEADING? and who mislead who?

      Here you are on EU for European Union
      “With respect to EU pronouncements — well they’re what they are — pronouncements by a concerned region over reports of EJK. It is not real — but certainly no joking matter — unlike some pronouncements of Pdu30.”

      Basic questions that doesn’t require a rocket scientist’s degree: 1) Is the Philippines part of Europe? NO, 2) Is the Philippines part of the European Union ? NO

      For their pronouncements flip them somewhere in the air and do you mind just ignoring it. What the fuss can’t they mind their own business? What are they doing with the refugees – thousands of them, are the treated right? What are they doing in their own backyard. Anong ‘they are what they are” masyado ka – just because they are Europeans that entitles them to have a say on the Philippines. Even if you are old you need to change that kind of mentality – because it is simple – they have NO RIGHT to interfere on the Philippines.

      Aha – here’s another quote from you.
      “We are an integral part of the world community and if we want to do business, it is but proper for us to conform with civil society practices. We are not barbarians. As a democratic and peace loving nation, I see nothing wrong if we comply. It’s the easiest thing to do.The President’s rhetoric does not help — and it is compounding the negative publicity”

      Bottomline, you don’t like Duterte.

      You have to teach the elected president basahin mo and take note ELECTED President. Isa-isa mong basahin the words you have written – conform with civil society practices – DUH! Not barbaric – DUH! Democratic / Peace loving nation! DUH! Yes we are. Nothing wrong if we comply – DUH-DUH!! The president’s rhetoric does not hep – DUH-DUH-DUH! and lastly it is compounding the negative publicity – DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHH! Araguy! Aray!Ouch!

      Ang dami mong problema – I think you will go psycho with your attitude towards Duterte. Six years is a long time – he has already done nine months of services and Mr Contreras is writing his opinion about it- he has probably more right to say it – because he is the Philippines.

      And lastly, on Leni Robredo, since this is what the article all about the economic implications of her video. Leni is beautiful but officially – the size of her brain does not match the size of her head – she is officially the four letter word that starts with D and ends in B. Officially, she does not think and certifiably in a NO THINKING AREA but dictated only area.

  6. Correction: Leni Robredo & cohorts are making BIG FOOLS of themselves, not only of the EU & some American hypocrites who are equally corrupt & oppressive to other nationalities! I just cannot fathom how these supposed to be intellectuals of highly educated politicians like Robredo who cannot think before they try to ruin the President of the Philippines that it is the country’s economy & poor Filipinos they are going to harm, not only the President!

  7. For sure pag nagkagyera na with China na gustong gusto ng Luyang Dilaw those oligarch and mga anak ni Leni Tawa Tawa Robredo ay magmamadali makaalis ng bansa papuntang New York prang nuong me bagyo sa Naga. Mga Millenials eto ba sasamahan nyo sa Edsa mga Luyang Dilaw na pag may problema Noynoying at smirking Leni Tawa Tawa Robredo kaya tayo ginaganto ng China wala tayo pgkakaisa db Luyang Dilaw eh kung di ninakaw ni Lolo ni Mar Liar Roxas yung bayad ng Hapon sa Pinas nuong WWII eh di may jet fighters tayo o aircraft carriers! Ingat Millenials sa Luyang Dilaw alamkn at magsaliksik bakit si Leni Tawa Tawa Robredo all smiles sa burol ng asawa nya sa Malacanang.

  8. In other counties such as China and Russia, this type of reprehensible behavior exhibited by Robredo and her allies would have been enough for them to be rounded up and shot.

  9. If you have basis, go to courts. Not here. Unproductive. Unless you’re main objective is to discredit her without due process. Are you pro Marcos?

    • Read and watch Leni’s video and compare it to what PNP Chief Bato. Who is more truthful, the one who has the data or the one who claimed to have the data.

    • Aphetsky Lasa on

      What has this article to do with Marcos? Oh! April Fool’s Day. I forgot.

    • This is not about being a pro marcos or not. It is about the country and being filipinos. Leni equates to economic sabotage. Unless you are not filipino and you just dipping your feet into someone elses land like EU .

    • Ogie de Guzman on

      Simply because she is unfit to hold the position of the 2nd highest official of the country, ma’am. The year is almost done but she had not offer any program or hinted on any program to alleviate the plight of the poor whom she refers as the laylayan ng lipunan. She does nothave the capability nor the experience to do that. Her only claim to public service is a very short stintas a congreewoman from Naga, the wife of the late Jesse Robredo. Other than that…nada !

    • Aphetsky Lasa on

      Leni epitomizes the Filipino who hates everything Filipino. Period and end of story.