• Fake news and purchased truth



    News: Free wifi in EDSA starting June 12. We wish that everyday is Independence Day. Let us celebrate freedom from greed.

    * * *

    Private First Class Dhan Ryan Bayot of the 51st Infantry Battalion, knowing that he was indeed in the middle of enemy lines and that death was imminent, radioed his coordinates. And he gave an unusual request to his commanding officer: “Bombahin na lang ninyo ang location ko, sir!” (Just bomb my location, sir!).

    Detractors of martial law should at least laud his bravery instead of justifying Maute’s terrorism acts as rightful and necessary in expressing their disgust against the government. One lawmaker called “Hanti-virus” should “rise” up and start being relevant.

    * * *

    Today’s fake news is not just a sign of a gullible electorate. It is a sign of how erroneous information with a culture of anger and unfounded fear can be a venomous injection that contribute to national disarray.

    Reasonable folks are frantically sweating the possibility that they, too, have been duped by one of these pernicious websites. How-tos on how to avoid fake news abound. Fingers are being pointed at Facebook and Twitter as main outlets.

    * * *

    Fake news creators are being mocked and excoriated.

    When the line between real and verifiably fake has become dangerously obscure, I sincerely believe that we must also look into doing pungent political satire to show us the truth.

    * * *

    Laughter short-circuits the false opposition between the mind and the gut. It lends a critical comedic filter for managing the endemic desire to align truth not just with the evidence of objective reason, but with the satisfaction of emotional belief and moral conviction.

    * * *

    In a political media climate driven by relentless spin, anonymous sources, false equivalents, habitual instantaneity, hyper-mediation, and an overriding contradiction between the complexities of context and the need for easy sound bites, safeguarding the truth too often feels like an impossible leap of faith. And we all fall into the abyss of uncertainties.

    * * *

    Resorts World Manila’s license suspended amid security lapses. Security is a tough measure for a business outfit that survives on an “open door policy” to get as many clients as possible.

    * * *

    Speaker Pentaleon Alvarez: “Constitutional crisis possible if SC convenes session to discuss Mindanao martial law.”

    President Duterte: “I’ll follow SC decision on martial law declaration in Mindanao.”

    A case of seemingly conflicting views masked as “being independent.” The Speaker should bear in mind that the SC is the final arbiter of the laws they make, and the Executive the implementor of such laws under our Charter. If Mr. Alvarez can be so sensitive of the incursion into the legislative body that he heads, why can’t he understand the sensitivities of the Highest Court of the land as well?

    * * *

    Bangko Sentral to uphold public interest in BPI probe. Senate to investigate BPI. They should be guided on how trust on the banking system can be restored fully by scratching the surface deeper and the sooner the better. A backlash of sorts in these perilous times can be outright damaging.

    * * *

    This is a very good move. Confiscated illegal logs to be used in rebuilding Marawi as ordered by Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu. He said confiscated illegal logs and lumber will be donated to Marawi City in a bid to help rebuild the southern Islamic city that was wrecked by air strikes and gunfights between government forces and terrorists.

    “I already alerted my regional director in Mindanao… dadalhin, ipapadala namin,” Cimatu told reporters. The environment chief said the illegal logs were found in different parts of Mindanao after the island was placed under martial law. DPWH should take notice.

    * * *

    Trump goes on offensive against ex-FBI chief, calling him a “leaker.” An alleged “leaker” to another “leaker?”

    * * *

    Donald Trump and his aides went on the offensive against James Comey on Friday, deriding as a “leaker” of government information the former FBI director who gave damning testimony against the president this week. Comey testified that Trump tried to get him to drop the probe into Flynn, part of a wider FBI investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and possible collusion with Trump campaign aides. In the hearing, Comey did not disclose any links between Trump advisers and alleged Russian meddling.

    Comey’s testimony is as clear as mud.

    * * *

    I am reprinting the salaries of the Cabinet Secretaries as reported by The Commission on Audit. I think this is good for transparency and fact checking of wages in accordance with the law.

    CHED Patricia Licuanan – P2,581,615
    DOST Fortunato dela Peña – P1,359,192.50
    NAPC Liza Maza P1,241,189
    DOJ Vitaliano Aguirre – P1,213,762
    DOTR Arthur Tugade, P1,197,602
    DA Emmanuel Piñol, P1,195,428.24
    DTI Ramon Lopez, P1,180,902.36
    PCOO Martin Andanar, P1,160,602
    DOE Alfonso Cusi, P1,158,102
    DOT Wanda TulfoTeo, P1,145,722.30
    ES Salvador Medialdea, P1,144,069.65
    DBM Benjamin Diokno, P1,136,019.22
    DND Delfin Lorenzana, P1,118,602
    DSWD  Judy Taguiwalo, P1,118,602
    DEPED Leonor Briones, P1,117,723.48
    NEDA Ernesto Pernia, P1,116,102
    DILG Ismael Sueno, P1,106,602
    DENR Regina Lopez, P1,103,191
    DOF Carlos Dominguez, P1,093,602
    NSC Hermogenes Esperon, P1,093,602
    OPPAP Jesus Dureza, P1,093,602
    DICT Rodolfo Salalima, P1,053,873.98
    MMDA Emerson Carlos, P1,038,491.50
    DAR Rafael Mariano, P1,024,682.63

    * * *

    We condole with the family of the great Filipino artist Mauro ‘Malang’ Santos, the award-winning cartoonist, illustrator and fine arts painter who passed away at the age of 89. May he rest in peace.

    Good work, good deeds and good faith to all.


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    1. Ernesto Dela Cruz on

      I refer to columns 6 through 9. They should be re-written so that we, the simple-minded folks, can understand what you mean.

    2. Ernesto Dela Cruz on

      I always read your column because I like your style and wit. However, there are many times that I can’t understand what you’re saying.
      Please bear in mind that there are only few Filipinos who can understand high-fallutin words and phrases. If your objective is to communicate your thoughts to our kababayans, you better start using simple words and phrases. Nakakalula ang mga words na ginagamit mo. Problem is, kailangan pang i-google para maintindihan.
      If your reader fails to understand what you’re saying, you fail as a writer.
      I believe that a person communicates in order to communicate facts or thoughts so as to inform, instruct, entertain or persuade. One writes not to impress; unless, of course, you’re treating us as a bunch of morons and nitwits who could be impressed with your gobbledygook.