• #LeniLeaks, elitist stupidity and a dismissive media

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    ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS

    ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS

    #LENILEAKS exploded into our social imaginations. It affirmed the fact that social media is no longer just a venue for self-affirmation of people about their looks and their food. It is where you could rise and be famous through serendipity and tenacity, or fall on your stupidity.

    When Sass Rogando Sasot got a tip from a social media friend about the existence of the Yahoo groups conversations of the Global Filipino Diaspora Council (GFDC), which she passed on to Thinking Pinoy—a pro-Duterte blogger who did the sleuthing and eventually posted it in his blog site, which he shared in FB and Twitter—what was unleashed were forces that revealed the reality that some of President Duterte’s enemies may have the money, but not the brains.

    In the age of the Internet, and of serious threats to privacy, a failure to secure a sensitive conversation in cyberspace is beyond forgiveness. You simply do not plot to undermine a government and wage a war on social media activists who are pro-government without first ensuring that your discussions are secure. Conversations in a group that is closed could nevertheless still be accessed by the public, unless you set it to private.

    But then again, some defenders of Loida Nicolas-Lewis, her sister Mely Nicolas and their anti-Duterte and anti-Marcos cabal now argue that it is precisely the innocuousness of their conversation that made them act without any consciousness of any security concerns. In other words, they simply had no malice, that they were merely engaging in harmless strategizing to help their friend Leni Robredo, which is also a perfectly legal right of any citizen, even of dual ones like Loida.

    On the contrary, I would see their nonchalant, dismissive behavior as a rather offensive exercise of arrogance. Simply, they felt so self-entitled and messianic, even referring to themselves as if they are God’s gift to our political redemption from the twin evil of Duterte and Marcos. They are used to being privileged influential voices who helped in ousting and jailing Presidents, impeaching a Supreme Court Chief Justice and neutering a front-running presidential candidate, that they thought they can get away with anything. They reeked of self-entitlement, intoxicated like brats who can simply rearrange our political lives, acting as if they have a right to move us like pawns and to decide for us like we are simply their wards. They are so full of themselves that they thought they would not need the exigency of securing their conversations. They felt like they are political royalty, and therefore untouchable. They thought they owned us and our politics.

    It was hubris for them to target social media netizens whom they labeled as mere trolls.

    They did not realize that some of these so-called trolls happen to be not just people on a payroll in some cramped call center in Quezon City, or some home-bound conscripted unemployed netizen paid to act as Madam Claudia. They happen to be Sass RogandoSasot, a bright graduate student based in The Hague and Thinking Pinoy, a computer-savvy blogger. Both are educated, articulate and are as committed to their politics as Leni Robredo’s protectors, funders and sponsors.

    They also forgot the enormous network of support that President Duterte and even Bongbong Marcos have in social media. These are people who they all derisively insult, and therefore have every reason to declare war on them.

    The arrogance of Loida and her cabal is matched by the same level of arrogance of many in traditional media, when they become dismissive of the existence and value of #LeniLeaks. One of them even had the temerity to lecture Sass and Thinking Pinoy to call a press conference, and only then would they enjoy the privilege of coverage.

    #LeniLeaks has exposed those in traditional media who are self-absorbed, mechanical entities, if not closet political partisans. Some of them are probably used to privilege and pampering by political operators while others are so consumed by their own personal politics, such as their advocacies on human rights and against the Marcoses, that they forget that the job of media is to bring pure unadulterated news to the public.

    A plot to destabilize the presidency is newsworthy. Elite Filipinos in the diaspora, in cahoots with local remnants of the losing political side, plotting to undermine the President is as newsworthy as his cursing. A conversation revealing the Office of the Vice President as involved and supported by rich and influential expats to attack ordinary citizens is as newsworthy as the death of a dog or Mocha’s appointment to the MTRCB.

    Dismissing #LeniLeaks was a breaking point that further revealed to the people that social media bloggers like Sass and Thinking Pinoy indeed deserve more of their attention, respect and protection. One should therefore not blame the people if they see these partisan media personalities in the same light that they see Loida and her cabal, as their enemies.

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    28 Comments

    1. Thank you, Mr. Contreras for this well-written article. Thank you also, Mark Zuckerberg. If not for Facebook, these big and paid media organizations would have brain-washed us all with their misinformation. Duterte may not have won, and the next 6 years for the Philippines would have been the same as the last 30 years.

    2. Great work, Prof. Contreras! These “elites” kuno think that they are the only ones who have the entitlements in Phil governance. They put us down, insult us thinking individuals who love our country so much! Or are they still in pain that they could not move on from the defeat of their “pawns”?

    3. they think they are gods–these lewis dogs????

      wait till THE MOST HIGH GOD who placed Duterte in Malacanang deal with them

    4. This Loida Lewis, if she’s having a dual (Fil-AM) citizenship, i would suggest she be stripped of her Filipino citizenship, PDU30 could easily do this. I am for freedom of expression but my golly if this same freedom will be used to bring down an elected president, eh hinde na tama. Let this loida lewis be declared persona non grata dito sa ating bansa. About the so called school that her foundation is supporting somewhere in bicol, hand it over to the LGU. Lastly i believe that the so called dual citizenship should be scrapped, RP citizenship should only be Pilipino no more no less.

    5. Totally agreed with you Dr. Contreras. This is the bad or even worst part o PHL politics when there are personalities who think they have the monopoly of righteousness. That their thoughts and temperament to lord over their less fortunate brothers and sisters still prevails…Phl will remain as it is, a third world country. Those richness and unimpeded access to wealth, to common necessities in life if not properly manage and communicated will turn to frustrations rather than motivation of the low segments of PHL society which I believes around 60-70%. Frustrations will turn into lack of confidence, lack of trust with government, poverty and criminality. Poor become poorer; rich become richer…where can Filipinos find a common ground?

    6. Loida Nicolas-Lewis is a dual citizen? So, does the Philippine government then have any right to run after her for any crime?

      • Yes! If course! She retained her Filipino Citizenship so she is afoot table for any crime or offense against the republic of the Philippines. She is also a lawyer so she knows what she is doing or does she? Unless she refused to accept political defeat of her favorite politicians. Is her business benefitting exclusively from the administration of PNOY and would have benefitted same if not more if Roxas have won the Presidency or will retain same priveleges once Leni is in power?

      • Larry ebersole on

        Of course since she still. Carry Phil passport. Her passport can be cancelled and her rights as a citizen cancelled as well. One right she will lose will be owning real properties in philippines.

    7. The yellows and the once upon a time Filipinos renounced their Philippine citizenshio now residing in their new found love country lost two times. First with the lost of their yellow presidential bets to President Duterte, second, with the lost of proyellow, foreign interventionists Obama – Clinton to President Trump. Loida must have lost a lot of her inheritance from her african american billionaire husband. That is why she s vent in replacing our president with a yellow puppet so that she could replace her lost monies. Let us fight their evil plot. They will never win. Let us give them a bloody nose!

    8. One who doesn’t understand history is bound to commit a great mistake.

      Democracy is the best system out there but is not perfect. Abuse it and it will fail. I think the Yellows are abusing it so much that they are creating irritation, anxiety, confusion, and putting a big question whether democracy is the right thing for Filipinos.

      History tells us that when faith is broken on the old system of governance, the people would ask for change. The Jews asked God for a king. Monarchs were toppled down and raised commoners in Europe as their leaders. Tzardom was replaced by communism. Italy was transformed into a Fascist state, so thus, Germany was turned to Nazism in the early 1900s.

      In reality, the Yellows are asking for extremists as a reaction of their disruptive ways. Whether they are from the left or from the right. The worst, they are asking for a foreign master that would rule over us because they are constantly disrupting the term of the presidency and are out projecting our duly elected leaders as barbarians weakening our image in the modern age.

      • Just look what happened to Iraq and Afghanistan. Look what they are trying to do in Syria.

      • SALAMAT Ms.Sass sa pagpost malaking tulong po ito sa ating mga ordinaryong Pilipino.Tama na mga panggagago sa taongbayan mga bugok na dilawan.

    9. Let’s stop these hypocrites in wreaking havoc to our restored rights and revitilized politics! Never again that Filipinos be subservient to what establishment media feed us! Thinking Pinoy lives!!!

    10. Same as the arrogance and stupidity of Hillary and Hillaryworld denizens. Podesta’s password was “p@ssword” unbelievable but true.

    11. Only the truly dumb and partisan believe the fake news coming from the Inquirer, ABS CBN and TV5. Most Filipinos read the news from the smaller, better broadsheets like the Manila Times and social media accounts of Mocha, Sass and TP.

    12. The article is very well articulated and written … The truth of the situation…. ☺ Worthwhile article… Not like the daily paid articles of the local media… the paid press releases which can be simply considered as “COMMERCIALS” of ROBREDO… ☺ ?

    13. Greetings Dr. Contreras

      I am in agreement with what you wrote in your article which says:

      “On the contrary, I would see their nonchalant, dismissive behavior as a rather offensive exercise of arrogance. Simply, they felt so self-entitled and messianic, even referring to themselves as if they are God’s gift to our political redemption from the twin evil of Duterte and Marcos. They are used to being privileged influential voices who helped in ousting and jailing Presidents, impeaching a Supreme Court Chief Justice and neutering a front-running presidential candidate, that they thought they can get away with anything. They reeked of self-entitlement, intoxicated like brats who can simply rearrange our political lives, acting as if they have a right to move us like pawns and to decide for us like we are simply their wards. They are so full of themselves that they thought they would not need the exigency of securing their conversations. They felt like they are political royalty, and therefore untouchable. They thought they owned us and our politics.”

      You have hit in right on the head.

      It is entitlement in its raw and vicious form, perpetrated by a ruling elite backed by unscrupulous power brokers/interest groups and whose interest is to perpetuate power, influence and the status quo except you may have missed a small point — that these persons can be “found” on both sides of the fence (i.e. not only those identified with one color) – as fence sitters, pretending to be “this” or “that” depending on how the wind blows. You must remember that even before the President assumed office, many have shifted alliances. A natural phenomenon when there is change in power – the “old” hides and is bundled with the “new”.

      Beware then.

      Such is the sad state of politics. It is muddled with mud – something the current administration must be rectify. Otherwise the status quo (mentality) remains but with a different face (and color).

      Simply a façade.

    14. I’d like to see these “elites” try to execute their plans and have their pawns killed on-site by the rampaging-insulted-“trolls” supporting a legit president who won fair and square.

      Let’s see if the noobs behind Unofficial Gazette, Madam Claudia, Mocha Puson Blog and Silent No More are as brave as they try to portray. If I know, they all hide behind their airconditioned rooms sponsored by Mar.

      • You’re right Mr Lee, they should go out and see the light and brave enough to show their identities to meet the people on the other side of the fence. PEACE.