Must PDU30 also fight a war with foreign media?



First read
Apart from fighting drug lords, drug pushers, drug coddlers, and drug users, is President Duterte fighting the foreign media on another front?

One of my readers screams in an email: “The International Media War is ON! The big guns are firing: TIME MAGAZINE, NEW YORK TIMES, LA TIMES, THE GUARDIAN.

“The ostensive claim here is that they are crusaders – fighting an OGRE – the PUNISHER – Mr. Digong Duterte.

“What is the game plan?

“To put doubts in the minds of the people supporting President Duterte with the subliminal message – ‘How could you be supporting that leader of yours when you see he is doing all these bad things, which are not acceptable to us who are looking from the outside and are, therefore, quite objective about it. You see we are a bit more civilized than you guys and know better. SO, we are telling you that HEY, YOU ARE ALL SO WRONG supporting this man. All the blood that is in his hands are now in yours too – so you better dump him and be on the side of the good guys like us.”

Duterte nonchalant and unperturbed
President Duterte himself is nonchalant and unperturbed by the foreign media coverage of his drug war.

At a press conference in Davao City on August 21, President Duterte declared that he does not care if he is being portrayed by the international media in a negative light, saying he is just performing his duty.

“They say I am the most unpopular among the international press. I don’t care,” Duterte told reporters. “I have a problem to solve here in my country.”

Andanar as Sancho Panza
In his best imitation of Sancho Panza, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar goes farther than the President. He dared foreign journalists to visit the Philippines so they can see for themselves the extent of the drug menace in the country.

“The international media, as I have repeated time and again, should come to the Philippines and experience the life of the barangay (village) people who experience the drug problems,” Andanar told reporters on the sidelines of the Japan-Asean Media Forum in Mandaluyong.

“It’s not fair for just anybody to conclude that there are extrajudicial killings, that there are so many dead without even qualifying which ones are dead because of authorized police operations, and which ones are killed because of a gang war or regular murders,” he added.

Most disingenuous was Andanar’s claim that President Duterte, in waging the drug war, is just fulfilling a campaign promise in the May 2016 elections.

“He was elected with that platform. He already warned the electorate that if you vote for him, there will be bloodshed. If you don’t want bloodshed, don’t vote for me. But he was voted,” Andanar said.

Finally, Andanar contends that the drug problem is now a pandemic. “This drug menace is pandemic already. Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures.”

Andanar stressed that it is more important to protect the lives of innocent civilians and victims of illegal drugs than the lives of drug lords.

“Investigate the lives, the human rights of those who have been victimized by crimes due to illegal drugs. There are so many of them. Go back to them. Let’s not be one-sided,” he added.

Foreign media research their reports
The problem with Andanar’s line is that the international media usually are very thorough before publishing or broadcasting anything. They may know more about the Philippine drug problem than Secretary Andanar.

When the foreign media ask what are the compelling reasons and factual background behind President Duterte’s war on drugs, and his draconian call for the killing of drug suspects, what will the government say in response?

Malacañang claims, and President Duterte has said so himself, that there are about 3 to 3.7 million drug users in the country.

Where did this figure come from? Who compiled the statistics or estimates?

Likewise, who is supplying the intelligence and numbers that emboldened Duterte to name and shame government officials as coddlers of drug traffickers in the country?

Like the WMD problem in Iraq
So far as anyone can ascertain, the figures being cited by the President do not tally with existing official figures of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).

In a sense, the drug war faces the same problem that George W. Bush faced in the war on Iraq; the war was justified on the grounds that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and the invading US military forces could not find them. The entire war was discredited. Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has been belatedly shamed by the findings of a formal UK inquiry – that British participation in the war was unjustified and immoral.

The Duterte administration’s war on drugs could be faced with a similar quandary – finding the pandemic to justify the bloodshed.

PDEA and NBI clueless
At a hearing on Tuesday by the House committee on Dangerous Drugs, both the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) disclosed that they did not have any inputs in the war on drugs.

Under questioning by Kabayan Party-list Representative Harry L. Roque, PDEA Director General Isidro Lapeña and NBI lawyer Henry Canapi admitted they did not have any involvement in the preparation of President Duterte’s list of drug personalities.

When asked by Roque who could have been advising the President on the list of these alleged drug coddlers in government, Lapeña said he was not sure whether other agencies have been giving information to the President.

CNN’s devastasting report
When foreign media come to take up Secretary Andanar’s dare to visit, they are bound to ask similar questions. They will be justified in seeking substantiation because what they have been reporting is usually backed up by interviews and statistics.

For instance, CNN, in broadcasting on August 29 a report from the front lines of the drug war, backed up its report with a fact sheet on the illegal drug situation in the country. It reported the often-cited DDB figure, as of 2014, that there are some 1.3 million drug users in the Philippines. And that metaphetamine (local name “shabu”) is the principal illegal drug being produced and trafficked in the country.

CNN went on to relate six illustrative cases of the drug war and the killings. It was by many accounts a devastating piece of journalism.

Such journalism cannot be pooh-poohed by blanket statements that they are the product of a well-funded foreign media campaign against President Duterte.

To discredit them, Malacanang must provide a convincing story about the drug war.

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil
Andanar should take time to visit with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) to learn firsthand who are the foreign media that are watching what is really going on.

There he can disabuse them of misimpresssions and mistakes in reporting the drug war.

Of course, some of us may simply not want to consider what foreign media have to say.

As I recall, “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” discredited the three monkeys.

The story is a parable of moral responsibility.


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  1. Who cares about what these foreign media write about…let them fill their sheets with shits about the Brave One DU30 and shit becometh upon them. Case in point Mexico the beloved neighbor of the soon to be trampling ground of the Trump (OMG), where is the foreign Media? Nothing is happening or not so drastic much is happening against the war on drugs and these Media are silent or wrote immaterial phrases on their papers about Mexico drug war nay sometimes giving star status to drug lords by printing their clandestine interviews with them (drug lords)…yet they will write negative on The Brave ONE when he is doing his job of drug eradication in the Phils. casting doubts phsycologically in the Filipino minds about The Brave ONE sincerity. Where are they when they were fooled by BUSH & BLAIR on WMD?..these foreign scribes nonethless to say are only barking when their masters say so…leave us alone..damn you

  2. Our President Duterte is setting a right tone with regards how human right activist must behave. It must be based on the right of the majorities that is affected by the drug menace. Human right must be observed to protect the general well being of the entire society. If the drug lord, drug pusher and users that doesnt like to change ,then they in effect affect the peace in the society. Now how in the world can we say their life is more important than the majority of peace loving people of our country. If the died because of the harm they had cause in our society then they personally rescind their human right as they violate many other and cause too much pain. HUMAN RIGHT IS FOR THE MAJORITY AND NOT THE MINORITY WHO HARM THE MANY.

  3. You know I’ve read many news articles online. I’ve found many not to be the result of serious investigation. Many are the rehash of another article which may be a rehash of another. I was actually surprised to see so many investigative reports where little real investigation of the principals had occurred. A lot of googling and the rehashing of someone else’s article rather than having a lot of real investigations on the ground. I’m surprised to say this, but for some articles I have greater confidence in what is being reported in this country (although a lot of rehashing of second or third hand information does also occur) than some of the big media outlets. Sadly, that seems to be the nature of electronic journalism these days. Take a careful look at many of the articles you see, look at the repetitive and spun content and language, and it’s easy to conclude that lazy journalism seems to be the norm these days. I wouldn’t lay the blame entirely on the current administration – they probably have a good case to make, but need to do so publicly with solid facts and data. I thought that Cayetano did a decent job of that. Sloppy journalism needs to be challenged. The media itself is not immune to flaws or bias.

  4. Mr. Makabenta, akala ko patas kang mamamahayag. Magmula ng naging presidente si PDU30, wala ka ng ginawa kundi batikusin ang mga plataporma de gobierno nya. Di ko alam kung bayaran ka rin ng mga dilaw. Dati bilib ako sa mga article mo, ngayon ika’y sala sa lamig, sala sa init. Pareho lang kayo ni Kit Tatad.

    Kunsabagay, “trabaho” lang nyo ang mangbatikos ng mangbatikos. Bakit hindi ikaw pumunta sa mindanao at duon ka mag-interview ng mga abu sayaf para naman maihayag mo ang tutong pangyayari duon. O di kaya eh sumama ka sa mga operasyon ng mga pulis para first hand eh makita mo ang mga pangyayari.

    Pero tama, dyan ka na lang sa opisina mo para ligtas ka sa mga adik, holdaper, budol budol, snatcher at salisi gang. Pero panalangin ko lang eh wag kang maging biktima ng mga to. Ayos ba tol?

  5. Yen Makabenta bilib na sana kami sa iyo nung lumalaban ka sa gawing tuwad na daan ni panotski. Hindi mo ba nararamdaman ang kalooban ng bayang Pilipinas? Di ba tahimik kami? Sang ayon kami sa ginagawa ni Pres Digong. Sino ang maiingay at nagpapapansin na ang sigaw ay yuman rayts – yuman rayts? Mga dilaw, dilawan, kadilaw-dilawan. Ngayon kasama ka na nila? Fuck those foregin media. It is the Filipinos time now! Now and Now! Pwede ba tumabi kayo para di kayo sagasaan ni DIGONG!

  6. “At the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision, as president, all you have to guide you are your values, and your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are.”
    Michelle Obama

    “Sometimes negative news does come out, but it is often exaggerated and manipulated to spread scandal. Journalists sometimes risk becoming ill from coprophilia and thus fomenting coprophagia: which is a sin that taints all men and women, that is, the tendency to focus on the negative rather than the positive aspects.”
    Pope Francis

    “General Sherman looked upon journalists as a nuisance and a danger at headquarters and in the field, and acted toward them accordingly, then as throughout his great war career.”
    Henry Villard

  7. Change comes from within. We need change. The foreign media will come to see the output of our President’s effort to bring back peace and security in the country and also prosperity for the majority. We don’t need to worry so much of what the International press or the world will say. We have to continue the change until we succeed. Look at China, South Korea, Singapore? Did they really mind what the world or the International Press have to say? Now they are very rich. We need to emulate them. If President Duterte declares Martial Law, I will support it 100%. I dare kill all the drug lords!

  8. The Philippines is quite an enigma: sensitive and defensive to a fault. The ‘foreign media’ are reporting the events that are taking place in the country – no more, no less. The government has not managed to justify its denial of due process and the right to life, which are basic tenets of the Philippine constitution. And despite recent statements by the administration’s spokesman, the government pointedly withdrew an invitation to the UN Rapporteur to see the situation in the country for herself after the latter accepted (with alacrity) an invitation to do so.

    Rather than shoot the messenger (no pun intended), the Duterte administration should answer the concerns of its critics, including concerns voiced by the Catholic church that the most basic of the Ten Commandments – thou shall not kill – is being ignored.

  9. When all is said and done on fight of illegal drugs, DU30 has to fall in line with international community and its leaders. He can’t be like Hugo Chavez and the other South American Presidents who are loved by their people, antagonized the west and yet economy is poor. Remember the outcome of the Marcos, Castro, Noriega regimes… the regime failed. During Marcos era, what was our main problem…poor economy, people started to complain about their living standards. We were borrowing money from IMF and World bank but did not get anything. This is the reality whether we like or not.
    With due respect to others who have commented negatively about foreign media. We have to listen where they are coming from. Investigation of increasing number of killings has to happened. Our country is a democratic form of government and we have to exercise our judicial system.

  10. The foreign media must be patronizing the CHR in throwing a monkey wrench to thwart the progress of PDU30’s war against drugs ………..

  11. The real reason the western press is against him is because he is not their tuta, starting with his independent stand on China which is conciliatory, the opposite of what the Americans want. Shinawatra of Thailand had his own war on drugs where thousands were killed but did the western press rake him over the coals for this? No, instead the Americans invited him to the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), perhaps the only SouthEast Asian leader to be so “honored.” The western press is a tool of western hegemony (and the yellow press is their local branch) and anybody who thinks they are a force of good is laboring under a delusion.

    • I agree. us is using foreign media to stop the war on drugs,so that every Filipino will be a drug addict, for ease of control and to do whatever they want in the Philippines. they wanna use the Philippines as a bait to wage war against china since the consider Filipinos as mere scrap of humanity, no value and no harm losing them.

  12. Must we even worry about the foreign media? Would they be able to come to our rescue if and when each and everyone of us succumbs to the ill effects of illicit drugs? Would they really care at all? They are/were not able to do anything about the killings and massacre of people in other places of the world, which go on unabatedly, yet we have to worry about them? The Philippines I think is just fine where it is now, considering that drug traffickers are on the run for fear of their lives. PDu30 should just stay focused on his promise of change. He already said in all his campaign sorties that there would be a war on drugs, if elected, and it would be bloody. Still the people, 16M of them, voted for him. Where else can you find a President who is willing to give up his honor and his life for the sake of his country and the people? And we should worry about what the foreign media say? Give us all a break! And If it is moral responsibility that we have to talk about, PDu30 has what it takes to carry on with his war on drugs as no other past administrations had ever done and accomplished.

    With regards to the PDEA, here is what a PhilNews article said regarding the list of suspected drugs: “We were already advised to update and submit our list for the national security workshop. We assume that in our last national intelligence workshop, the list might be submitted to him (Duterte) when he assumes office on July 1,” Ledesma said as quoted by The Guardian.

    Ledesma added that PDEA will comply with Duterte’s command but, will do it without breaking the law.

    “We will work within the bounds of law,” said Ledesma.

    The Regional Director even warned the personalities who are continuing the trade to immediately stop their activities while they have chances or else, they will end up with Duterte’s “other side.”

    And now this:

    “At a hearing on Tuesday by the House committee on Dangerous Drugs, both the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) disclosed that they did not have any inputs in the war on drugs.”

    What do we make out of this? For sure, there could be other agencies providing intelligence report to the President , but PDEA could not deny having a part in it.

  13. True, we are risking isolation with all these commentaries and reports of the foreign media. Whatever their slant maybe, that’s the foreign media’s call. But, as our president has said, we have a problem. And that problem is drugs and how the drug business has penetrated the core of our society. When in the history of our country did we have 600K people surrendering and admitting that they are drug users? It is a jolt to see such number but it is to the credit of this president that he was able to flush them out and with that the wound can no longer be ignored. Our president has rightly pointed out that he has a duty to do and for that he deserves the support of all Filipinos. Media can say what it wants but at the end of the day, the president is accountable for what he has done.

  14. Ignacio Balbutin on

    The internationa medias and even local ones are very funny indeed. Is it a crime to kill a criminal who fought back during buy bust operations? Is it a crime to fight against corruption, is it a crime to make the citizens safe in the street and in their own homes? I think you it is alright for you because your country are full of drug addicts and mass killings. Clean your own backyard first before spitting your dirts on us

  15. Where are SWS and Pulse Asia? This is the perfect time to conduct your surveys. Isn’t it obvious that majority of the people are supporting Duterte in his campaign. Have you seen mass demonstrations? Rallys? Social Media Bashings? Cases being filled? NOTHING! NONE! Only those paid and funded by Liberal and the oligarchs are making noise. The yellow media ABS-CBN, Rappler, Inquirer, the CBCP, CHR and their patron De Limaw!

    • What he is talking about in this article isn’t whether or not there is ample support for this regime and its leader. Its a question of whether or not policies are based on facts. We can’t very well run a government based on whims of a number of people.

  16. What would these media especially foreign and human rights advocate like to happen? To stop the drug war or create a new arresting approach to suspected criminals. Wake up and look at the REALITY – The entire country is plagued by drugs from street kids to elder, to police, mayors, governors , celebrities, drug lords, convicted criminals, even up to judges and DOJ. You cannot suppress this menace by just filling cases of illegal possession of drugs and Drug pushing, that would be a crazy, it would result to 1-3 million cases per year which would take 10 – 15 years to be heard and definitely result to acquittals due to massive corruption of the judiciary. It would be pointless to take that route. Besides up until now, out of the thousand killed, no one has ever come up or became a victim of legitimate police operations as mistaken identity or has not been involved in drugs. All of them are known drug pushers or addicts in their neighborhood. These are not petty criminals they have been a pain in the a…. in their respective communities.

  17. The Great Defiant on

    who scared of foreign media.
    when the Filipinos are wallowing with poverty…
    are they of any help?…
    I have only two letters for them…”FO”….

  18. This kind of posting is not at all an observation but detorting and inflict or suggesting a derogatory remarks about our republic. Foreign media are doing research before posting maybe yes but they twisted the facts. The foreign media are fun of exhibiting the ugly part of our republic but neglect to show the beauty of our metropolitan and as a matter of fact foreign media spent their happy hours in our beautiful pubs and bars. The goal of the media is to find sensational events that they fell will excite the readers and more will be attracted to patronize their publication. Mr. Andanar don’t be carried away or intimidated with their negative posting nor challenge them because the more you argued the more aggressive they are with their negative publications.

    • If their news or features are so well-researched then why has the CNN Hongkong correspondent been presenting only De Lima in his interview, the dead drug user/pusher, and the congested jail? If he can go to the extent of visiting the jail why was there no side presented from the President or the PNP? Why no feature about policemen killed during the operation? The “game plan” crossed my mind when I saw the CNN features. Whoever commisioned this attack/strategy are playing again on the legendary colonial mentality of Filipinos. What a shame. They can do better than insulting their fellow Filipinos.

    • If you seize shabu worth can know how big is the problem and how big is the market for it..common sense dictate