The US journalist, the Goldberg ‘blueprint’ and The Manila Times

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DR. DANTE A. ANG

DR. DANTE A. ANG

MADRID, SPAIN: Our editorial department forwarded to me a few days ago an email from a reader who introduced himself as an American journalist based in Washington DC. The sender asked me to put my document on the alleged Goldberg “blueprint” online, “which would help outside observers (meaning him) to examine it.”

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This journalist was referring to my story, “US ex-envoy plotting Duterte fall – source,” published on the front page of The Manila Times on December 27, 2016.

The story was based on my interview with a highly placed source who alleged that former United States Ambassador Philip Goldberg left behind not just a legacy of fractured relations between the two countries but a “blueprint to undermine Duterte,” a strategic recommendation ostensibly to the State Department for the ultimate removal of President Rodrigo Duterte from office. The Manila Times received a copy of the document from the source. It gave a timetable of one-and-a-half years.

Sought for confirmation, the US State Department, through Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel, denied that Goldberg had written a blueprint to oust Duterte, noting that aid programs and defense cooperation between Manila and Washington were proof of American commitment to build Philippine institutions.

The American journalist went on to say that it was his “understanding that the document came from Ambassador Zhao at the Chinese embassy in Manila, so naturally questions arise about it’s (sic) origin and authenticity.” He accused The Manila Times of favoring the Chinese on the issue of the West Philippine Sea, and this writer as being politically biased in favor of the Chinese.

He closed by saying that he wanted to portray me accurately and, hence, his question whether or not my doctorate was earned.

His email deserves a response.

On the last matter: Yes, my doctorate was earned from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM). I took its equivalency program for my DBA. I wrote a thesis entitled “Can The Manila Times be restored to its former glory?” and successfully defended it.

Before my DBA, I spent some two years of college in Letran; dropped out and enrolled in De La Salle University for my BSBA; dropped again after just a trimester and after an extended hiatus, finally finished my BS in Journalism at the Lyceum of the Philippines. I then took up my MBA in Letran College and graduated top of the class (benemeritus or magna cum laude) with a weighted average of 96.4 percent.

Enough of my bonafides. Now, to the issue at hand.

I have no beef against the Americans. Fact is, I owe the US government a lot. During the heady days of the EDSA revolution, the US Embassy in Manila offered to send my children to the United States so that “I could move more freely,” to quote the head of the Non-immigrant Visa Branch of the embassy who met with me at the Café Ilang-Ilang of the Manila Hotel.

And that’s how my children – Dante Francis (Klink), Anna Marie and Michael Alexander – came to study in the United States. Klink and Michael returned to the Philippines after spending many years in the US. Anna Marie married an American and decided to permanently reside there.

My story published

For the record, I am uneasy at the manner this American journalist phrased his statements. First, he asked me to put online my document so that he could examine its authenticity. In the same breath, he said it is his “understanding” that the document came from Chinese Ambassador Zhao and, therefore, its integrity was suspect.

It would seem he had already made up his mind as to the identity of my source even before he could talk to or hear from me. I have, therefore, decided not to dignify his request and his “understanding” of my source with neither a denial nor a confirmation. I will let him wallow in his own fantasy. More importantly, he should know that I couldn’t share my document online (meaning with him) so that its authenticity could be verified. I want to assure him that I would not have published my story based on it in the first place if I had not done my job of vetting the credibility of my source. Besides, he knows only too well that we, as journalists, are bound by the ethics of journalism: protect the identity of our source though the heavens may fall.

This American journalist also said he was fully aware of my “much publicized connection with pro-Chinese political figures in Manila like Lucio Tan and Michael (sic) and Gloria Arroyo, who originated the joint project with the Chinese on the South China Sea that President Duterte now wants back on track.”

I did not know until today that I had “close connections to the pro-Chinese political figures in the Philippines like Lucio Tan” and that it is highly publicized. For the record, I am not; never been. I know Dr. Tan personally and dealt with him in the past, and I have high respect for the man but I am not even sure if he would recognize me if he saw me again. As to the other pro-Chinese political figures this American was referring to, I could not even hazard a guess if I tried to identify them.

On my close ties with the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, well, that’s a given. Unless you were from Mars, you wouldn’t know that I was her publicist from 1993 until 2002 when I left Malacanang as P1-a-year Senior Presidential Consultant for Public Relations.

Later in December of 2005, I accepted her offer to head the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) as its chairman with Cabinet rank. As CFO chair, I led the successful lobby with the United States government to allow the conduct of the examination of the NCLEX (National Commission for the Licensure Examination) in the Philippines. NCLEX is a United States government’s must-pass requirement for foreign nurses who want to work in the US.

The sender also accused the “opinion pages” of The Manila Times as tilted in favor of the “Chinese position on the South China Sea,” and that he is inclined to portray my “political views in that context.”

I am half-Chinese. My mother was a Filipina who, too, had Chinese blood in her veins; she, being a descendant of Jose Tionquiao, the first mayor of the town of Las Pinas when it was gerrymandered from Paranaque. But that doesn’t mean that my political views were shaped by my blood or that of my forebears. I find this assessment of this American journalist condescending and insulting, which could only come from someone who still thinks that non-whites are inferior to the Americans. Just because I have Chinese blood in me doesn’t follow that I will toe the Chinese line on the West Philippine sea issue.

The opinion pages of The Manila Times do not favor the Chinese or the Americans or any country or race for that matter. We try to bring accuracy, balance and objectivity into our editorials. We may be wrong occasionally, but we try to make it up to our readers.

For whatever it is worth, The Manila Times is perhaps the only broadsheet that is truly independent. We are the only daily that does not have investors other than the Ang family, my family. We don’t have businessmen–big, medium or small–or even politicians behind us. We try to strive on our own. And we intend to keep it that way for as long as we could afford it for the sake of our editorial independence. And that’s the only way we could serve our readers faithfully. No spin; just the facts.

As to that American investigative journalist in Washington DC, I hope he would agree with me that a journalist worth his salt would avoid becoming the story himself. The story should be that which is written by the journalist and not about the journalist himself. Is he trying to pull the alleged Goldberg document issue away from the limelight by having me – who I am, my bonafides – as “the story” instead?

My unsolicited advice is for him to demonstrate a modicum of respect for his counterparts in this benighted, Third World country and not to treat other journalists like they were born yesterday. If he did that, he might yet surprise himself with the fact how extremely cooperative others would be.

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50 Comments

  1. Patrick Adaza on

    Of all the Manila based broadsheets the Manila Times is the one I would love to do an investigative article or series on how the Americans have controlled Philippine national leadership for their own interests and to the detriment of Filipinos for over a hundred years. It would be great to see this laid out from the time of President Aguinaldo to the suspicious death of President Manuel Roxas at Clark Air Base which was officially recorded a heart attack, to the death of President Ramon Magsaysay which was officially a plane crash but according to witnesses was an aircraft bombing, to President Ferdinand Marcos’ on and off relationship with USA, to Doy Laurel getting shoved aside as the official candidate of the opposition in favor of Cory Aquino, to Fidel Ramos the US puppet getting Cory’s nod over Ramon Mitra, all the way to Duterte’s victory of the US backed candidates of Noynoy Aquino.

  2. Dont waste your energies quarreling over this imaginary document. The issue is we have a deranged president who, together with his communist friends, are wreaking havoc on this country. He should be booted out before it is too late.

  3. Vincent Santos on

    This may sound outrageous but are we forgetting a country who recently hacked into the US government servers and also the Democratic Party? RUSSIA. Come to think of it, it is the Russians who practically (true or fantasy) won the US election for Donald Trump and I’m sure one of the sensitive matters hacked by the Russians is this “blueprint” by Phil Goldberg and turned around and leaked it to Dr. Ang. By the way, him and Mr. Tiglao are two of the best columnists I ever read, local or international.

  4. Manila Times is a must read for me every morning. i love to read the incisive articles of amb rigoberto tiglao, kit tatad, yen makabenta, ric saludo, , all of your opinion/ column writers and most especially your editorial. maraming salamat, manila times!!!

  5. I agree with Dr. Dante Ang that Manila Times is independent based on the opinions and news published here. We get the real and factual information here.Thanks.

  6. The diversity of opinions in the columns of Manila Times is what draws me to read it. The “American journalist” need not be glorified with an answer. If he were really a journalist, he would investigate the veracity of the blueprint and write about it, and not moan about it in an email.

  7. Gloria Pagnanawon on

    I have always respected the independence of the Manila Times. The insights that this paper provides give readers a much better understanding of history and current events. The expose of Mr. Ang about US Ambassador Goldberg’s blueprint to replace Du30 is just the latest of the important news items that I eagerly look for everyday. From the history of the USA with its Philippine colony and Goldberg’s track record, I have all the reasons to expect the US government to meddle in our country again. Obama thought he could bully Du30 in the same way that he bullied BSAquino but Du30 is straight and strong. Du30 will not be bullied and/or bought like BSAquino. Obama backed out of the fight and now he is trying a deceitful strategy using the rich and corrupt Filipino oligarchs.

  8. Keep it up Manila Times! I only trust 2 newspapers here in the Philippines and that is this newspaper and Manila Bulletin. I like how you guys approach it objectively and not being aligned to any political power or party. I share most of the articles here. It would be nice if you guys would have a YouTube channel to report it as well. More power to you guys!

  9. Thank you Dr Ang. Goldberg’s master mouthpiece could be lie-lie da-liema….and her cohorts are trillianes, robredo, hontiveros, bam aquino. drilon is playing coy?
    sana po, Sir Frank, iisipin na lamang po ninyo, “I’m too old for that, malapit na ako sa retiring age. Maglingkod na lang ako sa bayan ko, kesa sa LP lang.”

  10. Let ordinary folks like us who does not know yet, one of a Journalist vow is NEVER REVEAL CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION without the providers or authors permission. If Dr. Ang will not follow this rule, he better stop being a journalist. Ordinary mortals like us should know this one.

  11. Ask this American journalist to investigate the TONS of US/NATO weapons left behind by the “moderate rebels” who fled when east Aleppo was liberated. Maybe,US congress can have hearings on this topic….instead of the dog&pony show on fake news reports of Russian hacking. Keep up the good work!

  12. In my opinion the Manila Times is one of the few newspapers that are not biased,

    The document should be made public, there is no reason to disclose the contents and then refuse to publish the document itself to help verify the origin.
    The whole chain of events up to the publishing of the document should be disclosed.

  13. Maraming salamat for sharing the information, nguhit mukhang di professional ‘asset’ iyong kausap, mukhang part & parcel ng mga LP/Yellow destabilizers. Uli salamat para sa sambayanan! Mabuhay po kayo! Mula ngayon di ko na bibitawan ang Times Editorial.

  14. Dear Sir Dante,

    Hi.

    I am a Big Fan of Trump| but I Have a Bigger Unlike towards Obama. Do you know that I think the Obama Office is accusing President Putin of Hacking the Elections 2016-USA, so that he can remain as President of his country: through having US-Russia wars and avoidance on Trump Placement at the Washington DC Government Building.

    Unsolicited Advice| IGNORE the Journalist who you are talking about. He probably is TWISTED :P

    Thank you for the Life Story :) I came to know more about you and the Ang Family + Manila Times and its Present Handler/ Representatives. Your Educational Attainment is very admirable| I also wished of Having such High achievements in Academics. The highest that I got is having 15 Units at the Masteral Science Studies of UST Advertising-Graduate School. I got too busy with my Fashion Design Goals| I shifted on getting Certificates from Clothing Technology Studies both Basic and Advance under Mayor Lito Atienza + Personality Development/ Ethics Education from John Robert Powers, Makati.

    I cannot afford to finish my Masteral Studies anymore because: I became a Fun Thinker hehe :P Seriously, I simply want to be a wife to my BF Edward :D

    I also had aspired to become the President of PH in 2016, haha :P I ended up being mocked at Facebook and Twitter by Pinoys after Applying to the Comelec for the Presidential Post, which in a sad story did make my mom get a nervous breakdown. And that did permanently made my mom dependent on Depressants :(

    Sir Ang, it is January 2017| New Year, better if we start things in a Big Smile: A lot of US Likes Manila Times. Just spit on the Bad People who doesn’ t appreciate your good work.

    God bless and Jesus Cares.

  15. There is no need to show your credentials. What was, or is of utmost importance is the article you wrote and published in your newspaper. It is like the Washington Post exposing Watergate. It was a very important news for us Filipinos to understand what is happening to us as directed by outside forces, and how some Filipinos, like puppets, are acting for foreign interests, like the United States.
    You also write very clearly.

  16. nasaan ka leni on

    salute to you Sir! I admire your integrity just like Si Antonio Contreras.hope you will continue to use your profession with dignity and respect to inspire people not to collect dimes from the elite like ABiaS CBN and GMA reporters.

  17. Dr. Ang, just tell that American journalist base from DC to go fuck himself up. If you don’t want, give us his email add and will do it for you. Donald Trump will be the next US president, lets see this American journalist and Goldberg, if they will be in action in the next US administration of President Donald Trump.

  18. US’s track record of meddling in the affairs of sovereign nations make the story believable.

  19. kudos Dr. Ang, learning from your description about this ‘white’ journalist – He is not legitimate, the probing question, personal or otherwise is a giveaway that he is an “asset” of those trying to destabilize D30, the ‘denial’ of the State Department is as good as Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, why is Mr. Goldberg silent about this? This fairy has questionable background in ouster moves.,, what is worrying is the deafening silence of the LP personalities , led by a leader with easy ‘persuasions’ , they will do anything to escape jail terms and the US to keep their ‘interests’ against China., but they both under-estimated one thing – we the people who wants real change coming from a very determined leader!, the social media and true journalists like you Dr. Ang!

  20. Much appreciation to you Dr. Ang and to the men and women of the Manila Times! May your tribe increase.

  21. Whoever this American journalist is, he should first start his investigation IN his own backyard. He should first track where Goldberg is and know whether the document is genuine or not. This journalist is already showing his doubts, prejudice, and condescension towards the messenger by killing it.

  22. Just like Rogoberto Tiglao from the same newspaper you are a barking dog. By sheer common sense Goldberg is not stupid to leave such documents if true. a true product of your invention. Post the documents online to be scrutinized and I will praise you to high heavens, and i will brand you a true patriot.

    • Wow. Like Goldberg is so infallible “stupid” mistakes are above him. And your opinion of this paper or its journalists are your own. They are not obliged to bow to your demands.

  23. Edna Penaflor on

    I am a Lycean (BS Journalism, 1976) myself and I enjoy reading the opinion pages of The
    Manila Times every morning before meeting up my students in the university here in China. I agree with most readers of how balanced and truthful the paper is when it comes to news and analysis. And I tend to agree with your belief of respect and responsibility to your readers, much more to the privacy of your source. No journalist should be above that calling, and if this American journalist is attempting to change that rule, then he Is a fraud and a good for nothing individual.

  24. We are in the United States, and just like you we are waging battles with anti-Duterte pseudo journalists from Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France Press, CNN, WSJ, NY Times, Washington Post, Foreign Policy magazine, and others.

    In fact, most of anti-Duterte international press mileage emanates from a bunch of self-professed journalism grads from Columbia University in New York City, USA, who use an endless supply of adjectives and adverbs from creative writing to attack Duterte. They won’t use political philosophy, political theory, constitutional law or ethics to question Pres. Duterte, so you know it’s all crap.

    The Columbia cabal includes the United Nations rapporteur Agnes Callamard. You can google search her name and you’ll see she’s also with Columbia U.

    Legendary anti-Marcos, anti-Erap, and now anti-Duterte pro yellow writer Sheila Coronel is at the helm of the Columbia cabal.

    We’re with you on this, Dr. Ang. All the best to you!

  25. I will be very happy when Obama and his cabals leave the US. If you listen to Obama’s speeches after his candidate lost the elections, he sounds desperate and frustrated. They have been fermenting strife and war all over the world and we are no exception. These foreigners have help from locals and it is this connection that must be uncovered. Thank you Sir for keeping us informed. Do you think the VP’s trip to NY has anything to do with this threat? Apparently, the democrats and liberals refuse to give up power.

  26. Ferdie Pasion on

    Some of my pro-China friends accuse Dante Arevalo Ang of being pro-U.S. This just goes to show that Mr. Ang and the Manila Times are independent leading to the view of some that they are pro-China and of still others as being pro-U.S. More power to Mr. Ang and the Manila Times! By the way, I am a son of the late OFW leader, Frank Pasion, who was a long-time friend of Mr. Ang from way, way back (“Jobs Today”).

  27. I don’t care for all of the opinions I read in the Times, but the American media as a whole has devolved into fantasy writers, not journalism. Glad I left a few years ago, but the politicians here lie like they learned from America.

  28. Manila Times columnists are very independent, and they take issues from diversed critical viewpoints, uike Inquirer which is very biased against certain political group/individual.

  29. This is the only newspaper i read nowadays because all the writers are brilliant specially the columnist. Please keep the good job for the sake of giving us comprehensive opinion. Long live MT.

    • jun, what wrong with it is that journalists do not reveal or divulged their source/sources of info. the real journalists would rather face jail time than to divulge identity of their source/sources of info. as mr ang said, it is for that journalist to research on his own and not use other journalist’s work. he should look for goldberg who i assume is in the usa now.

  30. Your exposé on the blueprint was very explosive. I have doubts on this report because how stupid can Goldberg to just let this report be expose. Unless it was taken or stolen from him. I believe that the US does not like Duterte but that is a given having cuss and drive them out of this country. But to say that the report just pop up for all of us to read the report is just not true. It is just my opinion and I do not have proof.

    • you said it right and correctly.. goldberg is STUPID!!! dont be stupid yourself, they intentionally allowed this expose to threaten and warn duterte so he can toe the line of US. sorry guys, you will be disappointed.. it’s not in duterte’s vein to be cowed by such stupid plan. it would seem na kumakampi ka pa kay goldberg, ikaw na rin ang may sabi..its just your opinion and you have no basis… so anong basis meron ka to comment like you are so sure? stupid?

  31. Welcome to American Journalism: Come to a conclusion, investigate “facts” to back up your conclusion, publish article and claim no bias.

  32. Jose A. Oliveros on

    Nakuha mong Amerikano ka ang hinahanap mo. This Tagalog expression which cannot be accurately translated into English without losing its essence, is what immediately came to my mind after reading Dr. Dante Ang’s reply to that American journalist. To Lycean Dr. Ang, congratulations from this Lycean (AB, Political Science, 1967; Ll.B, 1971).

  33. I agree that the Manila Times is the only truly independent of all broadsheets in the Philippines. Kudos to you.

  34. This is journalistic bullying if there is such a term. I suspect this guy is cut from the same cloth as those who were slanted towards Hillary Clinton during the last U.S. election – a breed with preconceived or hidden agendas to fit the purpose of their master.

  35. Sir Im just one of the Manila Times avid reader. A day will start for me with a coffee and Manila times. If I look for truth and fairness in the current issues, then I will log on to Manila Times. Thank you for bringing to the people the truthful stories which has been denied to us for the past 6 years. Mabuhay po kayo Sir.