"Here are more examples of fake news."

(Continued from Thursday)

Philippine media started calling that event the “bloodless People Power Revolution of 1986,” which they claimed caused the exile of Marcos.

The anti-Marcos elements and their media friends wanted to perpetuate a scented and sanctified image of Edsa One. This is just a fanciful delusion. Historians Salvador Escalante and J. Augustus dela Paz of the Truth and Justice Foundation said it was not a revolution, just a pocket mutiny that grew into a localized revolt. Less than half a million people were there; the population of the country at that time was 80 million.

Remember, a revolution connotes a change in government.

* * *

Yet another example of fake news was that which happened during the first months of martial law. There was a report that a banker had been arrested at the international airport because he was caught with a suitcase full of peso bills; he was supposedly smuggling out his own bank’s money to Hong Kong.

The banker was Vic Tan, president of the Continental Bank. The report came from the office of Defense Secretary Fabian Ver.

That was a lot of bull—nobody in his right mind would pull such a stunt. There was a rumor that Ver simply wanted to take over the bank.

In any case, Tan was arrested and taken to Camp Crame. And then he was taken to Camp Laur, Nueva Ecija and was placed in isolation. Worse, even his wife Helen was arrested.

The incident was narrated in Tan’s book, “Struggle Against Greed and Injustice.” The worst part was that when Cory Aquino came to power, she took over Tan’s insurance company as well!

* * *

Almost every Philippine president had his or her share of hoaxes.

For instance, there were all these hoaxes during the time of President Gloria Arroyo. She was accused of cheating in the 2004 polls when she defeated action star Fernando Poe, Jr. There was her comment to some supporters to “take care of the votes.” These words were twisted to mean they should manipulate the results.

For this, Gloria was charged with electoral sabotage, a grave offense that was later on dismissed. She was also charged with the same offense when she appeared on TV and said “I am sorry” for talking to elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

Records later on showed that her TV appearance simply intended to convey her regret for talking to Garcillano. Her political enemies made a mountain out of a molehill.

Then came the Hyatt 10 scandal, which portrayed Gloria as a president who could not be trusted and who must be replaced. The truth was that the Hyatt 10 were Yellows who wanted to replace her with somebody they could manipulate. This was why Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Budget Secretary Butch Abad met with Vice President Noli de Castro, to convince him to go with their plan. But De Castro saw through their ruse and refused to be used.

The Hyatt 10 did not resign—they were fired. The Yellow sector of media just made it appear that they broke away from Gloria. Fake news!

Not content with throwing brickbats against Gloria, the Yellow sector of the press came out with the national broadband network scandal. They portrayed a whistleblower as some sort of hero when in fact he was later on charged with corruption.

Gloria survived everything thrown against her. In fact, records showed she was the only president who achieved a GDP growth rate of 7.9 percent because of the fiscal and economic reforms.

When BS Aquino came to power, his regime specialized in double standards. He put Gloria under hospital arrest and refused to let her have treatment abroad. He also had Chief Justice Renato Corona impeached, tried and convicted for not declaring his dollar accounts in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth. Corona’s sin was that he raised the amount of compensation for the tenants of the Aquino-owned Hacienda Luisita.

It was also Aquino who had opposition senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla jailed for plunder and their connection with the P10-billion pork barrel scam of Janet Lim Napoles.

And yet, Aquino kept talking about his “daang matuwid.”

* * *

We now come to the Duterte administration—his war on illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.

Despite his promise to end the drug problem in three months, Mr. Duterte kept extending the deadline. The smuggling of illegal drugs continues—and it’s because he is going about it the wrong way. The drug menace is not a peace and order problem, my gulay! Rather, it’s a health issue.

And because this concerns health, first and foremost, the government should put up community-based rehabilitation centers in every province.

It seems, though, that the President is not listening.

The issue of corruption is another thing. I have been a journalist for over 70 years and I have come to the conclusion that corruption will persist so long as there are human discretion and intervention in government transactions. The President is making it worse by putting military people at the helm of sensitive agencies. But are these men really honest?

One thing I can say about the President—despite all the rumors about his health, he seems to defy all odds.

Topics: Truth and Justice Foundation , Rodrigo Duterte , Fake News , Renato Corona , Gloria Arroyo , Juan Ponce Enrile , Jinggoy Estrada , Bong Revilla , Janet Lim Napoles
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