sometime during the senate hearing on fake news by the committee on public info and mass media last wednesday, i said on my facebook wall that i found the talk refreshing, it was good to see and hear edwin lacierda, abigail valte, and manolo quezon, nakaka-miss ang intelligent discourse. (public status. 13 likes.) we kinda took it for granted back in pre-duterte days.
not that the trio said much, except to deny that they were responsible in any way for the anonymous dilawan blog silent no more or that its webmaster was once part of pNoy’s comms team — though cocoy dayao wasn’t around to confirm the denial, so correct me if i heard wrong — and to demand that rj nieto prove his allegations, produce evidence, that mar roxas was responsible for the nasaan-ang-pangulo anti-pNoy campaign in the time of mamasapano. nag-buckle lang si lacierda on the question of whether he is part (or something like that) of silent no more, and justifiably, because does one become a part of silent no more when one “likes” and / or shares the link of any of its blog posts on facebook?
smart of cocoy dayao not to show up. but he should show up next time or he might have to go into hiding and then be tracked down by the cops a la ronnie dayan, ewww. that would be so uncool. cool would be if he came to the next hearing with bells and whistles, including a hotshot IT lawyer. i expect that he would refuse (even in an executive session) to name his clients, i.e., the writer/s and / or owners of silent no more (and other anonymous blogs under his admin) on grounds of confidentiality. it would be a test case on a citizen’s right to anonymity and privacy.
it would be interesting to see how sotto, and other feeling-aggrieved senators, will deal with that. sotto, in particular, who was tagged a rapist in the controversial seven-sens post (6,600 likes, 2066 shares, 780 comments) has reason to cry LIBEL! but then that would mean opening himself up to questions re the pepsi paloma rape case back in 1982. under oath he would be crazy to insist that no rape happened as he has claimed in recent years. the rape hit the front pages just 35 years ago. marami kaming adults na noon na buhay pa ngayon, and we remember what a scandal it was, and we still marvel at how they managed to get away with it, dared brazen it out, the show must go on, eat bulaga! no fake news that.
and because dayao was a no-show, napagtuunan tuloy ng oras at pansin at puna si mocha uson, duterte’s social media muse (5 million followers), at si rj nieto aka thinking pinoy (700K followers) who is second only to mocha when it comes to bashing dilawans and others critical of duterte, imagining scenarios based on iffy data, yet whom committee chair grace poe couldn’t praise enough for his “neutrality” and “excellent research,” never mind the times that nieto has had to issue “errata” dahil nagkamali, tao lang daw. argh. i’ve been blogging 10 years now and i don’t remember ever having to issue an erratum.
anyway, the next morning, on my fb newsfeed, a u.p. prof was wishing for the likes of recto, laurel, salonga and santiago in the chamber; the discourse would have been so radically different daw. (for fb friends only. 142 likes and counting.) hmm. miriam too? “I lied!” was one of her favorite punchlines.
pero recto, laurel, salonga, oo naman, except what’s the point in wishing for better, based on a romanticized past, when there’s work to do confronting what is, now, and looking to the future. roby alampay, tony la viña, and florin hilbay were outstanding.
as for senator poe, she can redeem herself by pushing through with the committee’s promise to plug legal loopholes that allow bloggers earning undeclared income from advertisements to avoid payment of taxes. and senator nancy binay is right, tax also the so-called “influencers” promoting products and services on their social media accounts, said to be an underground billion (peso) industry. better late than never.