Category: social media

in fairness to cory

not surprisingly, social media are dredging up the libel case that president cory aquino filed vs. louie beltran in october 1987 and asking if maria ressa’s case is comparable.  but surprisingly, and dismayingly, the video i happened to catch on my facebook newsfeed, courtesy of ONENews #RushHour, opened with this:

V.O.  Rappler CEO Maria Ressa’s libel case may be the first of its kind against a Philippine president…

huh?  ressa filed a libel case against the president?  fake news ba ito o wishful thinking.  lol.  and here’s another booboo, a minute and some 40 seconds in.

V.O.  The Court of Appeals however dismissed the case in 1995 acquitting Soliven and Beltran, but it was too late for Beltran who died a year after the case was dismissed. [bold mine]

HUH?  too late indeed, but certainly not for the reason indicated.  sloppy work, ONENews #RushHour!  bakit nakakalusot ang blatant errors na ganyan?  walang nag-e-edit ng scripts, walang nagmomonitor ng taping, walang fact-checking, masyado kasing madalian, rush nga?

well, hindi naman sila nag-iisa.  also caught a phone interview (by some social media group) of a UP academic who said the cory case happened in 1989.  maybe his source was the online copy of another UP prof’s 2003 column/essay that has mercifully since been corrected.  at least #RushHour got that one right.

but watch the video anyway for cito beltran’s defense of his dad.

CITO BELTRAN. … the president herself pointed out that she could not possibly fit under the bed because there was no space under the bed.  logic lang will say, apparently that she was misled, that my father was calling her a coward….

and read Hiding under the bed, my reaction back in 1995, published in ISYU, jarius bondoc’s all-opinion tabloid, soon after the case was dismissed on appeal.  in fairness to cory.

ressa, keng, and the NBI

feb 15.  caught karen davila with guest maria ressa on headstart.  na-dejavu ako.  i first met the two over a private lunch in a fancy hotel some 8 years ago, but that’s another story,

much more interesting is this cyberlibel case filed against ressa for an article rappler posted in 2012.  check out abs-cbn news‘ Timeline: Rappler, Maria Ressa’s cyber libel case.

check out also the updated (in 2014) version  of the 2012 article CJ using SUVs of ‘controversial’ businessmen.

the rappler article says that the information on wilfredo keng was based on an intelligence report prepared in 2002 that rappler got hold of and which detailed keng’s past.

The report stated that Keng had been under surveillance by the National Security Council for alleged involvement in illegal activities, namely “human trafficking and drug smuggling.” He is supposedly close to lawmakers and had contacts with the US embassy at the time.

curiously, CMFR’s vergel santos in a feb 14 ANC interview said that it is the NBI that should be charged with libel.

VERGEL SANTOS. …the man who is accusing rappler of libel is saying that he was not the sort of man that certain intelligence reports make him out to be.  not rappler by the way…  he should libel the NBI, not rappler.  rappler was simply reporting what he is made out to be in certain reports.  it’s perfectly clear and straighforward reporting.   (7:50 = 7:14)

the NBI?  the NBI was not mentioned at all in the updated article.  but on headstart, davila repeated santos’s gripe for ressa’s lawyer (who was also on cam from some other location) to comment on, but i didn’t quite get the gist of jj disini’s convoluted response.

QUESTION.  sa NBI nga ba galing ang intell report?  paano nalaman ni vergel santos?  was that information contained in the original article but edited out of the 2014 updated version?  if yes, why?  maybe because the document was obtained and used by rappler without the knowledge and permission of the NBI?

and then there’s  this, from keng’s official statement dated feb 14.  meron daw siyang NBI clearance.

Rappler, Ressa and Santos never attempted to obtain my side on the crimes they wrongly imputed to me or to fact-check their baseless attacks against my name. I have never had a criminal record. For almost four decades since I started working, I have consistently secured official clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation certifying that I have never been involved in any criminal case and have never had any criminal history. Since the 1980’s, I have never been investigated by or summoned before any law enforcement agency in connection with any alleged criminal act, much less have I been indicted, arrested, detained or convicted of any crime in the Philippines. Further, the National Bureau of Investigation, as the central repository and chief administrator of the country’s criminal history records, would never have found in my favor and filed the complaint against Rappler, along with its concerned officers and reporter, for cyber libel concerning defamatory imputation of crime if had any criminal record or history in their files.

so.  ano ba talaga, ressa?  ano ba talaga, NBI?  who is telling the truth?  did ressa make up that intell report?  if not, how did she get hold of it?

in his official statement, sey din ni keng:

Upon seeing the libelous article and prior to resorting to judicial remedies, I tried to formally and informally communicate with Rappler in order to have the said article taken down, clear my name and restore my reputation, at least, to the extent possible given the fact that irreparable damage had already been done, multiplied a million-fold because Rappler’s website continues to be accessible by the whole world. In turn, Rappler, likewise through formal and informal channels, repeatedly promised me that they will take down the subject article, but never did. The libelous attacks remain posted on their website until now.  [bold mine]

*irreparable damage has multiplied a million-fold* … hmmm.  is that in pesos, as in millions of pesoses lost?

as expected, social media is awash with information on wilfredo keng — ito ba talaga ang gusto niyang mangyari?

going viral, for instance, is a facebook post, WHO IS WILFREDO KENG? with data from the Philippine Stock Exchange website and DENR.  it would seem that 2017 was “an exciting year for keng.”  and 2018 too, it would seem, given this: Century Peak picked to undertake PPP reclamation project in Cavite.  

rappler‘s article doesn’t seem to have stopped the duterte admin from awarding him big ticket projects.  and he certainly took long enough, waited, it would seem, almost five years before, umm, pouncing on ressa?  as if, on cue?

and then there’s this facebook status of friend steve “based on his observation of the cast of usual suspects.”

STEVE SALONGA. There is a deliberate all-media campaign to capitalize on the Ressa case. Ostensibly for election purposes but with the hope of some magical rainbow coalition forming to oust the President.  The president has no known relationship with the private complainant.

here’s hoping ressa is preparing to mount a serious defense rather than counting on extrajudicial and / or magical measures, as in, an edsa-for-ressa, what a punchline, and to what end?  edsas are for ousting presidents in the hope of systemic change, not for demanding…what?…uh, that the NBI and the BIR drop all charges against ressa?  or else, what?  and will setting her free to publish what she pleases solve any of the problems besetting nation today?

not in a million years.

pepsi paloma and the senate president

The Internet is like quicksand. The more aggressively you fight to remove yourself from it, the deeper you’re going to sink down into it.
— John Oliver 

… Essentially, what John means is that asking news companies and tech companies to remove articles about yourself makes you more famous for not only those articles which you want to be removed but also for the fact that you want to have them removed. In this case, Sotto wanted to remove articles about his involvement in the rape of Pepsi Paloma but, in doing so, he launched more articles into the Internet.

so, what was tito sotto thinking when he recently asked to take down articles on the pepsi paloma rape case?

I am writing in relation to my earlier request to remove from your news website all the published articles implicating me in the alleged rape of Pepsi Paloma, particularly on the withdrawal of her case, that happened several decades ago. I believe there was malicious imputation of a crime against me.

apparently the request was first made sometime 2016

Sotto said he has been asking the Inquirer to remove the article for over two years.

he was running for another term in the senate when in march he spoke up, finally, about the pepsi paloma case in a teleradyo interview.

“Hindi totoo ‘yan. Gimik yan ni Rey dela Cruz. (That wasn’t true. That was the gimmick of Rey dela Cruz.),” Sotto said

… Sotto, though he wasn’t involved in the alleged rape, was dragged into the controversy when he allegedly used his position in government to influence the court’s decision.

“It [alleged rape] happened in 1982. Eh 1988 ako naging Vice Mayor,” he told anchor Alvin Elchico on DZMM Teleradyo.

Sotto served as Vice Mayor of Quezon City before he was elected senator in 1992.

“In fact, Vic and Joey filed libel case against Rey dela Cruz. And there were reports in newspapers that time quoting Paloma and she said it’s not true,” Sotto said in Filipino.

“Kaya yang mga kumakalat sa Facebook, hindi totoo yan. Paninira lang mga yan. (Those [articles] circulating on Facebook, they’re false. They’re meant to malign me),” he added.

gimmick lang ng manager?  all just paninira?

he was re-elected, of course — eat bulaga! is a golden goose that lays golden eggs that the sotto brothers and joey de leon share generously with a gratefully adoring constituency who deliver the votes everytime: patronage politics, showbiz style.  two years later he sits as senate president, third highest post in the land, and he has asked inquirer, again, to take down the 3 articles.

To be specific, the following are the write-ups — with their corresponding publishing dates — I wish your company would delete:

The Rape of Pepsi Paloma by Rodel Rodis — March 05, 2014
Was Pepsi Paloma Murdered? By Rodel Rudis — March 15, 2014
Tito Sotto Denies Whitewashing Pepsi Paloma Rape Case by Totel V. de Jesus — March 03, 2016

These kinds of unverified articles have been negatively affecting my reputation for the longest time.  My efforts to clarify my side were somewhat ineffectual by reason of the afore-cited articles were shared by your readers to the social media, and those readers who knew nothing about the issue took them as version of truth considering that those reports came from a well-trusted company like

we might not even have heard about it — inquirer didn’t tell us the first time the request was made in 2016 — had not inquirer sent rodel rodis a copy of the senate prez’s may 29 letter that rodis posted on his facebook wall 15 june.

Sotto confirmed to Politiko that he has asked that the stories be removed because they were “libelous.”

“That issue was a rey dela cruz gimmick for soft drink beauties in 1982. I was not even involved. In fact i was not a public official then as alleged by the stories,” Sotto told Politiko in a text message.

june 19, rizal day, sotto sounded confident that inquirer would submit to his request and remove the articles.

That is the original fake news, so do not make a big deal out of it,” Sotto told reporters at the Senate on Monday.

Asked if he would file libel charges if failed to remove the articles, he replied: “They will.”

Pressed to confirm if he meant the Inquirer would take down the stories, he reiterated that these were “fake news, it’s original fake news.”

so.  it would seem that the senate prez is denying all of it — no rape by vic joey and richie happened sometime july 1982, therefore there was nothing for him to make areglo, and he had nothing to do with pepsi’s death by hanging (some say by strangulation) 3 years after the rape that didn’t happen.  and he expects that inquirer will take down the articles just because he says it’s all fake news.

so.  we imagined it all?  including the public apology reported by the people’s journal on october 13?  but but but i have a “TV Junkie” column to show for it, published in Parade magazine (edited by fred marquez) soon after the apology:

Now that Pepsi has forgiven Vic, Joey, and Richie, it’s back to show business as usual for the three musketeers. How nice.

When the news of the rape case first broke… I expressed incredulity. I couldn’t believe that Vic and Joey were insane enough to jeopardize their careers for a momentary macho thrill.

On second thought I realized that Pepsi couldn’t have completely contrived the situation. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Obviously, at some point in time, Vic & Co. got together with Pepsi & Co. Who set the meeting up and what occurred, we don’t know. Among other things, Pepsi & Co. claimed it was rape; Vic & Co. claimed it was a photo session.

I tried to follow the case closely but the major dailies treated it like backpage news. I had to be content with the skimpy reportage of afternoon tabloids.

There was mention of a missing Sulo waiter, a crucial witness, but no follow through. I wondered where he might be, what his story might be, and why we didn’t have snoopy reporters a la Lois Lane ferreting him out of hiding.

All through August and September the Sotto camp issued nothing but denials. Vic even had an alibi: he and brother Tito were at their mother’s house in Ermita at the time of the alleged rape.

And then the bomb. A letter of apology. An admission of guilt. Implicit. Unmistakable. “Dear Pepsi . . . We hope that you will not allow the error we have committed against you to stand as a stumbling block to that future which we all look forward to. We therefore ask you to find it in your heart to pardon us for the wrong which we have done against you. Sincerely…” (People’s Journal 13 October)

i even remember eat bulaga‘s post-apology special that was held in araneta coliseum.  it was supposed to be a test.  kung mapupuno nila ang coliseum, ibig sabihin ay napatawad sila ng madlang pipol.  and fill the big dome to the rafters they did.  the high point of the show was dina bonnevie’s surprise appearance, complete with a smack for hubby vic, to show the world that she too had forgiven him.  at least that’s the message i got.  

we didn’t really know much more about the rape case until 2004 when FPJ ran for president and hired tito sotto as campaign manager.  fundy soriano of People’s Tonight wrote in his “Talk Show” column:

HINDI nagkamali ang aktor na kandidatong pangulo na si FPJ sa pagkuha sa komedyanteng naging senador na si Tito Sotto bilang campaign manager dahil sanay na ito sa pag-areglo ng gusot na kinasangkutan ng mga taong malalapit sa kanya.

Hindi talaga nagkamali si Poe sa pagkuha kay Sotto dahil hasang-hasa na sa pagtatanggol at pagtutuwid ng mga sitwasyong baluktot.

Unang nasubukan ang galing ni Sotto noong Oct. 1982 nang pangunahan niya ang pag-areglo sa kasong rape na isinampa ng sexy stars na sina Pepsi Paloma at Guada Guarin laban sa kanyang kapatid na si Vic Sotto at mga kasamang sina Joey de Leon at Richie D’Horsie. Sa record ng kaso, nabulgar ang rape case nang lapitan ng ina ni Pepsi Paloma si Atty Rene Cayetano (ama ng senatorial candidate na si Pia Cayetano) para hingan ng tulong para makamtan ng kanyang anak ang katarungan na umanoy minolestiya ng tatlong host ng Eat Bulaga.

Nang nabatid na ikinakasa na ng naging senador na si Cayetano ang kaso sa piskalya ng QC, biglang naglaho ang tin-edyer na starlet na hindi nagtagal ay nabawi ng mga tauhan nina Col. Rolando Abadilla at Capt. Panfilo Lacson (yes, si Ping na kandidatong pangulo) ng MISG sa kamay ng kilalang hoodlum na si Ben Ulo. Umalingasaw ang pangalan ng mga Sotto nang aminin ni Ben Ulo na tauhan siya ng mga Castelo, maternal clan nina Tito at Vic.

Ayon kay Pepsi Paloma, umano’y mismong si Tito Sotto ang pumilit sa kanya na pirmahan ang affidavit of desistance para hindi matuloy ang kasong may parusang bitay. Tuluyang napigil ang pag-inog ng katarungan nang nagpakumbaba ang mga komedyante at naglabas ng public apology sa husgado kung saan inamin din ng mga ito ang nagawang krimen sa starlet na nagbigti ilang taon ang nakalipas dahil sa umano’y hindi pa rin nakalimutan ang kahalayang ginawa sa kanya ng mga artistang kabilang ngayon sa likod ng kandidatura ni Poe.  (May 8, 2004)

i found the above in an online exchange forum on the pepsi paloma rape case, posted by commenter no. 9.  i quoted it in enrile, sotto, pepsi #RH at the height of the RH debates in 2011.  the site has since been taken down, alas.  buti na lang na-copy-n-paste ko.  [it is also cited in former senator heherson alvarez’s blog]

i wonder if the senate prez really thinks he can erase all texts and images re the 1982 rape of pepsi paloma by the accused vic sotto joey de leon and richie d’horsie, as well as all the stories about how big brother tito, now the senate prez, made it all go away, how galing.  and he wasn’t even a vice-mayor, much less a senator, yet!

but rodis is right:

Rodel Rodis
16 June at 01:35 · The announced that it has not yet made a decision on whether to accede to Senate President Sotto’s “request” to remove my March 2014 articles implicating him in the 1982 rape of then 14 year old Filipino American actress Pepsi Paloma and in her subsequent murder two years later. Stay tuned. If Sotto succeeds, then Jinggoy Estrada, Bongbong Marcos, Duterte and even China will make similar demands that my critical articles about them should also be removed from the Inquirer website.

ito naman ang sey ni fr. eliseo “jun” mercado on his facebook wall:

I, too, wonder what the Pepsi Paloma and Tito Sotto issue was all about. Unresolved rape case?

thanks to the revisionist attempts of the senate president himself, the pepsi paloma rape case has finally become a cause célèbre.  it even trended on twitter, LOL, and the senate should be concerned about its steadily deteriorating image.  i would think this calls for a senate investigation, no kidding.  some of the personalities mentioned, said to have known about the case, are still alive.  juan ponce enrile.  panfilo lacson.  guada guarin.  fundy soriano?

googled guada guarin and found this on by RK Villacorta who chanced upon her in late 2015:

Masama ang loob ni Guada sa ilang mga taga-media na inungkat pa ang na isinampa nila na kaso noon ni Pepsi almost 35 years ago. “Tapos na yun, nag-public apology na sila sa amin,” kuwento ni Guada na ngayon ay isang spa manager.

too bad cayetano and abadilla are no longer with us.  but i sure would like to hear from JPE and ping lacson.  just to see whose side they’re on.

independence day blues in the time of duterte (kris rises and falls, yet again)

One hundred and twenty years ago, our ancestors raised the Philippine flag from a balcony in Kawit, Cavite to signify the beginning of our journey as a free nation. Hijacked by the United States of America right at the start, and interrupted by Japan during World War II, the quest for an independent Filipino nation has been an arduous process. It tested our fortitude and persistence as a people. It brought out the best, but also the worst in us.

read the rest of randy david’s The challenge of nationhood in our time.  what he says about our postwar leaders continues to apply to our leaders until today.

… if the revolutionary struggle had been painful and costly, the aftermath was perhaps even more so. The moral and political choices that had to be made under conditions of formal self-rule were less clear. In the immediate postwar years, our leaders found it hard to resist the easy path offered by those who sought to control the nation’s future. Political opportunism grew in the fertile ground of the popular thought that the country had suffered enough and badly needed relief.

… In the process, perhaps without realizing it, we gave up the opportunity to rebuild our people’s inner strength, tap their skills and talents, and create the basic foundation for a strong nation. The examples of Japan, South Korea and Vietnam demonstrate the truism that the rebuilding of a country destroyed by war begins with the rekindling of the people’s energy and belief in themselves.

… The quality of leadership, both at the national and local levels, has undoubtedly been at the core of this national inability to rebound from misery and soar into greatness. Lacking in vision and selflessness, our leaders have done well for themselves, using political power to bolster their own selfish interests.

But they have left the rest of the nation behind…

“they” are all of the elite, all of the oligarchy — pro- and anti-duterte, pro- and anti-marcos, pro-and anti-aquino, pro- and anti-america, pro- and anti-china — and their media arms and other enablers.  they are all complicit in the sad and worsening state of nation.

this was driven home hard by the kris aquino episode vs. mocha uson who dared liken duterte’s pucker-up kiss-muna moment in south korea to ninoy aquino being kissed by lady admirers moments before he deplaned and was assassinated in august 1983.  read rosario a. garcellano’s Kissing pictures:

But can parallel behavior be actually observed in the pictures of the President kissing a member of his audience and of Ninoy Aquino being kissed by admirers? I think not, if only in the fundamental terms of one being the kisser and the other the kissee. One solicited the occasion for the contact (to entertain and amuse, and also as part of “the culture of Filipinos,” according to his explainers); the other submitted to the act, with an awkward grin.

Kris Aquino was well within her rights to take loud umbrage, even if, as Uson claimed, “this is not about you.”

indeed.  that was uson at her most malicious and unthinking worst yet.  i was immensely pleased for ninoy when kris rose to the occasion, challenging uson to a debate, or sampalan and sabunutan, one-on-one, what fun!  alas, uson copped out, LOL, what a loser.

and then there’s kris, who pala, while making hamon uson to a real catfight, reached out to bong go, no less, na kaibigan pala niya.

krisaquino I took the courage to reach out to PRRD’s SA Bong Go (sorry sa initial post, nag auto correct to Gong-although cute yung Bong Gong)… thank you commissioner Aimee Neri for helping me reach him via text. I have known & liked him for 8 years. In this instance I am Ninoy’s daughter- he believed in the power of true & honest communication… SA Bong, thank you for your reply. Thank you for taking my feelings as a daughter into consideration & showing me EMPATHY. I am most grateful for a man as powerful as you are now for texting & vibering me the words “we are sorry for the incident.” You have my sincere gratitude.  We all have 1 goal, a nation we can be proud of, and the best possible prosperous lives for all Filipinos. I love our country as much as our president does. I pray for #PEACE & mutual respect for all of us. God bless you.

ito naman ang pinost ni bong go na pinost ni kris sa kanyang instagram.

Christopher Bong Go  Kanina po, dahil ipinag-utos ni Presidente Duterte sa akin, I relayed a sincere apology to Kris.  We apologized because nasaktan siya and we wish to reiterate that sincere apology once again.  Sabi nga ng pangulo, “respetuhin dapat natin ang patay.” Iyong po ang pinanggagalingan ng apology namin.

Nirerespeto din namin ang opinyon ng mga supporters ng pangulo na nasasaktan din sa patuloy na pagbatikos sa kanya sa kabila ng lahat ng nagawa niya para sa ating bayan.”

(huh? so kung buhay si ninoy, okay lang?)  at kinausap din daw ni bong go si uson.

Christopher Bong Go Nag-usap kami ni Mocha at nagkasundo na tapusin na ang isyung ito. We all agreed to put this issue to rest out of respect to all our fellow Filipinos. I believe that politics should not divide us. Magtulungan na lang tayo kaysa mag-away away, para sa ikabubuti ng bayan.

at heto uli si kris, grateful for the “olive branch” from the powerful bong go upon the orders of the most powerful man…

krisaquino  Alam kong damned if you, damned if you don’t ako… but i was brought up to recognize an “olive branch” when it is being offered. Alam ko yung mga natitirang LP will bash me & the DDS will never like me. Alam ko rin na sasabihan akong bakit ako nagpapauto. Pero ito ang pananaw ko- the most powerful man, President Duterte affirmed my pain. When all his supporters have called me the most hateful names- th man who doesn’t say SORRY- inutusan ang kanyang pinaka pinagkakatiwalaan na mag relay ng SINCERE apology sa kin. Anak akong nakipaglaban na bigyan ng respeto ang magulang kong patay na. Sa puso ko, naramdaman ko na yun. So #carebears na po sa lahat ng babatikusin alo. In my critics words- this “media whore” “bitch” and “kulang sa pansin” BINIGYAN ng panahon at importansya ng pangulo ng ating bansa. Pasensya na kung #BRAT ang tingin ninyo pero this was a #WIN for the memory of the 2 people i love-unfortunately for the HATERS i am here to stay.

needless to say, what a waste.  kris was in a position to demand, at the very least, that uson be fired and replaced with someone bright, smart, and competent.  then we could stop wasting time arguing over the false comparisons and flippantly facetious questions that uson specializes in to distract from her daddy digong’s every perversion.

but the real question is: why did kris fold so quickly?  basta na lang tumiklop, invoking nation yet, as does bong gong.  i was still wondering about that when i saw this on facebook.

Angelo Suarez

Pantabla kay Kris Aquino, ang alas ng mga maka-Duterte ay Hacienda Luisita.

Ang Central Azucarera de Tarlac sa loob ng Hacienda Luisita ay pag-aari ng mga Lorenzo, pamilya ng mga landlord na kakutsaba ng mga Cojuangco-Aquino sa panglalandgrab.

Sino ang abogado ng mga Lorenzo sa pangangamkam nito ng lupa sa pamamagitan ng Lapanday Foods Corporation sa Tagum?

Sino ang abogado ng mga Lorenzong nagbantang babarilin ang mga magsasakang papasok sa lupang dapat naman ay sa kanila?

Si Manases Carpio, asawa ni Sara Duterte.

connect the dots.  they who have left the nation behind, they are all in this together.  let us keep that in mind as we navigate the muddy waters of our national life and pursue our struggle for independence.


independence day blues (in the time of gloria)
the real rigodon 
june 12, what’s to celebrate (in the time of pNoy)
Is the Philippines a lost cause? by john nery
Nothing to celebrate? by rina jimenez-david
Independence Day? End of the Republic by jarius bondoc