Tomorrow, the Marcos Restoration will be complete. I guess our last chance to stop it was in 2016, but back in 2013, disinformation in social media was already entrenched, and was fully deployed starting in end-2015, battle-tested in 2016 elections, and never looked back ever since.
I hope we all reflect on how this happened, and how we contributed to disinformation. Yes, whether we like it or not, we contributed to it. How? Outrage culture. DIsinformation fed on that, latched on social anger, presented a false picture that people are angry and that the Marcos years were better.
And now that the Marcoses will return to the pinnacle of political power, despite all the hardships that we are experiencing, where was that loud, noisy anger that we are used to hear from 2013? There are angry noises, sure, but not as loud as 2013-2016. And there’s no need to amplify them – now starts the suppression.
Suppression has started back in 2016 – when dissenting voices are drowned by praises of the Duterte regime. If the murder of Kian de los Santos happened during the Aquino 2.0 administration, Aquino would have been lynched. Yet the anger in 2017 was at most muted.
Every dissenter was labeled dilawan – a word that became derogatory despite not having a clear definition. The Marcos disinformation machine used the label to shame those who voiced opposition to Duterte, making them an enemy of the fanatical mob – a mob ignorant of the cesspool of lies that they are drowning into. The mob needed an “other” to despise, to distract them from the errors and crimes of the Duterte regime.
ABS-CBN, Rappler, and Philippine Daily Inquirer were made examples of by the Duterte regime – continue to oppose us and we’ll use every law to suppress you. Duterte is now on record stated that he used his political power to convince Congress to deny ABS-CBN a franchise – and a rubber stamp House – full of scums – delivered, in a silver platter, the death of ABS-CBN as a broadcasting concern. Rappler was thrown tax cases; its Malacanang reporter, disaccredited; Maria Ressa, with multiple libel cases; continuously discredited by trolls and paid hacks/influencers; and finally ordered shut down by the SEC. Duterte humiliated PDI’s owners by calling them squatters and forcing them out of Mile Long property in Makati. (As a side note, Duterte appointed to Sandiganbayan the judge who ordered the eviction. In Sandiganbayan, she was ponente of the decision that convicted Imelda Marcos.) Are there any journalist from other outfits who have been vocal against Duterte? Suppression works.
Because traditional media did not fight back, the Marcos campaign treated it like it does not exist. The Marcos campaign deliberately skipped all televised debates except for a friendly TV station. Because traditional media did not push back, the incoming press secretary is planning to accredit the (most likely, Marcos-paid) vloggers, in an attempt to control the flow of information and finally push traditional media into irrelevance.
The Marcos campaign was driven by disinformation, and the incoming Marcos regime will only thrive through a deadly and nakakabobong combination of disinformation and suppression.
(Six more years of this? Enjoy it while it last, fanatics. For when the inevitable economic collapse happens, only then you will realize that you have been had. And by then, it will be too late.)