“Thanks, Senator Poe”

Senators Binay, Sotto, Poe and Pacquiao at fake news hearing. [Photo by Alex Nuevaespaña/PRIB, via Rappler]

By Joe America

The Senate hearing on fake news earlier this week was rich with insights from various mass media and social media personalities. It also included PCOO Sec Martin Andanar and Usec Lorraine Badoy who, along with Asec Mocha Uson (who was not there, but was a key subject of discussion), seem to have no grasp whatsoever of democratic ethical behavior by government officials.

Their loyalty is to President Duterte, not the Constitution or laws requiring proper behavior by government officials. They represent the ‘power’ segment of the population we discussed in a recent article. Most other people at the hearing represented the democratic segment (Power, stagnation, and democracy). Power lost the debate, on this day. Democracy and free speech won.

I’d like to commend Senator Poe on the quality of resource people attending and the richness of discussion. The hearing was necessary and productive. I ridicule Senator Poe a lot for being a populist (a kind of power player) rather than a true advocate for democracy. But she confronted Andanar directly about the need to separate Mocha Uson or her blog from government, even citing the laws that apply. Any popularity flowing to Poe from the hearing is deserved.

Many people are starting to think Uson is a valuable asset for the opposition because she relentlessly embarrasses the Duterte government through her wrong facts and hostility toward ‘yellows’. She incites people to strike back. SHE is the big destabilizer of Duterte, not critics. Hmmmmm . . .

Let me also say that I have become rather fond of Senator Nancy Binay. I think she has grown up on the job. She’s always seemed like a sweet kid who was stuck in the wrong family. But now the sweet is becoming principle, and her principles are excellent. I wish her well. I hope she sticks with working on the peoples’ business and lets her family deal with their issues apart from that.

The committee issued a subpoena to blogger/techie Cocoy Dayao to force him to attend the next hearing. I consider Cocoy a personal friend from years of blog discussions. He, along with Karl Garcia and others, mentored me on the Philippines when I first joined blog discussions. Senator Sotto seems to want to extract vengeance from Cocoy because Sotto was labeled a dog by blogger ‘Silent No More’ because he didn’t vote on a particular bill. As I understand it, Cocoy is not ‘Silent No More’, he just provides the operating platform for that blog. And others.

Such dense people these senators are, and so vengeful. It’s as if they want to wang wang their way through the free speech rights of citizens, so privileged that they must never receive criticism. I hope Cocoy appears, provides the facts, and recites the TRUTH about the chilling effect of politicians with thin skins lording it over citizen bloggers.

To me, there is no problem whatsoever about bloggers other than: (1) what the government provokes with its hostility toward critics or people in the way (CJ Sereno), and (2) the rising awareness of how people are gaming social media platforms. Cure for the first is simple. Government needs to stop employing divisive propagandists like Uson and Badoy and stop dividing citizens into good and bad; just report on the work being done. Cure for the second is not so simple. The next hearing will start to address this, so that’s excellent.

I agree with the resource people at the hearing who argued that new laws are not needed. Just work with those on the books now. Registering bloggers or banning pseudonyms is a march toward the dark ages and a huge waste of time.

There’s also the problem of how the fast and furious pace of communications is dumbing us all down and giving us the attention span of a stoned gnat. It’s a problem we must each deal with if we hope to avoid becoming intellectual zombies ourselves. Schools ought also do work in this area, although my confidence in Philippine educators finding out a way to be useful is way, way down.

But write we shall, for write we must.


54 Responses to ““Thanks, Senator Poe””
  1. karlgarcia says:

    Again, thanks for the mention.
    I, togetger with the rest of the TSoH will continue to be here for you.

    Regarding Poe and Binay, you just call a spade a spade.

  2. arlene says:

    Good morning Joeam. I watched it too. The question is: Is it time to shut down Uson’s blog? I admire those bloggers who attended the hearing, they were so articulate and their ideas made sense to me. I disgree with Pacman, no sense talaga. I am a blogger too and not all bloggers write about Philippine politics. Mine is personal. Why register, eh identified naman who is the owner of the blog.

  3. NHerrera says:

    The current blog picture: Senators Binay, Sotto, Poe and Pacquiao at the Senate Fake News Hearing. And the winners are: Senators Poe, Binay and the non-zombies in the PH. (What power contrast gives — in some pictures, it is almost sacrilegious to see a certain one among the others.)

    Thanks for another timely and meaningful blog essay, Joe.

  4. Mocha Uson already did a rebuttal on her blog and gave a statement addressed to Poe that she will only close down her Facebook blog if her Ka-DDS want her to. Andanar is doubling down on supporting her and said if Mocha has to close her Facebook account then all government employees should do the same. Ah, the importance of Mocha to this administration is unbelievable.

    Trolls already started attacking Poe by spreading fake news stating that Poe wanted PH Facebook closed. That maybe because she has the guts to ask hard questions about PCOO and Mocha during the hearing. Pinoy Ako blog also got threatening emails. She also reports that someone came to her residence claiming to be from a Telco and asked her Mom personal info about her.

    These vengeful acts need to stop. The PCOO need to get it together and be true to their duties and responsibilities. The election is over, do your job!

    • NHerrera says:

      “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive” — Sir Walter Scott

      Andanar and Uson, weave some more.

      • NHerrera says:


        I know there is an appropriate word to use, but will not use it and just say, don’t Andanar or Uson wince with some embarrassment or distaste “off camera”?

    • Power stops when it is forcefully stopped, not when asked. It is fascinating to watch the thuggery at work. So unkind and uncivil. But these people have no moral scruples. They are bullies, getting high on punching people.

    • manangbok says:

      I watched the hearing and Grace Poe did not even say that closing Facebook is a good idea. But nowy FB timeline is showing posts that say Poe wants to close Facebook! Talk about hearsay!

      In any case, yeah Mocha is a major, major important person in the government right now that closing her Facebook page would mean closing the FB page of other govt employees. This is false equivalence and Andanar just showed how more powerful Mocha is compared to him …. despite the fact that he is her boss.

      Why don’t he just hold an umbrella over Mocha’s head the same way a Supreme Court justice did for Imelda Marcos once upon a time? That would be more honest.

  5. edgar lores says:

    1. And “No thanks, Senator Pacquiao.”

    2. I flinch whenever you open your mouth.

    3. I was going to examine the inanity of your proposal to register bloggers in order to control them, but life is too short.

    4. As VP Robredo says, it’s a waste of time: “Mas maraming mahalagang issues na dapat tayong [pag]tuunan.”

    (Translation: “We have a lot of important issues to address.”)

    5. G’day to you, sir.

  6. andrewlim8 says:

    I think the long-term solution to fake news is for people to voluntarily withdraw from using platforms like Facebook etc. who game their news feeds according to user preference (w/o regard to credibility) with the end goal of having more clicks and eyeballs which is used to price ad placements. (recent news: first time Facebook usage declined)

    What makes for a reputable source of news? Aha a good idea for a separate blog. Just like when you shop for reputable stores or repair shops – credentials, backgrounds, history, past work, quality of work, etc.

    Probably the dumbest remarks I have heard in recent history is “Sabi sa Facebook…” which is no different from “Sabi sa internet…” or “Sabi ni Mang Jimmy…”

    Too many gullible Filipinos.

  7. Am seriously considering closing my fb acct.

  8. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    On what’s happening these days in the country, this is an egocentric comment: Those born (not all) of my generation grew up with wisened superstition and old peoples’ proverbs (of wisdom). Examples: Pag may isnuksok, may titingalain. Kung ano ang itinanim siyang aanihin. Matalino man daw ang matsing, napaglalangan din. Kung ano ang puno siya ang bunga at saka lintik lang ang walang ganti.

    Over the years these sayings had been modified or replaced with new ones like: Hindi baleng loko-loko (nagagamot) wag lang tanga (hindi nagagamot); Ang bobo wala nang pag-asang matuto; ang mababaw na tagihawat nagiging pigsa; matamis man o maasim ang manga ay hindi magbubunga ng santol o sampalok.

    I have read so much and many times in English the saying: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I remember old folks with rigid values saying snakes don’t give birth to worms. In a milder sense, creeps only give birth to creeps. I don’t blame my Lola for her rigid principles she had imparted on us. She did not know science then that phenomenon needs sufficient experimentation to establish a fact of nature.

    The winds now blowing controversies to my twice over alma mater and former workplace made me think of suitable unlibelous and non judgmental words like sinkholes and garbage hills–higher and lower topography of the mind. Ang babaw na kaisipan, ang taas na kamang-mangan. Ang pamantasan (university) ay dalubhasaan ng karunungan pangkalahatan. I can only think of Blowing in the Wind as the song of shallows pervading the Diliman Republic.

    This is the PACQUIAO tsunami that starts with a left hook followed by 20 left and right straights and uppercuts to the face and the kidney midsection, translated into lyrics of life’s ultimate metaphor. Please listen, chew and masticate the message.

    • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

      Despite the eche bucheche of the world’s human and natural liabilities, the sexiness era of my contemporaries from 1937 to the present can be captured in the four or so songs I have just posted here. Go Google and masticate the message in the lyrics. Just 4 songs to encapsulate 80 years of heavenly existence.

  9. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    enjoy . . .

  10. Inday Espina-Varona: “The REAL reason for stepped up anti-insurgency war: Duterte tells Lumad he will decide how their lands will be used and rhapsodizes about palm oil plantations.”

    This the transcript of PRD’s speech that Inday translated:

    Click to access 20180201-Speech-of-President-Rodrigo-Roa-Duterte-at-the-Panagtagbo-Alang-sa-Kalinaw-ug-Kalambuan-An-Indigenous-Peoples-Leaders’-Summit.pdf

    Hmmm… Isn’t that landgrabbing?

    The pitting of UP students and Lumad is making some sense to me now.

  11. chemrock says:

    Grace Poe missed a great opportunity to do a Santiago when Mocha said she will close down her blog if the millions of followers ask hre to.

    Santiago would have said something like :
    “You close down that blog if and when you break some laws. Now sit down and don’t open your filthy mouth unless you have something constructive to contribute.”

  12. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    In this TSoH segment, this is my last comment.

    In Canada, I jumped at the chance and grabbed at a book sale three volumes weighing may be 5 kilos. It cost me $1.50 for the lot. The first volume is about the Canadian Establishment, the other two volumes were titled THE TITANS (of Canada). Those books I haven’t read yet. Too heavy for old hands to hold. It is about Canada’s Power Elite. I’m in no hurry to read because I can see and experience first hand what the POWER ELITE did to Canada and its people. Curious? Please Go Google Canadian Peter C. Newman.

    I believe from my Lola about what she said in effect about APPLES and APPLE TREES. The Filipino establishment, the country’s power elite are APPLES of many varieties as they populate the higher ramparts of the three co-equal branches of corruption este governance.

    I keep that in mind when I look at the photos in newspapers (even in this current blog). To the many like me, there’s the supreme irony that our Lolas source of our values, were even no read no write beautiful souls.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I still remember the lessons of my lola, she is probably with in the age range of your mom.
      I remember her version of di bale nang madehado huwag lang mang dehado.(I think she used api)
      And one other thing that stuck to me was when I was scolded about the”my school is better stuff”.

  13. Sup says:

    We don’t have own brains anymore…we are now a collective……buy one take 9


    • karlgarcia says:

      Confirmed yang seatmates group.
      They often hangout at the Makati Shang.
      Now that Nancy is with them, they might ask Nancy to shoulder the costs.

      • karlgarcia says:

        That was what I thought, a reelectionists group meeting.

      • chemrock says:

        Makati Shang? Convenient. It’s near to a condo where I was told many politicians keep their mistress there.

          • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

            Though the song struck me as a winner for Golden Globe award, I did not finish it when the rendition and lyrics suggested to me it’s a song by a wakarang worshipping a wakarang.

            • Sup says:

              She’s there like the heat, she dances like the fireflies
              I’m torn like the wind, there’s magic in her eyes…
              I’m a slave to her love, I’m fooled by her disgui-ise
              That mistress of mi-ine, that mistress of mine
              She turns like the tide and takes me where I’ve never been
              There’s peace at her side, she’s a lady and a gypsy quee-een
              I’m caught by her spell, sometimes I wish I’d never see-een
              That mistress of mi-ine, that mistress of mine
              So I say to myself, it’s no good being left in the co-old
              It’s no fun to be out on a she-e-elf
              And so sad to be lonely when your old
              But I’ll never give in, I accept the way that she lives
              But could I ever start agai-ai-ain
              If I cease to share the love that she gives
              That mistress of mi-ine
              Dah-da-da-dah, dah-da-dah
              Dah-da-dah, dah-da-dah, dah-da-dah
              She’s there like the heat, she dances like the fireflies
              I’m torn like the wind, there’s magic in her eyes…
              I’m a slave to her love, I’m fooled by her disgui-ise
              That mistress of mi-ine, that mistress of mine
              So I say to myself, it’s no good being left in the co-old
              It’s no fun to be out on the she-e-e-elf
              And so said to be lonely when your old
              But I’ll never give in, I accepted the way that she lives
              But could I ever start agai-ai-ain
              If I cease to share the love that she gives
              That mistress of mi-ine
              Oh-oh-oh, ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ahh
              She’s a mistress, mistress of mi-i-i-ine
              She’s a mistress, mistress of mi-i-i-i-ine
              She’s a mistress, that mistress of mi-i-i-i-i-ine…

  14. Vhin AB says:

    I’m just happy that there’s a Senate hearing on “FAKE NEWS”. Good job to those senators mentioned here.

  15. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    Some commodities really come very cheap if you buy them in bulk. But they are contaminants and disease bearing commodities that some people won’t accept them even if they are given free. You got to pay the takers. Ask the Malabanan Siphoning Services whom you have to pay good money just to get rid of the by-products of human metabolism. These feces are useful in some countries as fertilizers because they are actually hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen found in the atmosphere. World-wide, very few organizations become septic tanks. And that’s being metaphorical. .

    • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

      so sorry, recent memory failed me again, the above post should be in the next blog had I been true to my word.

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