Making the case that DDS form an organized terrorist group

[From Saturday Evening Post]

Analysis and Opinion

By Joe America

Democracy is under attack worldwide. It’s time to come to her defense, eh?

It struck me that the “DDS” enterprise is a terrorist group in the way it bands together to designate and harass specific targets from Maria Ressa to Vice President Robredo to Frankie Pangilinan, and demean classes of citizens (yellows). Name-calling, misrepresentation, threats . . . these are all a part of the arsenal. So I mused on Twitter that they ought to be prosecuted as a terrorist group under the new Anti-Terrorism Law.

It got a favorable response from aforesaid yellows.

Caveat: I am not a lawyer, but I can read.

Well, I set out to explore this idea further but it quickly hit a dead end because the new law is not set up as a public police operation. Any terrorist designation has to be sourced through National Security and then be submitted to and approved by the Anti-Terrorism Council. This Council is staffed largely by Executive Cabinet heads or top officials.

So getting the Government to declare the presumably State backed DDS propaganda effort a terrorist organization would be a lot like asking criminals to indict themselves. (I’m not saying Cabinet officials are crooks. I’m saying they will not point to crooks within Executive who are subordinate to themselves.)

Still, I remain intrigued by the idea, in defense of democracy and the Philippine Constitution. Besides, who knows who will staff the Council in 2022. So let me try to use the language of the law to craft a logical approach. It means I have to slip into a Calida mindset where the law is the weapon to be applied to achieve a certain goal. The goal is to get DDS labeled as a terrorist organization and its leaders and main players put in jail.

Three definitions in the Anti-Terror Law seem pertinent and are cited here, along with my notations as to why they are important.

Critical Infrastructure shall refer to an asset or system, whether physical or virtual, so essential to the maintenance of vital societal functions or to the delivery of essential public services that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on national defense and security, national economy, public health or safety, the administration of justice, and other functions analogous thereto. It may include, but is not limited to, an asset or system affecting telecommunications, water and energy supply, emergency services, food security, fuel supply, banking and finance, transportation, radio and television, information systems and technology, chemical and nuclear sectors.

Notation: As the introductory quote from Benjamin Franklin says, freedom of speech is a vital societal function, the incapacity or destruction of which would have a debilitating impact on all aspects of societal well-being. DDS seek to end free speech in favor of ‘loyalty speech’, thus denying Filipinos the right to crucial knowledge serving as the foundation to healthy, productive self-determination.

Proposal to Commit Terrorism is committed when a person who has decided to commit any of the crimes defined and penalized under the provisions of this Act proposes its execution to some other person or persons.

Notation: The Law is very keen on recognizing and stopping organized terror. That’s why associates are as guilty as the organizers under the law. When a State official (or private party) decides to suppress free speech through intimidation, deceits, and misinformation to intimidate and terrorize Filipinos into silence or ‘loyalty speech”, and recruits a network of influencers and trolls to exercise the destruction of honest free will, he has undertaken the building of an organization with intent to commit terrorism.

Training shall refer to the giving of instruction or teaching designed to impart a specific skill in relation to terrorism as defined hereunder, as opposed to general knowledge.

Notation: The operatives under the DDS ‘loyalty speech’ organization are given guidance as to whom to attack and what to say, either explicitly or implicitly as operatives following the guidance of influencers. This is a clear indication of an organized intent to commit terror.

Section 4 defines Terrorism in considerable detail. The following edited exerpt sets aside aspects of the definition that do not apply to the DDS terrorist approach in order to see exactly what does apply.

Terrorism . . . is committed by any person who, within or outside the Philippines, regardless of the stage of execution: . . .  (c) Engages in acts intended to cause extensive interference with, damage or destruction to critical infrastructure; . . .when the purpose of such act, by its nature and context, is to intimidate the general public or a segment thereof, create an atmosphere or spread a message of fear, to influence by intimidation . . .or seriously destabilize or destroy the fundamental . . . social structures of the country  . . . shall be guilty of committing terrorism and shall suffer the penalty of life imprisonment without the benefit of parole . . .

Notation: The language goes on to state that it does not apply to dissent, advocacy, or civil actions, those being protected by the Constitution. However, these exceptions do not apply to organized efforts to destroy or intimidate the truth or reputations of Filipino citizens. The Constitution does not intend to allow people to falsely yell “fire” in public spaces.

So we can see that the framework to declare the DDS enterprise to be a terrorist organization indeed exists. Their aim is malicious, it destroys crucial citizen rights to free and open discussion . . .  the foundation of democracy . . . and it is highly organized.

The next steps would be:

  1. To spend time defining how malicious “loyalty speech” is when it is used to rob Filipinos of their right to truth in the honest and earnest exercise of their responsibilities as informed citizens. It must be defined as clearly separate from political advocacy, which promotes an individual, in favor of destroying citizen freedoms and well-being.
  2. To identify the principals in the State’s (or a private party’s) organized networks aimed at silencing citizens through targeted, massive intimidation and threat.
  3. Use technology to trace the networks to identify the principals and influencers who need to be jailed for life.
  4. Find the lawyers willing to submit a case through the National Security apparatus, to the Anti-Terrorism Council.
  5. Use free speech and a free press to inform citizens of the effort being undertaken to defend their well-being as a check against officials who might be disinclined to allow the initiative to see the light of day.


35 Responses to “Making the case that DDS form an organized terrorist group”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    Threats, mockery,libel is no longer about being able to take insults and fighting back.

    First to figure out.
    How can Commission on Human Rights be a respected institution?
    How can CHR be empowered?

    If the UN Human Rights Office and Anti-Terror office see eye to eye on most issues, why can’t we do that.

    • karlgarcia says:

      With people like Marcoleta, How can the CHR be a functioning institution?
      Remember the move for the CHR to have a measly 1000 budget?

      • kasambahay says:

        now, that’s what I call malice, marcoleta being malicious, for how can a big org like chr can manage on a 1000pesos budget? buti pati yong naka covid lockdown, mas malaki ang perang natanggap.

        • karlgarcia says:

          May Iba ng ang department tinatakot nila ng 1 peso budget Lalo na pag bagoong salang sa investigation.

          • karlgarcia says:

            * email address mistyped.

            Congress should stop doing the 1 peso budget threats instead find ways to make them more accountable.


            • kasambahay says:

              there are people who’d agree with abante, a future peso budget for ntc for its dastardly about face. now, that’s what I call insertion: ntc’s promise of probationary license supplanted/inserted/corrupted with cdo, cease and ‘disease’ order. pun intended, rather a sickening act.

              it was already suggested that ntc be disbanded and handing ntc a future peso budget is lifeline meant to make ntc survive another day another month another year, and another round of talk. dapat no means no, disband ntc and see how ntc bigwigs enjoy being jobless. methink that would put them on par with abs-cbn employees on the verge of losing their jobs too.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Dati nung DOTC pa ang DOT, they were redundant na.

                Then DICT was created they removed Communications from DOTC.
                Sa zoom hearing about ODL
                The NTC people might have been in mute mode, they were not able to contribute when needed most.

                One more
                were you awaken by the sms of NTC reminding us of the Pre- SONA?

              • kasambahay says:

                citizens dont need reminder, they’re not the ones sleeping on the job and often late for meetings. reminder should be sent to the one who rarely attends mga araw ng kagitingan, no show on days of national concerns, missing ceremonies, etc.

                he had better not miss his own sona, lol!

                looking for backdrop yata ang tauhan niya, to make sona more palatable. sagada and banawe both declined the honor, still trying to isolate their localities from pandemic and keeping everyone safe.

                better for his tauhan to use west phil sea as backdrop, sky and wide open spaces full of fishing vessels with friend communist china providing ‘security’ both on air and sea.

                jolo would be perfect sona backdrop too. see here? this is the reason why terror bill is passed, lol!

              • karlgarcia says:

                That sms text blast was for the staff of Duterte to wake him up, na damay lang ang buong bayan.

              • kasambahay says:

                I would have called it spam, what ntc has done. for a regulatory body to be spamming, there is big fine for it. methink, that would constitute abuse of position.

              • I think NTC is bowing to Calida under threat of some kind of legal or administrative action. I don’t recall the details.

              • kasambahay says:

                top lawyer, top terrorist, poorly educated me cannot see the difference, lol! on covid lockdown and not allowed to go anywhere, lacking food and mostly on alcoholic stupor and already fast losing weight, I seem to see terror everywhere, my mind playing tricks on me. though not wielding armalite and holed up in the mountians, calida knows where to plant his own ieds, improvised explosive devices, literally, lol!

                now, him is what I would call fast emerging legal terror practitioner calida is, unrestrained and go everywhere and no amount of road block can hold him. kulang na lang ng quad bike and he’d be all terrain.

                those who may be more than able to put him in his nitso, niche? are busy sucking on terror lollypops and doing the backburner while true terror are rampant on the motorbikes again sometimes suvs and on killing sprees.

                law abiding citizens have nothing to fear sabi; so apparently; ironically, karamihan pala are not law abiding and have so much to fear, the law is stacked against them!

                for once, I really wish drilon had deferred saying a thing, and calida and ntc to have a legal showdown. the things both calida and ntc could have unburdened? legendary!

  2. NHerrera says:


    Humans are an interesting lot. Whether done for an honest reason or contrived, it provides a theory or rational for an action or policy.

    In the scientific world, a rational or theory is abandoned or modified if a clear case can be shown to counter the theory or embarrass the proponent.

    But not so in the political world. And so although the DDS Program may be shown to form a Terrorist Group as defined in the Terrorist Bill, it proceeded unimpeded. Because among others the Judicial System all the way to the SC is pliant.

    • karlgarcia says:

      How many justices are appointed by Duterte so far?
      Still crossing my fingers that they will decide well on the Anti-Terror or Terror Law rather.

    • kasambahay says:

      aba, nherrera, not so pliant po itong yours truly at mabunganga pa. good manners and right conduct has been okayed and now made subject to be taught at school, these education people probly have me in mind, lol!

      good manners and right conduct and gotta teach them young. big chasm, big disparity, coz those at the top rarely have manners! do as I say kiddo just dont do what I do. hala nakawan ng todo! at maryosep, may congresista pa naman na walang galang sa lupang hinirang! tapos, galit ngayon, cyber bullied kuno siya with netizens calling the congresista off! my heart is broken dahil self inflected ang natamo ng congresistang yan. next time, congresista will be respectful and give pugay to flag ceremony at lupang hinirang. hindi pa naman tayo china, e.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Would another comment count as dominating the blog?

      Last for today.

      I saw one Twitter user being labeled as terrorist(mockingly)and asked her and her family to hide.

      That summarizes Joe’s point.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Only four petitions were filed today.

      • kasambahay says:

        I hear warning bells. petitioners vs terror bill need to take precaution.

          • kasambahay says:

            terrorists dont need coronavirus for opportunities to malinger and sow fear. they seized moments and create their own opportunities, and certainly dont need un chief’s blessing or dictum.

            it’s the terrorists hiding in plain sight that we should be more concern. communist china passed security law to terrorize hapless hongkongers, confiscating commercial buildings like hotels and turning them into security headquarters and spy hubs, methink.

            and and likewise our country passed terror bill on all law abiding citizens just because the extended martial law in the south failed and did not meet objective.

            un chief should instead warn world leaders not to take advantage of coronavirus and entrench themselves more in power, plunder the country for more borrowings to fund barely existing covid war chest. billions in debt already and infection is still rising, the virus still ruining both economy and businesses, education on hold and lives changed drastically.

  3. playamoth says:

    Diehard Duterte Supporters is a smokescreen to deflect on the original meaning of DDS which is Davao Death Squad.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Duterte’s campaign people did that on purpose.
      The thing is they made people think that the death squads are figments of someone’s imagination.

  4. kasambahay says:

    these days, dds seem to be highly untouchable na, do as they like at daig pa ang may anting-anting. all seems to be operating right under the noses of both law and order and no longer the next door neighbor irritants.

    behind every dds yata is an astute politician, a practising lawyer, a highly paid public servant, govt agents, etc. today’s dds is barely the same dds decades ago, got all the help and backing they need, their existence enhanced financially and politically.

    what can we do about dds? joeam has very good idea, calling dds for what they are, a terrorist organisation is good start. of course laban is not patas but we laban anyway, hopeless ang laban but we hope anyway and carry on.

    terrorist organisation using terror law on citizens? may basbas na.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    Why leaders who terrorize people need anti-terrorism laws

  6. NHerrera says:

    Off topic


    I love this op-ed piece written by Sen. Tammy Duckworth in nytimes.

    Tammy Duckworth: Tucker Carlson Doesn’t Know What Patriotism Is

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