Was the ABS-CBN hijacking a tipping point for decency?

[From CBCP web site]


By Joe America

I call the ABS-CBN licensing case a hijacking because the company, from all indications . . .  including regulatory reports . . . is a decent company that managed to anger the President by not running some of his campaign ads.

So as Chief Justice Sereno was hijacked before, and Senator De Lima, and Senator Trillanes (almost), and Maria Ressa, the Administration’s gang members in the House, egged on by Solicitor General Calida, went to work. They harangued on irrelevant matters of the station owner’s citizenship, ignored regulators and shouts that “we are in a pandemic here so don’t take out a key channel of information for the people.” And they went forward to kill the station.

What happened? Some 11,000 people were tossed out of a job. Prominent people. Innocent people. And they started arguing that “this is not right”.

DDS had to make up new villains overnight and find scurrilous ways to undermine the new voices. After all, these were not yellows speaking. These were journalists and actors and filmmakers and producers and writers and cameramen. And fans.

Angel Locsin, who had been working diligently to help people struggling with the pandemic, got louder. Liza Soberano spoke up. Sharon Cuneta ridiculed Harry Roque for making up stories instead of being truthful. Protests got loud and noticed.

And then . . . and then . . .

The Catholic Church stood up, in the form of a pastoral letter from the Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio S. David, D.D., acting president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, warning of the dangers of the forthcoming Anti-Terrorism Law. The President’s attorney tried to slap it down as an offense to the separation of Church and State. But the CBCP wasn’t buying it, and the cat is now out of that very powerful bag. [Church will cease to exist if it stays silent when wrongs are committed: CBCP].

The US moved into the Pacific militarily with a message to China citing the Philippine arbitration win at UNCLOS. “Follow the laws” the US said to the thief sitting in Philippine seas. And the Philippines, through statements from Secretaries Lorenzana and Locsin, actually stood up and echoed the American message.

So we have a strange confluence of events. A terrorism law that few trust, an uncivilized hijacking of a popular television station, a forced correction back to the United States, and a relentless health crisis that the Administration seems to bungle daily as the ‘leader’ Doctor Duque remains in place, testing lags, hospitals fill, and infections mount.

The yellows are no longer the leading voices. Noise is coming from every direction. Hospitals and doctors, even.

Vice President Robredo keeps representing competence and service.

People know there are other ways to go about this than cops beating heads, political persecution, greed, incompetence, and corruption.

How will the Administration silence the rising chorus?

By cybercrime actions to suppress speech from Bong Go that produced howls of complaint?

I doubt it.

Maybe a tipping point has been reached. The toothpaste is out of the tube. The mustard is off the hot dog (RIP Chick Hearn).

Maybe decency is rising, eh?


20 Responses to “Was the ABS-CBN hijacking a tipping point for decency?”
  1. Micha says:

    I’m actually enjoying this spectacle because as much as I loathe this criminal regime, I also always try to cover my ears whenever I hear Noli de Castro’s booming falsetto of “Magandang Gabi..Bayad!” in the evening broadcast.

    It’s like watching your two most hated classmates in high school going after each other’s throat.

    Tipping point for decency? Nah..

    My guess is that Digong the pragmatist will ultimately accede to grant the franchise in exchange for which he will demand the support of the Lopez dynasty for his manok in 2022.

    That would be either Inday Sara, Kuya Bong, or Da Peyborit Son Op Da Apo.

    Heaven forbid these scenario will eventually play out and I certainly hope I am wrong.

    In the meantime, I think I want to order more popcorn and lollipops.

  2. madlanglupa says:

    > So we have a strange confluence of events. A terrorism law that few trust, an uncivilized hijacking of a popular television station, a forced correction back to the United States, and a relentless health crisis that the Administration seems to bungle daily as the ‘leader’ Doctor Duque remains in place, testing lags, hospitals fill, and infections mount.

    And of late, suspicious alleged COVID-19 deaths of several high-profile convicts involved in drug trafficking, whose remains claimed to have been cremated without any question at all.

    As if it wasn’t enough, I read that there are currently 3 million jobless people of different professions and counting.

    • kasambahay says:

      ay madlanglupa, we have no way of knowing if it was a sack of potatoes that bucor cremated, lol! the high profile drug prisoner’s ID kept secret, his person not sighted. if indeed the prisoner died of covid, there ought to be medical summary of care given and treatment regimen. plus copy of death cert sent to registry of death, birth and marriages, signed and dated by witnesses. death has to be made official and declared by those who are authorized. not everyone can declare a person dead.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        The crematorium only required death certificates but no body bag was opened
        per reports.

        • kasambahay says:

          so long as boxes are ticked and paperwork in order, crematoriums dont need to open kabaong o body bags. dead bodies go into burner one after another, paminsan halos walang pahingga, paspasan ang trabaho ng crematorium attendant with so many deaths.

          my concern is the validity of death certificates issued. bocur chief is not medical doctor and cannot issue death cert, he can be witness though. prison death can be corroborated by doctor who last saw the prisoner and by the prison chaplain who gave the last rite.

          I once watched a dead body being cremated and lingered long enough to see what happened next. flesh and accoutrements gone, bones dont burn though; tough as concrete bones are and need to be crushed and ground to the consistency of fine sand, then given to relatives as ashes. some funeral directors dont pay enough, and there are bits of bones in the ashes. joeam, if this is gross, delete this pls.

          • It’s consistent with the cremation I witnessed in the US.

            • kasambahay says:

              dust to dust, ashes to ashes . . . and if the catholicl church is not sleeping, it ought to tap it’s prison chaplains overseeing prisoners departing this life, covid death or not. chaplains reports are documented and entered into parish record, if anyone care to look. confessions are sacrosant, church records of deaths, baptisms and marriages not so. that’s how people traced their ancestries, via church records.

              bucor is not the only sole authority on prisoners death, methink.

              • sonny says:

                My understanding, all Catholic church records especially baptism are forwarded to Vatican archives. I need to verify this. They are very good at this: the validity of ordinations to priesthood and bishopric are checked for apostolic succession.

            • sonny says:

              Me too, my uncle was cremated immediately after necrological services at Manila Memorial Park near BF Homes at Sucat. The bones were intact (and crushed) and prepped and handed over to my aunt. Mainit pa ‘yong box.

              • kasambahay says:

                you mentioned ‘box’, sony, and that got the drunk in me yabbing. I once advised families not to go for expensive coffins. kasi sa cremation, paminsan po, crematoriums recycle expensive coffins and resell them, the dead then placed in plain cardboard boxes and then cremated. if families of the dead got no qualms of this practice, then I got no qualms too. it’s just that . . . never mind. good day, sonny.

  3. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Goosebumps when my wife and I drove past the frontage of the shuttered station. We motored in a humongous, serpentine caravan from Ayala avenue through EDSA. People were actually taking a page from EDSA One, the kind of people who had enough chutzpah to occupy both sides of Sgt. Esguerra street, in spite of the reverential presence of uniformed police; and the air was almost festive as cohorts saw each other again after the four-month hiatus, a reunion of firebrands. Better have Plan B, Duterterers.

    • kasambahay says:

      wilfredo, still under 30 days, abs-cbn franchise was killed. franchise can still be salvaged, reconsidered, even reinstated if solons move fast. or disgruntled people will meet other disgruntled people and meet yet other more disgruntled people, and solons will be given the watusi, lol!

  4. Bernard Ebuen says:

    And now foreign passport holders are now required to “certify “ their dual citizenship documents from the Consulates to travel back to your own country. The inanities of it all! Why the unnecessary duplication if not harassment?

  5. Joe,

    NH (where is NH?) tuned me in to Go (Weiqi in Chinese), and I can’t help but think of the word sente here.

    (NH, I discovered this website that’s both fun and instructive, and promises to improve one’s game in Go , https://tsumego-hero.com/sites/view/1 )

    • NH, I am confident, is running numbers.

    • NHerrera says:

      Hi Folks (Lance, Joe, et al):

      Still around.

      I have not done some Go Playing with the Go Software lately. The suggestion in the link you posted is good. Thanks, Lance.

      Yes, one who has “sente” in a game of Go has the initiative which the opponent who has “gote” prudently responds to unless the latter has a “big” move that overpowers the potential of the sente move.

      Joe: you are right. I did some arithmetic associated with the coronavirus. Happy to note too that we may have a vaccine by early next year hopefully. But distribution of the vaccine in the country from which it is developed may not be that fast, moreso in the power countries. I wonder how the PH will fare when an effective vaccine becomes available in the developed countries.

      That school reopening conundrum is not easy to crack.


      There are a lot of models forecasting the likely US covid deaths by November 1, two days before the General US Elections. These models use certain assumptions and sophisticated calculations. One number, rounded, is 220,000 deaths.

      Let us try how this number may be arrived at in a non-sophisticated way, by using a little bit of Heuristic thinking.

      Looking at my notes on 2020-07-24 that number may be arrived at as follows

      145,000 + 0.025*100*(67,000 + 0) / 2 = 228,750
      145,000 + 0.020*100*(67,000 + 0) / 2 = 212,000

      where I used as anchor numbers 145,000; 100; 67,000 corresponding to the current deaths; the days to Nov 1; and the current daily cases.

      The numbers 0.025 and 0 are assumptions, as well as assuming the daily cases decline linearly to zero by Nov 1. Further our math 101 concept of the area under a linear curve is given by the “trapezoidal rule.” The Case Fatality Rate is assumed as 0.025 — it is currently ~ 0.035. The lower number 0.020 is used in the other number.

      One significant point is what happens if the zero assumed for Nov 1 is higher, say, 20,000. With this and taking CFR as 0.025, the resulting estimated deaths becomes 253,750.

      MY POINT. Although one does not have the sophistication of the epidemiologist and his staff’s mathematical models, one can use a simple Heuristic Model to check the ballpark number.

      • NHerrera says:


        power countries = lower countries.

      • NHerrera says:

        Once more:

        power countries = poorer countries.

        I hope I haven’t caught the virus!

      • “Yes, one who has “sente” in a game of Go has the initiative which the opponent who has “gote” prudently responds to unless the latter has a “big” move that overpowers the potential of the sente move.”

        NH, i’ve not exactly figured out who is Alpha Go and who is Lee Sedol in the below metaphor (or fable?) , and which moves correlate with who, but Joe’s article reminds me of Move 37 and Move 78. Regardless of terrorism laws, there’s also COVID19 there, so whom ever has sente now, farther into the game it’ll still be a toss up.

        Even with Trump (according to your count above) and COVID19, that’s over here, there’s also BLM and folks destroying statues and defunding the police, meaning difficult to say who’ll have sente come November. Order vs chaos, and all.

        So below moves are good to study and analogize, IMHO.

        Move 37

        With the 37th move in the match’s second game, AlphaGo landed a surprise on the right-hand side of the 19-by-19 board that flummoxed even the world’s best Go players, including Lee Sedol. “That’s a very strange move,” said one commentator, himself a nine dan Go player, the highest rank there is. “I thought it was a mistake,” said the other. Lee Sedol, after leaving the match room, took nearly fifteen minutes to formulate a response. Fan Gui—the three-time European Go champion who played AlphaGo during a closed-door match in October, losing five games to none—reacted with incredulity. But then, drawing on his experience with AlphaGo—he has played the machine time and again in the five months since October—Fan Hui saw the beauty in this rather unusual move.

        Indeed, the move turned the course of the game. AlphaGo went on to win Game Two, and at the post-game press conference, Lee Sedol was in shock. “Yesterday, I was surprised,” he said through an interpreter, referring to his loss in Game One. “But today I am speechless. If you look at the way the game was played, I admit, it was a very clear loss on my part. From the very beginning of the game, there was not a moment in time when I felt that I was leading.”

        It was a heartbreaking moment. But at the same time, those of us who watched the match inside Seoul’s Four Seasons hotel could feel the beauty of that one move, especially after talking to the infectiously philosophical Fan Hui. “So beautiful,” he kept saying. “So beautiful.” Then, the following morning, David Silver, the lead researcher on the AlphaGo project, told me how the machine had viewed the move. And that was beautiful too.

        Move 78

        Lee Sedol then lost Game Three, and AlphaGo claimed the million-dollar prize in the best-of-five series. The mood inside the Four Seasons dipped yet again. “I don’t know what to say today, but I think I will have to express my apologies first,” Lee Sedol said. “I should have shown a better result, a better outcome, a better contest in terms of the games played.”

        It understands how humans play, but it can also look beyond how humans play to an entirely different level of the game.

        In Game Four, he was intent on regaining some pride for himself and the tens of millions who watched the match across the globe. But midway through the game, the Korean’s prospects didn’t look good. “Lee Sedol needs to do something special,” said one commentator. “Otherwise, it’s just not going to be enough.” But after considering his next move for a good 30 minutes, he delivered something special. It was Move 78, a “wedge” play in the middle of the board, and it immediately turned the game around.

        As we found out after the game, AlphaGo made a disastrous play with its very next move, and just minutes later, after analyzing the board position, the machine determined that its chances of winning had suddenly fallen off a cliff. Commentator and nine dan Go player Michael Redmond called Lee Sedol’s move brilliant: “It took me by surprise. I’m sure that it would take most opponents by surprise. I think it took AlphaGo by surprise.”

        Among Go players, the move was dubbed “God’s Touch.” It was high praise indeed. But then the higher praise came from AlphaGo.

        from: https://www.wired.com/2016/03/two-moves-alphago-lee-sedol-redefined-future/

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