OPINION: Good news from cyberspace...for the good guys

Buddy Gomez -- Cyberbuddy

Posted at Oct 26 2018 05:53 PM

The bad guys are, of course, the mendacious and the mercenary. They are who make up the ‘trolletariat’ reputedly in the payroll of that evil empire by the stinky river cutting across our chaotic metropolis.

It seems that Mark Zuckerberg, having gotten wind of the fetid miasma wafting from the evil empire, issued forthwith orders to ‘cull’ the herd suspected of producing the smell polluting cyberspace! (For the ‘novatos,’ the newbies and rookies, “culling” is an animal husbandry term which essentially means ridding the ranch of foraging undesirables. Those are the runts and downers, the inferiors and the infectiously diseased with brucellosis or with bovine hoof and mouth disease.)

All media a few days ago carried the ‘glad tidings’ about Facebook shutting down and throwing out of its platform, ‘culling,’ as it were, the ‘infectiously diseased’. For starters, 95 pages and 35 accounts were detected to be of “bad behavior,” of “low quality websites that contain little substantial content," and in fact, “violating” Facebook’s “spam and authenticity policies.” “Facebook shuts down ‘spammy’ pages linked to Duterte, Imee Marcos,” according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer of Oct. 23.

Violating “authenticity” is in fact a polite way of declaring that these Duterte- and Marcos-linked accounts were found to be engaging in the “unreal,” in the “untruth.” For goodness sake, let us call spade and dirty shovel. Facebook has unmasked the purveyors of lies and fake news!

This Facebook corrective action can certainly boost the fighting spirit behind the libel cases filed by VP Leni Robredo and by Sen. Antonio Trillanes against the known fomenters and purveyors of lies, malice and hate. Now, more of such action ought to be pursued. It is an inspiring signal that the battle for the supremacy of truth in our daily lives, an unceasing toil, must be fought with renewed inspiration, vigor and immediacy. We, the concerned and the righteous of this aggrieved nation are heartened by the growing phalanx of tireless cyber warriors.
 
In reality, cyberspace being the battlefield, Facebook’s awakening has evened the playing field. The mercenary minions of that ‘evil empire by the stinky river,’ to put it mildly, are not pleased. In fact, the evil empire itself is hard put at attempting a ‘hakuna matata’ (Swhaili for ‘no worries’) stance.

Malacanang’s response was in fact a tacit admission of its affiliation and support for these ”fomenters and purveyors.” Lamely, a Duterte official was quoted to have said that anyway “there are other platforms,” meaning, aside from Facebook, from which to renew their onslaught against Truth and public morals. My eagerness is sufficiently whetted. This, I would like to see!

The week of the COCs….

Now, about another event that hogged national attention the week of October 11 to 17.

From the starting gates of the Philippines’ political hippodrome, the clarion has blared unmistakably: “And they’re off!”

I am of course speaking of the next electoral contest. The elections are yet to happen next year in May. But the filing of certificates of candidacies (COCs) last week has already spawned a virus-like frenzy attended by much brouhaha and gimmickry. By the tenor of that exercise, there are indications that the virulence of this Filipino affliction, the unmitigated surfeit of politics and politicking, will be worsening in the forthcoming cycle.

“ Down the stretch” the candidates will be running, coming and going; some winning but mostly losing.
 
So, now we know who have offered themselves to be voted upon. By the wisdom of the Commission on Elections, buffoons, clowns and other outright nuisances will soon be culled. The final slate for inclusion in the official ballot will be known before end of November.

Never in the history of electoral politics in this country have we seen such unprecedented brazen, full tilt display of obscenity. The obscenity of greed, that is. We are witnessing the untrammeled avarice for power and pelf of family dynasties that have prominently played in our political arena heretofore. But for 2019, there is palpable proliferation and expansion. The nation’s political malaise promises to be patent as a marked deterioration of society’s mores and values.

There has got to be a stop to this aggravating foolishness. Is the Philippine electorate up to the challenge? Only informed, concerned and unconsenting voters , in numerically effective droves and multitudes, can rescue Philippine society from this malady. All of us must partake of this patriotic obligation.

Reviewing current commentaries, I found two pieces worthy of your attention and I commend them to you. For the sake of elevating political edification and maturity, we have Ellen Tordesillas’ “The Greedy Bunch” and Randy David’s “Unashamed”. I could not have synthesized my own sentiments any better.

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The prospects and meaning of the opposition’s rebirth.
 
Will the political opposition’s potential dominance (The Liberal Party’s resurgence) in the next election bring about succor from the deadweight of Duterte’s Build, Build, Build?
 
I do not nurse any doubt that this administration’s flagship project is in reality an ill-conceived aspirational search for legacy of the duly elected leader of the country. But, to me, it is more of an ego trip than an act of patriotism!

Could the pernicious aftermath we are now painfully experiencing have been foreseen and avoided? I believe the answer is Yes. But only if the presidential advisers had possessed, from the get-go, the righteous gumption to truly advise the leader instead of mindless blind acquiescence. Is such behavior perhaps borne out of fear of the President’s displeasure and anger? Or fear of losing the prestige of a national position?

Our current economic difficulties, inflation--the excessively higher cost of living--undoubtedly has been directly caused by Build Build Build (BBB) which is exclusively dependent for its fruition upon a regime of new taxation and borrowings. That is what TRAIN I & II are for. (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion).

Should not the logical solution, then, be to scrap the TRAIN and jettison BBB?

The competence, or its lack, of the present administration’s Cabinet is being measured and will be measured by the degree of their unquestioning subservience and obedience to Presidential whimsy and caprice. This is not to say that there not a few good men in the official family. However, by current reckoning, it is prudent to ask. Does any one of them really qualify for the initially much touted tag “best and the brightest?”

Our collective votes in the May mid-term elections possess an existential significance for all of us as a nation. It is the litmus test of political maturity and whether we are capable of learning a lesson. This time, we had better be unerring!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tomas 'Buddy' Gomez III began his professional media career in ABS-CBN's (previously Chronicle Broadcasting Network) DZQL-Radio Reloj in 1957, after which he spent 25 years with the Ayala Group.

In 1986, the then Pres. Cory Aquino appointed him Consul General to Hawaii and later served as her Press Secretary.

During the Ramos administration, he was chairman and president of state-owned IBC-13 Network.

After government service, he became an ‘OFW’ in the U.S., working as front-desk clerk and then assistant general manager of a hotel. He also worked as a furniture and antique restoration specialist.

He is now retired and lives in San Antonio, Texas.

His e-mail is: [email protected]

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.