Duterte ‘liegacy’

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    WHILE Tagaytay and Batangas are busy dealing with the eruption of Taal Volcano, our fearless leader is busy trying to ensure local government disaster response preparedness and national government agency preparedne…

    Sorry, sorry, I really tried but I couldn’t keep typing that sentence with a straight face.

    In reality, King of the Hunt replacement candidate Rodrigo Duterte went around handing cash “gifts” to soldiers and did the rounds with Taal eruption victims for photo ops. In between, he was pictured as riding pricey motorcycles around the Malacanang compound with his manservant and occasional Sen. Bong Go. Because of course he would.

    “Let him have his break! He’s old!” defended the DDS. That defense, by the way, is brought to us by the same bunch of yahoos who invented the term “noynoying.”

    Beyond that, if he’s so old and needs his breaks so much, then why doesn’t he just resign? After all, by all accounts Duterte’s regime has been a runaway success. Don’t believe what

    I just wrote? Neither do I, but the folks over at the Presidential Communications Operations Office sure want you to believe it, with a full-on all-expenses-paid-by-taxpayer money propaganda bonanza called “The Duterte Legacy.”

    Openly wondering, don’t normal people usually talk about someone’s legacy only when the person is either finished with the work or dead?

    The Duterte Legacy supposedly features all of Duterte’s accomplishments over the past 3-ish years. But as journalists like Prinze Magtulis (whose Twitter profile you can check out at https://twitter.com/prinzmagtulis) pointed out, many of the figures used in this campaign were either outdated, inaccurate, or completely baseless.

    Which I suppose makes the campaign completely appropriate for the Duterte regime.

    Oddly, while the PNP routinely and prominently features the “official” number of people killed in their “war on drugs” campaign, that number was nowhere to be found in the PCOO campaign.

    The deeper issue here is that the act of presenting false information as truth, previously relegated to the DDS troll networks and pro-Duterte bloggers and individuals, now seems to have been officially adopted by the PCOO as a communication policy and strategy. I mean it’s bad enough that Duterte does it 9/10 of the time, with the rest of his spokespersons officially and unofficially scrambling to correct/reframe/rephrase/interpret what Duterte says.

    Now, we have an entire office doing it. What joy!

    The best part is, the recent Duterte Legacy exhibit was just the start. They want to go around the world promoting it. More free junkets for choice Duterte supporters, at taxpayer’s expense!

    What this tells us is that something is up. Surveys suggest that Duterte continues to have widespread support, if not passive approval from the greater majority of Filipinos here and abroad. There really should be no need for this kind of gross disinformation campaign.

    In the end, a disinformation campaign officially sanctioned by the Duterte regime sends two signals. First, it doesn’t trust its DDS base enough to discern facts the way the Duterte regime wants them to discern facts. Not entirely sure if that is implied praise for the DDS or blatant insult. And second, it no longer trusts its informal networks – namely, the DDS bloggers and troll centers – to get the job done.

    One thing’s for sure: “Legacy” is not the proper word for all this.

    More like, “Liegacy.”