Beyond the Duterte Row Chambers | ABS-CBN News

We all know what echo chambers are and how they fit in with the times. A room can be as confined as a prison cell or as large as a Chinese coronavirus vampire cave outside Wuhan. And because of the echoes, the resonance of repetitive voices can be either real or disembodied. The first from legitimate calls. The latter, anonymous and ghostly demons.

Where the unified opposition under presidential candidate Leonor Robredo has what some fear is just a bright and enlightened sounding board that must be broken down and expanded to be more inclusive, the ruling parties under the various modeling coalitions , substitutes, proxies, and placeholders also have their own.

Diverse at best, multipolar, but at the same time sweet and sour, it is unfortunate that Robredo’s senatorial roster is limited to twelve where there are many more of the best and brightest who share the same hope and are ready to take on the challenge. challenge to tack. out of darkness Duterte has taken us and the hellish nightmare his allies have unearthed, unearthed, and seek to resuscitate.

Duterte’s bedroom is dark and damp, however, echoing the ghostly whispers and cries of the painful souls of the dead and the tortured, slain of the Marcos years and perhaps also recently of those systematically slaughtered in a campaign to instill fear and Control. The votes also belong to those who donned two-faced Janus masks, riding hollow Trojans to flatter both opposition and ruling party constituencies.

Although there has been hemorrhaging in the ranks of those like Francisco Domagoso who at one point enabled Duterte to seize power, the majority of darkness still overwhelms and presents a formidable juggernaut to which supporters of Robredo will have to face it.

One obstacle is the use of the same counting machines behind the 2016 and 2019 mandates. Smartmatic is the owner of the “Contract for the purchase of automated electoral systems software for the election management system, the vote counting machines and the consolidated and canvassing system to be used in the 2022 national and local elections ”.

Add the media chorus Duterte echo chamber. At least three third-level print and online rags continually attack Robredo and the legitimate opposition with lies and fake news. Bending in the hollow and the hollow, two belong to street vendors, one financed by a political operator. One third belongs to a politician. All of them provide Duterte with a chorus line and support for the troll armies.

In “Troops, Trolls and Troublemakers: A Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation” by Samantha Bradshaw and Philip Howard, the Philippines was cited as employing government-deployed troll armies. The scientific treatise revealed messaging and valence on social media comments and fake automated accounts.

The following is a textual quote. “In the Philippines, many of the so-called ‘keyboard trolls’ hired to propagandize for presidential candidate Duterte during elections continue to spread and amplify messages for his policies now that he is in power. ”.

Let us now note the institutional bailiwicks, the armies and the arsenal brought together to ensure the electoral results.

There is the Electoral Commission (COMELEC) made up of people appointed by Duterte, four from Davao, a fifth is his lawyer. On election day, all seven will have been nominated by Duterte. Similar demographics also populate electoral courts.

COMELEC has not been circumspect. The company entrusted by COMELEC with the logistics and transport contract for the 2022 elections contributed 30 million pesos in cash to Duterte’s 2016 campaign. Its founding president contributed 3.5 million pesos. An ally owns the business. His wife contributed 1 million pesos.

Authoritarian regimes facilitate mass manipulation in many ways through electoral processes, ballot logistics, regulatory agencies, courts, or social and mainstream media trolls.

We have seen overwhelming support for Robredo from all walks of life, but it will take much more where Duterte and his strong coat of bailiwicks are structural, rooted and institutionalized are all mobilized to support his anointed.


(Dean dela Paz is a former investment banker and managing director of a New Jersey-based power company operating in the Philippines. He is chairman of the board of a renewable energy company and a professor at the retreat from trade policy, finance and mathematics.)

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

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