FROM WHERE I SIT
By Lorraine Marie Badoy
I HAD to sit in silence since finding out that one of the most despised and least trusted persons in the Philippines has been given the Nobel Peace Prize for her “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression” in one of the most vibrant democracies in the world with such an excess of freedom of expression that it can be only called “abuse of freedom of expression”.
They seem to have been duped into thinking the cyber libel case she was found guilty of stemmed from government efforts. It did not. It was from a private citizen whose reputation she destroyed by lies she saw fit to print because of her abuse of this freedom of expression in her highly despised news site.
Or this liar could have woven a tale of heroism and nobility against a tyrant. Only, this is just one more lie among millions of Maria Ressa because nowhere in the known world is there a more beloved and trusted President than Rodrigo Duterte. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a freer democracy than the Republic of the Philippines.
It is as my friend says – they might as well have given the Nobel Peace Prize to the Taliban.
Also, there could have been no steeper fall from grace, no muddier besmirchment of the Nobel Peace Prize than this ludicrous conferment on the very embodiment of unethical and trashy journalism that has put our country and our world in grave danger.
And this is a good thing: to finally see the Truth in the clear light of day.
That the high regard we had for the Nobel was undeserved.
That it is nothing more than a mirage, a cruel lie foisted on humanity for whatever purpose and agenda it suited the powers behind it – not the least of which, as it turns out, is the destruction of thriving democracies and their leaders who stand up to defend their people.
That it does not deserve the trust, the respect nor the high regard humanity has given it all these years that it has existed.
And that it is nothing more than a product of slick packaging and genius marketing.
The insanity of Maria Ressa being held up as the paragon of journalistic virtue leaves us no other choice but to come to this sad conclusion about the Nobel Peace Prize as being nothing more than the very opposite of what we had come to believe about it.
There could not have been a more egregious choice if we persisted in believing the Nobel was truthful, pure, and unsullied.
This leaves us no choice but to come face to face with what the Nobel Peace Prize truly is.
What other logical conclusion could there be? In one word: NONE.
So in the end, we are left with this: Maria Ressa and the Nobel Peace Prize are on the same level and are utterly deserving of each other.
Here’s a disturbing thought though: just how powerful the people behind her are.
We thought we knew but turns out we had no idea.
We thought all she was – a Facebook-fact-checker/New York Times/Washington Post/BBC/Al Jazeera powerful. And we knew foreign money funded her news site, Rappler, that has consistently been on the bottom heap of independent surveys that measure credibility – so they’re not there to inform.
The Nobel Peace Prize is yet another piece of the puzzle that’s been handed to us and shows us just how big Maria Ressa’s daddy is.
There are global forces that have aligned and are hell-bent on wrestling back control of our poor, beloved country.
What better way to do this than to slap Filipinos with the conferment of the Nobel on an enemy of the people – and leading towards an election year?
So this is the pain in my heart: to clearly see what it is we are up against giants who have the ability to cloak villains with virtue so they can have their way with us.
And the other pain in my heart is to know that the only one who has stood up to them – our President – is set to step down in a few months and will therefore leave us naked.
He has a daughter who, I believe, is even more formidable than he is in defending and protecting us. But she has said no to her summons to greatness and so my heart lies heavy.
Like her father, she is the only one that can come between us and these behemoths. And my prayer is that she says yes to her Destiny.
You will not be alone, Mayor Inday. We will fight alongside you. Your father has taught us well how to love our country and how to fight for it fiercely without counting the cost.
You only need to step out from under the shadow of your father and we will meet you there.
About the Columnist
Dr. Lorraine Badoy Is Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary for External Affairs and New Media