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72nd United Nations General Assembly

In the participation of the Philippines at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the biases of some mainstream media visibly tried to overshadow the important event. Instead of focusing on the event itself, they seem too focused on making an issue out of why I was part of the delegation and the activities of Honeylet. Now, when you’ve seen first-hand that mainstream media could be partisan and be used by the current administration’s political enemies as a tool to ruin the image of our country just for political agenda; it’s not hard to see why the Department of Foreign Affairs opted to tap the help of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, particularly the Social Media Office, to accompany Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and communicate to Filipinos what the government is doing in UNGA. Simply put, I’m just part of the delegation so I can get direct information and connect Filipinos around the world.

Based on the mandate and function of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, it is my understanding that part of the duty of the agency is to ensure that information relating to the policies, programs, official activities and achievements of the President and the Executive branch must be communicated to the public; it is my understanding that part of the duty of the agency is bridging the gap between the Filipino people and the government.

Now, if you will look at our interview with Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, the good secretary was accommodating enough to answer questions from several Filipinos and explain even the little details about UNGA. In doing so, we increase our countrymen’s understanding of the importance of such events, especially in giving light to the issues that are being thrown at our current administration by the political enemies who cannot seem to let go of the power they lost.

Take for example the topic on martial law, while it is understandable that it is easily associated to a dark period in our history, it is also being used by several groups just to paint President Rodrigo Duterte as a tyrant or a dictator. If the political enemies of the Duterte administration really abhor martial law, then after years in power, why didn’t they think about amending the Constitution and taking it out, since declaring it would automatically make you a tyrant, right? The thing is we must understand that the martial law today was different from the past especially since the Constitution itself was amended to prevent the abuses that happened back then. Also let me just quote Foreign Affairs Secretary Cayetano on his take on martial law:

“Even if we talk about martial law at the rest of the country, martial law under the present Constitution is very different from martial law under the Marcos administration. Because before, the martial law there was basically, you throw everything out, you throw the Constitution out. It’s a regime change, a change of rules and a dictatorial government. In the present Martial law, the courts are functioning, there’s an automatic review by Congress and there are limits on what the President can do.”

Now, why is the presence of our government in the annual United Nations General Assembly session important? We know that the political enemies of the President are doing everything they can to smear the image of the President even without solid evidence; they visibly use any tools at their disposal to attack the President, they use Senate hearings and several press conferences; and with this firepower, they use it to paint the President with the image that they would like the public, including the international community, to believe. The thirst of the enemies for public support is also clear and when they cannot get it here they tried to appeal to the international community. Nevertheless, through events like the UNGA, we can communicate to the global leaders and international community our government’s views on several global issues. We can also address the other leaders and speak about issues in our country, to clarify some things and provide them our government’s side of the story instead of just letting mainstream media be their only source. We can use the UNGA as a battleground to counter the strategy of the enemies of the government to influence the international community with baseless allegations.

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