Duterte vs. Facebook, but what about Netflix?
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - October 2, 2020 - 12:00am

While President Duterte does not intend to ban Facebook, he called out the social media giant for supposed censorship of advocacies supportive of the government, Malacañang said yesterday. Indeed, if someone has to do it, it is Pres. Duterte. If anyone is banned by Facebook, that is for me a curtailment of freedom of speech. If you ask me, Facebook should not help the enemies of the state! Mind you, Facebook blocked a friend of mine because he spreads any report that is highly conservative, so I’m glad that no less than Pres. Duterte has now focused on Facebook as we who are users cannot talk to Facebook. What about Netflix, which showed “The Cuties” that feature teenage girls in sexy outfits? This to my mind is total immorality of Netflix and they should be stopped.

President Duterte scored Facebook over its decision to take down accounts manned by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police. “If you cannot help me protect the government’s interests, then let us talk,” Duterte said in a televised address on Monday night, “if you are promoting the cause of the rebellion, which was already here before you came, and thousands of my soldiers and civilians dying, then if you cannot reconcile the idea of what your purpose is or was, then we have to talk.” To be totally honest about it, there is no point in talking with Facebook, just fine them for violation of freedom of speech

President Duterte assailed Facebook for removing pro-government pages, including those that criticized communist rebels. Some of the pages were linked to the military, but security officials have clarified that these are not official social media accounts.

As Pres. Duterte said, “You cannot lay down a policy for my government. Yet I allow you to operate here. You cannot bar or prevent me from espousing the objectives of the government.”

“We allow you to operate here, hoping that you could help us,” he said. “Now, if you cannot advocate something which is for the good of the people, then what is your purpose here in the country?” he continued

* * *

In another issue, upon learning that the House plenary voted overwhelmingly in favor of keeping Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano in his post despite a term-sharing agreement with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, President Duterte said last night he was “hands off” on the issue.

“Stay out tayo diyan. Hands off tayo diyan. No comment tayo diyan. That’s purely an internal matter for the House of Representatives,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque quoted the president as saying. Indeed it is an internal matter as the Legislative Branch of the government is independent from the Executive Branch and the Judiciary.

Harry Roque said he was instructed to make the statement after the House rejected Cayetano’s offer to resign as speaker to give way to Velasco, a day after the two rivals met with the president in Malacañang. However I still believe that both Cayetano and Velasco should have kept their agreement for the sake of keeping their word of honor. Come now, since when did politicians have a word of honor?

* * *

As far as COVID-19 is concerned, Metro Manila mayors and experts are amenable to a shift to the lowest quarantine level only if they see a sustained decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in the region. The metropolis and several other areas will remain under General Community Quarantine until October 31, as decided by the government and recommended by the Metro Manila Council.

A report by The Philippine STAR read “San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora, who sits in the council with 16 other mayors of the region, yesterday said they saw a sharp decline of COVID-19 cases despite the reopening of businesses and more people being allowed outdoors. For them to agree to a shift to modified GCQ (MGCQ) status, however, he said what they “want to see is a stable decline in the numbers so that if and when we see that indeed, the numbers continue to go down, then we can now re-allow some industries or businesses to reopen.”

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