The idiot's guide to the media blitz against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, presenting the MEDIA BLITZ, and why you should be VERY VIGILANT. (Eto ang PLEASE READ ko lang sa inyo.)

What is a media blitz?

A media blitz is "a campaign of intense media coverage for the purpose of advertising or publicity." ie: "The Opposition launched a media blitz to discredit Duterte and present a good 'alternative'."

In Tagalog, ang media blitz ay isang masusing kampanya para ipalaganap ang isang adhikain.

(Side note: Chos lang, feel free to do this in Filipino I am not very articulate in Tagalog. Hindi ako NYT at walang pambayad ng translator)

This, my friends, is what you call a media blitz.

On NYT, we have the extrajudicial killings. On BBC, we have a story on "trolls" defending Duterte. On QZ, we have Leni as the "even tempered" alternative. On CNBC, we have "the opposition leader."

While we focus on defending Duterte on NYT and BBC, another blitz is happening elsewhere. In a span of one to two days, a story about Leni Robredo challenging President Duterte has surfaced in various news sites. This story is THE SAME all throughout--that of a "soft spoken, even tempered" public servant who serves as antithesis to the garrulous, harsh, dirty-mouthed President.

This story is replicated in many news outlets in Western media. Except for The Guardian's, which takes it a step further and decentralizes the focus on Leni and trains it on "a long line of Filipinas," the news story is the same all throughout.

The attack against Duterte and our democracy--the fucking fact that we chose this man and yet they think they know better--is two-pronged: One, discredit him by talking about the human rights violations, and two, present a good alternative--the woman who can replace him very ably.

They are done with Step One of their not-so-brilliant PR plan: Discredit Duterte. They are now moving to Step Two: Present a good alternative.

The imagery presented to us is very nuanced. On one hand, you have Duterte the Murderer, on the other you have Leni the Saint.

The Guardian story is more manipulative, using all sorts of tropes and stereotypes, and gender rah-rah-ing, hence the title: "Those Who Oppose Duterte Comes From a Long Line of Strong Filipinas."

It says, and I quote, "Robredo has resigned... and has now joined  the good fight, alongside Senator Leila de Lima, who for the past six months has faced a tirade of misogynist abuse and a smear campaign that is only worth repeating in order to bring shame on Duterte and his acolytes." (Really? REALLY? FUCKING REALLY?)

(Side comment: O di ba? Leila de Lima and the word 'good' in one sentence. And the word "acolytes" to paint Duterte as an evil overlord.)

The Guardian and QZ are making this into a gender war. The CNBC and all aggregate news sources are making this into a saint vs. sinner war.

The QZ slant: Robredo is a better choice because she is even tempered. Read this and try not to swallow your vomit:

"Robredo serves as an alternative to Duterte in other ways, as well, including temperament. While Duterte is tough-talking and coarse, Robredo is soft-spoken and well-mannered. While Duterte encourages the merciless killing of suspected drug criminals—often without a trial—Robredo calls for rehabilitation.
More strikingly, Duterte is unapologetically political, whereas Robredo is decidedly not. She is first and foremost a mother to her three daughters and the widow of Jesse Robredo, the former interior secretary who died in a plane crash in 2012. It took months of urging from her party before she agreed to run for vice president."

Kumusta ang pag paint kay Leni as widow and mother? Emotionally manipulative. Very Cory 2.0? Mali naman ata.

But this kind of reportage, in its shortsighted, hasty generalizations, completely and conveniently forgets that being a good "alternative" isn't just about imagery, but about ACTUAL EFFECTIVENESS and BRILLIANCE.

Duterte is both effective and brilliant. Leni is still trying to prove her worth (she is, isn't she? Or there will be no website called WhatDidLeniRoberedo something something.)

As a woman, I take offense too in the stereotype that somebody is good because she is soft spoken and even tempered and well mannered. I am none of those; but I am 100 percent confident I will have higher chances of getting inside the pearly gates more than Leila De Lima.

Tell me, how do news companies get all the same stories all at the same time, with the same angle, when no press conferences have been scheduled? Or none that we know of?

How is content sourced? Where does media get their stories?

(1) Interviews

(2) Press conferences

(3) Seeding (Seeding is when a public relations company sends same story to many news companies)

(4) Pitches (when a source volunteers a story)

In local newspapers, a story about Ricky Reyes, for example, comes out in all major publications because Ricky Reyes invited them to interview him, or a PR company hired by Ricky Reyes sent the story to the media.

Dear everyone involved, we see right through you. And we will be vigilant. And we will fight. And our pro-government, pro-democracy OFWs will fight your professional PR companies to spread the word in all corners of the globe. Hindi lang Western media gaya ninyo.

There is no better fuel for action than passion, not even money. And while we do not have the latter, we are bursting at the seams with the former.

Matira matibay, bitches, matira matibay.

Krizette Laureta Chu as posted on Facebook.


  1. If Duterte was more diplomatic, as one of GRPs other articles on this site suggested years ago, then he would not have brought this on himself. If he had been more humble and amiable when dealing with the media then perhaps they would not have seen him that way. He could have simply made it a case of acknowledging the issues surrounding him then given them the impression that he would do something about it (whether sincere or not). But no. He lashed out at them and insulted some of the peers. Being the rather proud, snobby, snooty profession journalism can be at times, they decided to spin the Philippines as a state in terror because of him despite the truth that it is not anywhere near that level of anarchy. They never publish news about rehabilitation facilities constructed by him. Face it. It's his undiplomatic crass arrogance that got him here.


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