I took part in The Political Science Forum at the University of Santo Tomas on February 23, 2018; my jump-off point for discussion was the following set of 15 theses (since slightly edited).
1.All governments lie.
2.They lie out of necessity, to protect state secrets, or to gain an advantage in negotiations. They lie in an attempt to advance the public interest.
3.But they also lie when in a panic, to save face or to defend their principals. They lie to benefit public officials’ private interests.
4.In a democratic setting, there is no place for organized disinformation directed against a government’s own citizens.
5.Governments are not to lie, systematically, to their citizens.
6.Unfortunately, the Duterte government is breaking new ground in this regard.
7.Disinformation is false information intended to deceive.
8.Fake news is Deliberately fabricated information designed to Deceive, Disguised in a news format. The 3Ds.
9.On three critical issues, the Duterte government is either withholding vital information, or intentionally misleading the people.
10.First issue: EJKs. The government refuses to come clean about the casualty toll in the so-called war on drugs.
11.Second issue: The new alliance with China. The government declines to hold China to account.
12.Third issue: The rehabilitation of the Marcoses. The government ignores both history and jurisprudence.
13.The machinery of disinformation includes the agencies in charge of the administration of justice.
14.The machinery has a hands-on leader, the President himself, who is a primary source of disinformation.
15.The machinery of disinformation relies on an outsourced army: DDS social media.
The Varsitarian covered the forum.