Home              Forum              Forex Rates              Archived Editorials              Contact Us


 










 Rappler
 Manila Times
 Asian Journal
 Filipino Express
 Malaya Online
 Daily Tribune
 CNN Philippines
 Philippine News
 Kababayan LA
 MindanaoTimes
 Sun Star
 Negros Chronicle
 Bohol Chronicle


 President's Office
 Vice President's Ofc.
 Phil. Senate
 Phil. Hse of Rep.
 Supreme Court
 Peso Exch Rate
 Showbiz
 Lazada
 Buy & Sell Online
 Filipino Channel
 Phil History
 Phil Business
 Phil Basketball
 Make it Cebu
 BuWorld Online


LeniLeaks and the Martin Andanar Obsession

President Rodrigo Duterte’s Communications Secretary Martin Andanar
President Rodrigo Duterte’s Communications Secretary Martin Andanar

hristmas is still more than 11 months away but I have already been inundated with emails, phone calls and Facebook messages from friends begging to be invited to my next Christmas party all thanks to the “LeniLeaks” charge of Pres. Duterte’s Communications Secretary Martin Andanar that the Christmas party at my San Francisco home on December 22, 2016 was the setting of a sinister plot to oust Pres. Duterte.

In his January 7, 2017 “Mancave" podcast entitled “Leni Leaks: Truth or Lies”, Andanar accused New York philanthropist and community leader Loida Nicolas Lewis of mobilizing Filipino Americans in San Francisco to call for the resignation of Duterte in order to benefit Vice President Leni Robredo.

Andanar had previously drawn the front page banner headline of the Philippine Star on September 20, 2016 when he charged that “some Filipino-Americans in New York are hatching a plan to oust President Duterte by January 2017” (“Oust Duterte drive hatched in New York – Andanar”).

But his propaganda campaign against Fil-Ams in New York fizzled then because it was based on pure hearsay. “I was just talking to somebody in New York now who is also a member of the Cabinet – I won’t mention his name. But he also heard of the Fil-Ams in New York who are planning. They are hatching a plan to oust the President by January 2017,” Andanar said in the news article (LINK).

NEW TARGET: SAN FRANCISCO FIL-AMS

Andanar's new target this time around is clear in the "breaking news" article of Duterte supporter John “Boboy” Shinn III, editor of the L.A. Zamboanga Times, who posted “exclusive photos” of Loida Nicolas Lewis and an “anti-Duterte group” attending a Christmas party in San Francisco.
Here is Shinn’s report which was widely shared with Duterte supporters in the social media on January 7, 2017, the day after Andanar's podcast:

“LOS ANGELES --- A Loida Nicolas Lewis-inspired group of Filipino-Americans met in San Francisco, California, USA with a get-together December 22, 2016 at the residence of Atty. Rodel Rodis in San Francisco, California which was attended by Loida Nicolas-Lewis, Inquirer columnist Randy David, Inquirer reporter Benjamin Pimentel, Greg Macabenta, Inquirer columnists Atty. Ted Laguatan and Atty. Rodel Rodis, who hosted the party.

It was also during this gathering that the group launched Filipino Americans for Human Rights Alliance (FAHRA), another lobby group in Loida Nicolas Lewis' campaign to oust democratically-elected Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

From the looks of it all, the Inquirer is leading the oust Duterte campaign in the U.S. with the financial help and guidance of Lewis and her network of connections in the U.S. news media and the Democratic Party.”

Boboy Shinn, whose day job is listed as "paparazzi photographer", claimed that he had obtained the “exclusive” photos at my Christmas party. In truth, Shinn lifted the photos from my Facebook page which I posted on the night of the Christmas party.

Shinn also falsely reported the attendance of Inquirer columnists Randy David and Benjamin Pimentel at my Christmas party to support his lie that “from the looks of it”, the Inquirer is behind the ouster plot.

While there were Superior Court judges, Catholic priests and Protestant pastors as well as presidents of local Filipino community organizations who are members of the Filipino American Human Rights Alliance (FAHRA) who were at my Christmas party, Prof. Randy David and Benjamin Pimentel were not among them.

INQUIRER COLUMNISTS NOT AT PARTY

In his Facebook post on January 8, Pimentel wrote:

“For the record: I am not part of a U.S.-based group (supposedly led by Loida Nicolas Lewis whom I've never met) seeking to oust the fascist Philippine president who instigated the bloodbath that has so far killed more than 5,000 people.

I also was not at a Christmas Party of said group that is conspiring to depose a leader who openly brags about killing people without due process. Said party was held at the home of Rodel Rodis. He did not invite me :(

To the alleged plotters working to overthrow a president who once joked about raping a female hostage and who is now begging Putin to be his protector, could you schedule the next Christmas party on a weekend please, not the middle of the week? Will we have to bring a gift?”

Pimentel’s Facebook friend, John Gershman, responded to his post with this advice: “Dude. You need to shift your work schedule to be more available so that conspiracy theorists can more accurately place you in places you aren't.”

Another Facebook friend, Vivian Araullo, told Pimentel that she was at the Christmas party but heard no discussions about overthrowing Duterte. “Maybe the coup was being plotted in between karaoke singing and lechon?” she surmised.

In his January 8, 2017 Inquirer column (Public Lives: The “conspiracy” to oust Duterte), Prof. Randy David wrote about receiving an angry email from a “former avid fan” who asked him if he was “part of the team to oust President Duterte”.

David investigated the source of the rant and learned that it referred to a November 12, 2016 “email addressed to me and a couple of other people I know, written by an old UP friend from the ’60s, Ted Laguatan, a vigorous human rights campaigner against the Marcos dictatorship and now a prominent US-based immigration lawyer. In that letter, he was basically proposing the organization of “mass protests against Duterte’s extrajudicial killings and Marcos burial.”

Vintage Ted, I thought to myself. Young people were already busy organizing around these issues long before anyone could tell them…. Having just read it, I can say in all honesty that I found no reference to, or any intimation of, any plan to resort to extraconstitutional means to oust President Duterte.”

Business World columnist Greg Macabenta can attest to the absence of Pimentel and David at my Christmas party because he was there “and so were many other prominent Filipino Americans who have been openly condemning the burial of the late President Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and have been bitterly protesting Duterte’s anti-drug campaign—a campaign that has made accusers, judges, and executioners out of unidentified vigilantes and members of the Philippine National Police,” he wrote.

Shinn’s fake news article was disseminated by Sass Rogando Sassot and Mocha Uson, the “generals” in Duterte’s vast online army of trolls who were enlisted by Andanar to go after Loida Lewis and Filipino Americans opposed to Duterte.

DUTERTE'S ARMY OF TROLLS

In Mocha Uson’s youtube directive to her Duterte army of trolls, she paused to read an email message to her purportedly from Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre informing her that a source had told him that Robredo and Lewis had met in the US. This bit of double hearsay was enough for Uson to tell her followers to spread the word that Robredo and Lewis are “liars” for denying that they met in the United States and that they should be exposed.

Screengrab from the LeniLeaks website
Screengrab from the LeniLeaks website

The timing of the simultaneous social media attacks on “LeniLeaks” is not coincidental as Communications Secretary Andanar oversees both the vast propaganda machinery of the Philippine government bureaucracy as well as the formidable online Duterte army of trolls ready to pounce and attack anyone perceived to be a threat to Duterte.

In an article that appeared in New Republic (“Rodrigo Duterte’s Army of Online Trolls: How authoritarian regimes are winning the social media wars” January 4, 2017), Sean Williams explained the origin of Duterte’s troll army:

“Duterte’s social media campaign began while he was the mayor of Davao, where he allegedly ran death squads to curb rampant drug dealing and other street crime. In November 2015, when he decided to run for president, he enlisted a marketing consultant named Nic Gabunada to assemble a social media army with a budget of just over $200,000. Gabunada used the money to pay hundreds of prominent online voices to flood social media with pro-Duterte comments, popularize hashtags, and attack critics. Despite being vastly outspent by his rivals, Duterte swept to power with almost 40 percent of the vote. After the upset victory, the new president’s spokesman issued a warm thanks to Duterte’s 14 million social media “volunteers.”

The government pays online trolls up to $2,000 a month to create fake social media accounts and flood the digital airwaves with propaganda.

The Philippines seems tailor-made for this kind of propaganda machine. The median age in the country is only 23 years old, and almost half of its 103 million citizens are active social media users. Access to Facebook is provided free with all smartphones, but Filipinos incur data charges when visiting other web sites, including those of newspapers. As a result, millions of citizens rely on social media for virtually all their news and information, consuming a daily diet of partisan opinion that masquerades as fact.”

But Andanar’s Operation “LeniLeaks” may be running out of steam. When he sought to include the issue in the Duterte cabinet meeting on January 9, he was shot down by Duterte National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. who told the press “the President and his Cabinet members had other important issues to deal with rather than focus on the so-called “LeniLeaks.”

Even Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre agreed with Esperon and minimized the significance of what Loida Nicolas Lewis is calling for. “She is calling for the VP to become president. She is calling for the resignation of the president… she is a dreamer... As long as they do not violate the law, there is nothing wrong with it, nothing wrong to dream,” Aguirre told reporters.

DUTERTE RESIGN MOVEMENT

In a TV interview on ABS-CBN, Loida Nicolas Lewis denied that there was any plot to oust Duterte. “The Duterte Resign Movement is based on President Duterte's own words that he would resign if drugs are still rampant six months after his inauguration,” she said.

Lewis also emphasized that “dissent is NOT equivalent to a plot or conspiracy. In a democracy, opinions of varying shades, either praise or criticism, are a staple ingredient of a vibrant democracy. Since when has criticism become an element of sedition?”

When asked to comment on Lewis’ charge that Duterte had promised to resign if he did not succeed in dealing with the country’s drug problems within six months, Andanar replied: “the President asked for an extension.”

So when will the Filipino people be asked to vote on Duterte’s extension request?

Since Andanar could not even get the Duterte cabinet to take his “LeniLeaks” charge seriously, he had to change his strategy. His Presidential Communications Office (PCO) released a statement that “it is now up to Vice President Leni Robredo to convince the public whether the so-called ‘LeniLeaks’ are true or not.”

In other words, since Communications Secretary Andanar can’t prove Robredo guilty, Vice-President Robredo will now have to prove to the public that she is innocent.

Martin Andanar is nothing if not obsessively persistent and clever by half. Published 1/20/2017

(Send comments to Rodel50@gmail.com or mail them to the Law Offices of Rodel Rodis at 2429 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127 or call 415.334.7800).


Philnews.com reserves the right to select and edit comments for publication.


You can also post your comments below
via DISQUS


Why Does Duterte Remain So Popular with Filipinos?

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte continues to enjoy the trust and support of the vast majority of Filipinos. According to the Social Weather Station (SWS), the country’s leading polling entity, their fourth quarter survey, done on December 3-6, 2016, showed that 81% of adult Filipinos gave Duterte much trust, 10% were undecided, and only 9% gave the President little trust. That gave Duterte an “excellent” net trust rating of +72 ... Published 1/8/2017


Supporters of Duterte’s extrajudicial killings (EJK) Violate US Immigration Law

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte continues to enjoy the trust and support of the vast majority of Filipinos. According to the Social Weather Station (SWS), the country’s leading polling entity, their fourth quarter survey, done on December 3-6, 2016, showed that 81% of adult Filipinos gave Duterte much trust ... Published 12/28/2016


Happy Holidays to PHILNEWS Readers the World Over

We’ve been around now for 20 years, so we would like to take the opportunity to say a heart-felt “Thank You” to all who, in one way or another, have been with us during our two decades of online existence. To those of you who’ve sent us your comments (or continue to send us your comments), our special “thanks” ... Published 12/23/2016


Expose Duterte’s Demonic Lies and Brutality to Protect All Filipinos

When we sincerely seek to do good, when we speak the truth, when we try to prevent evil, when we are kind to people, when we help them, when we seek justice, when we seek a kinder gentler world, there are those who will still hate and harm us, even those whom we are trying to help ... Published 12/17/2016


Okay, Maybe Donald Trump Has Got It Right This Time

The On December 4, President-elect Donald Trump sent out a couple of tweets that the “liberal media” immediately pounced on as “warmongering” by an obviously unqualified diplomatic novice who will soon be moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue ... Published 12/11/2016


The Ironic Twist in the Trump-Duterte Lovefest

The day after Donald Trump won the US presidency in a stunning upset, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte declared the end of his personal war with the United States. “I don’t want to fight now that Trump’s there. I would like to congratulate President Trump. Mabuhay, Mr. Trump!" ... Published 12/05/2016


Revising History: A Libingan Burial Will Not Change the Truth

As Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and the Marcos family are now realizing, a burial a burial at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani cemetery will not make former dictator Ferdinand Marcos a hero in the eyes of the tens of millions of Filipinos who lived through his brutal Martial Law regime ... Published 11/25/2016


The Good News is that Duterte will not Declare Martial Law

With I am absolutely confident that Pres. Rodrigo Duterte will not declare martial law. This confidence is based on the bountiful evidence that the Filipino people seem entirely too willing to voluntarily surrender their fundamental constitutional rights so there would be no need to formally declare martial law ... Published 11/19/2016


Ferdinand Marcos in Libingan: Where Did We Go Wrong?

With his campaign pledge on the line, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte appears to be pulling out all the stops to make sure the remains of ex-president Ferdinand Marcos get interred in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (hero’s cemetery) as soon as possible ... Published 11/12/2016


Is President Rodrigo Duterte Painting Himself Into a Corner?

With Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte digging in his heels and acting even more petulant towards the West in general and the United States in particular, one wonders, where do things go from here? Published 11/5/2016


Philippine-American Relations: Why We See Other Nationalities the Way We Do?

For With Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte making it crystal clear where he stands when it comes to choosing allies. Duterte has chosen to cozy up to the Chinese and the Russians while stretching his country’s long-standing ties with the United States to the breaking point. Published 10/29/2016


Siding With China: A Wrong-headed Decision, or Duterte’s Stroke of Genius

For whatever reason, it is now obvious that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is not a “fan” of the United States of America. In recent statements, Duterte has pledged closer ties with the People’s Republic of China, and admitted to admiring Russian President Vladimir Putin. Published 10/24/2016


Demonic forces engulfing the Philippines—President Duterte should resign

The world’s good and decent people should force President Rodrigo Duterte to resign. It’s also for his own good. I don’t hate Duterte. But I hate his terrible sins. For his own sake, I hope that he amends his evil ways and saves his soul as his days are numbered. No one is beyond redemption if he turns to our Lord Jesus Christ. Published 10/19/2016


Duterte’s First Hundred Days: What Does It Say About Him?

Since assuming office on June 30, 2016, Rodrigo Duterte has now been in Malacañang for over a hundred days. And for most Filipinos, what a hundred days they have been. Without doubt, Duterte has shaken up the local establishment and ruffled feathers all across the globe. Published 10/15/2016


Dissing God, Cussing Obama, and Praising Hitler—What a Week!

President Duterte’s mouth may have set a world record for traveling the longest distance in the shortest time. In a span of just six days, the mouth went from doubting God in Heaven to condemning Obama to Hell and they were not even the most outrageous remarks uttered that week. Published 10/08/2016


Read more articles from our archives

Court orders arrest of 2 cops, 5 others over kidnap-slay of Korean trader
MANILA, Philippines – The Angeles Regional Trial Court has ordered the arrest of two active police officers and five others in connection with the kidnapping of a South Korean national in Angeles City, Pampanga last October, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II disclosed on Friday.

Floods displace 22,000 families in Lanao Sur, Maguindanao low-lying towns; disaster workers send aid
DATU MONTAWAL, Maguindanao, Jan. 20 (PNA) -- At least 22,000 families have been affected by floods in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur following torrential rains brought about by inclement weather in Mindanao, disaster officials said Friday.

Trump: "America first!"
Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of United States on Friday, issuing a staunchly nationalist vow to put "America first" in his opening address to a country -- and a world -- watching a page of history turn.

As the Philippines chairs ASEAN, the goal is to make it a more people-oriented institution
QUEZON CITY, Jan. 16 - As the Philippines has been agreed to chair the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this 2017, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is also leading the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC), one of ASEAN’s three pillars.

Department of Tourism chief sees boom in Philippine cruise tourism
SINGAPORE, Jan. 20 (PNA) -- With archipelagos in ASEAN to rival the Aegean, the Caribbean, or the South Pacific, not to mention, the year-round tropical weather and diverse and attractive destinations within short sailing distances ...

Shippers avoid new 'pirate hotspot' in waters west of the Philippines
SINGAPORE - A surge in piracy to the west of the Philippines is forcing ship owners to divert vessels through other waters, stoking their costs and extending the time it takes to transport goods such as Australian iron ore to key Asian destinations.

Department of Agriculture cracks down on illegal fishing, awards outstanding coastal communities
QUEZON CITY, Jan. 20 - Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on January 18 said the government will crack down on illegal fishing and seek administrative punishment for local executives who fail to curb the illegal practice in their communities.

Angeles City RTC orders arrest of 2 cops, 5 others over abduction of S. Korean businessman -- Aguirre
MANILA, Jan. 20 (PNA) – Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Friday disclosed that the Angeles Regional Trial Court Branch 58 has ordered the arrest of two active police officers and five others in connection to the kidnapping of a South Korean national ...

3rd round of GRP-NDF talks opens in Rome
MANILA - Reports received from Rome late Thursday afternoon indicated that, despite major problems before its convening, the third round of formal peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Philippines ...

Philippines working with other Southeast Asia countries to stop terror attacks
MANILA, Jan. 20 (PNA) -- To prevent terror groups from launching deadly attacks against innocent civilians, the Philippines is now working closely with the militaries of Southeast Asian nations to prevent these lawless bands from slipping in each others shores.

Previous Headline News for this month

© 1996 - 2017 PHILNEWS.COM Privacy Policy