Rappler Isn’t Really Independent Journalism After All?

I remembered how I actually wrote my frustration on the Yellowtards and how they love to use their own sources as their only “sources of truth“. It shouldn’t be surprising that in their war against anyone who’s not Yellow (and remember, President Duterte is NOT the only enemy they have) — some of the sites they are using even include that super anti-intellectual Pinoy Ako Blog. Maria Ressa getting her award from clueless Western media and her praising Pinoy Ako Blog are not surprising either. Those who want to criticize President Duterte for his mistakes (and yes, he needs it too since he’s just human) need to take on neutral sources — not sources that are under Yellow control!

I decided to read through Manila Times before writing this entry. Rigoberto Tiglao now writes a more daring expose (which will be the source of information for this entry( that reveals that Rappler or better renamed CRappler isn’t really “independent” journalism. It’s just like ABS-CBN’s preposterous claim that they are “walang kinikilingan” or “not favoring anyone” — all the while they are involved in partisan politics. It’s stupid to criticize Mocha Uson’s one-sided behavior all the while they too are involved in it. 
Here’s the introduction of Tiglao’s expose about Rappler not really being independent and how it ranked up so high in such a short amount of time:

NO wonder the online newsite Rappler managed to survive since its establishment in 2012 despite its huge expenses on expensive internet technology, in order to rank high in Google searches, among other aims, which couldn’t be recovered through advertising revenues.

No wonder it has been so much a tool of the past regime of Benigno Aquino 3rd, that it was even at the head of the pack that lynched Chief Justice Renato Corona, and now so vociferously anti-Duterte that it has been grossly exaggerating the number of people killed in the wake of the President’s anti-drug war.

According to documents and claims by very reliable sources, Rappler received as much as P40 million from 2014 to mid-2016 from government agencies in the form of dubious consultancies, “intelligence services,” and advertising revenues.

Call a spade a spade: Rappler has been the Aquino regime’s paid media.

What was interesting, this was also revealed by documents that were made public. What’s really interesting to know is that the new tourism secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat. This is also an interesting find from the same expose with the picture used in said expose by Tiglao:
Documents made public recently showed that Aquino’s tourism secretary Ramon Jimenez signed a contract with Rappler (represented by its sales manager Carla Yap Sy Su) on August 28, 2014 for the tourism department to pay the outfit P9.6 million for just three months of service.
Anyone familiar with internet consultancy—or any kind of consultancy services—would be shocked how generous Jimenez was and at how anomalous the contract was.
In just a month and a half after the contract was signed, on October 15, Rappler was paid P3.2 million. The output? A vague “tourism intelligence report” and “launch of microsite and crowdsource platform for 1st city.”

After another month and a half, on November 31, 2014, Rappler was paid another P3.2 million for “2nd intelligence report” and “launch of microsite and crowdsource platform for 2nd city.” And then on December 31—in time to celebrate the New Year— another P3.2 million for similar mysterious reports. C’mon, do you know of any outfit that works so feverishly as to complete a report through December?

Anybody who reads the contract (parts of it accompany this column) would have absolutely no doubt how very questionable it is:

The Jimenez-Rappler contract was so brief—at just three pages—it was obviously done in haste and only to put something on paper.

In contrast to most consultancy contracts, there wasn’t even a reference to any other document (usually called “terms of reference”) that would detail exactly what the “intelligence reports,” “microsite,” “crowdsourcing platform” Rappler would produce that taxpayers would be paying P9.6 million for.

There is a reason why Jimenez and Rappler labeled the outfit’s services as “intelligence reports.” Jimenez could use the classification as an excuse to hide the contract from the Commission on Audit, claiming the confidential nature of “intelligence.”

The transactions as revealed between the former secretary Jimenez and Rappler is this — naming something as “intelligent reports” was to hide that money was really given. This would be trying to cheat the very Commission on Audit. What was also interesting is that Ressa herself plays the victim card concerning her issue of possible tax deficiency — what she’s probably ignoring on purpose is that she’s still given the chance to pay it. Instead, she plays the victim, clueless liberal media from the West applaud her — such as when she won her 2018 Golden Pen of Freedom Award (all the while she and her kind hypocritically reject the idea that Foreign Direct Investments would help the Philippines) never mind that President Duterte’s administration is still giving her the chance to clear her name. Instead, she chooses to demonize the administration with fictitious charges rather than take the chance shes’ been given!

What was really interesting is that we also read this one from Tiglao’s daring expose:

Rappler itself confirmed the P9.6 million contract in an article on its website on May 5, 2015. It was cowardly—or to evade legal issues—bylined though not by its editor Maria Ressa, but by “Rappler.com.”

Its response was curt. After saying that the contract was a “valid and legal advertising contract with the DoT in 2015, it claimed: “Commercial transactions between government agencies and media companies are not unique. The current DoT secretary herself says her agency also spent tens of millions of pesos for ads with ABS-CBN, GMA, CNN Philippines, CNN International, Discovery Channel, and the BBC.”

In just three sentences to answer the questions over its P9.6 million contract with government, its stupid writer admitted to Rappler’s financing by Aquino’s regime in different ways.

The P9.6 million questionable contracts were not for advertising, and not made in 2015. It was for Rappler to produce “tourism intelligence reports” and, obviously to confound the COA, “microsites” and “crowdsourcing platforms” in 2014.

Revealingly, Rappler’s own claim though that it had a “valid and legal advertising contract with the DoT in 2015” bolsters allegations by insiders in the department that Aquino had ordered it to heavily support the financially struggling outfit with advertising, which wasn’t justifed by its reach.

The sources claimed that from 2014 to the time Aquino stepped down in mid-2016, the tourism department and other government agencies—Pagcor and PCSO were mentioned as the main “suspects”—paid P20 million for their advertisements in Rappler. I myself at that time was suspicious at the many advertisements in the website on Philippine tourism sites.

This transactions are shady at best. Trying to escape the radar and now Ressa plays the victim. What should be interesting is that they are beating around the bush like Alan Purisima during the Mamasapano trial. Purisima tried to “clear his name” by saying the dumbest things and now it’s revealed that Rappler is doing something similar — from “intelligence services” to now saying it’s a “valid contract” in an attempt to cover up that the Noynoying Administration did indeed finance Rappler while lying through their teeth that supporting them is supporting “free (independent) and fearless journalism”. 
This has me also questioning the next possible thing to expose is its alliance with Filipino Communist activists. How can it call itself a champion for democracy while having an alliance with Communists? It’s very similar and not too different with how the New People’s Army was actually allied with the Yellows during the martial law years. Trying to defend democracy by hiring Communists is like using piranhas to defend your fish in your fish pond. 
A good example of this one is that one of its contributors is actually former senator Teddy A. Casino  (whose arrest warrant is not released)  who is a known Filipino Communist activist. The other was what Black Friday for “Press Freedom” protest also had members of Filipino Communist groups like Bayan Muna and Migraine International to help it out. Wait how can you be a Communist and defend democracy? The very logic is confusing. Press freedom is almost non-existent in Communist countries and yet why are they hiring Communists to supposedly defend democracy? It’s no different than Cory Aquino who actually granted pardon for a known Communist rebel leader in Jose Maria Sison proving that the Yellows are in fact sympathizers with selected Communist groups in the Philippines. Talk about Rappler having a a shaky alliance — didn’t those Communist thugs who rallied with CRappler also protest against Noynoy too? 
Hmmm if that’s the case then not only is Rappler guilty of partisan politics but also for collaborating with selected Filipino Communist groups. If that’s the case then there may be a good reason to really shut down Rappler for good to defend genuine press freedom and democracy. The same may apply to Pinoy Ako Blog, Change Scamming, Silent No More and other related pages. It’s not “Para Sa Bayan Tuloy Ang Laban” (Continuing the fight for the country) but rather “Para Sa Bayad Tuloy Ang Laban” (Continuing the fight for the pay). 

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