Firehose of lies vs squirt gun of truth

05:04 AM January 02, 2019

This is an effort to explain the psychology and dynamics behind the recent firehosing activities of President Duterte and his minions featuring the Church as his smokescreen.

First, he zeroes in on Bishop Pablo Virgilio “Ambo” David and exhorts the Catholics to kill their bishops. In the meantime, he and/or his followers focus on matters away from the Church issue and gets the House to approve amendments to the Constitution, inserts a lot of pork in the budget, pushes a Davao court to issue a warrant of arrest against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and influences the Sandiganbayan to acquit Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. so he could be part of the Hugpong ticket.


Notice how the sleight of hand maneuvers are quick and carried out on the flanks while Mr. Duterte keeps the opposition distracted defending its turf.

Not that the opposition should not do so. What is being described is the way firehosing works through constant bullying. While we defend an issue dear to our hearts, the flanks get away with equally significant issues. And the firehosing spree continues while we mop the mess and let other issues slip past or we react, albeit belatedly, on these.
We keep on defending, get checkmated on the offensive, and the issues become stale. Mr. Duterte was lately again on the offensive, widening his target from bishops to the mass of priests, whom he said were 90 percent gay.


How do we put a stop to the madness? Perhaps, by countering the effects of the propaganda rather than the propaganda itself. Expose the squid tactics and dynamics. Let’s try to apply information efforts toward redirecting behaviors or attitudes rather than directly engaging with the propaganda. Let’s try to turn off or decelerate the
flow of propaganda actively, although this is easier said than done.

We now have many organizations in the opposition. This movement could be formidable if they are united and have the resources. If they are not, don’t expect to be able to counter a firehose of lies with merely a squirt gun of truth. We will all just drown in the flood of firehosing that’s been unleashed by Mr. Duterte and his forces.


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