The year 2013 is Blog Watch’ fourth year, made even busier than ever because of the 2013 elections and controversial issues like the pork barrel scandal and the President’s Development acceleration program (DAP). We continued our Voters’ education articles where we researched on the platforms and programs of the senatorial candidates and party list candidates. Due to time constraints and confusion over premature campaigning, we were only able to cover less than 10 senatorial candidates. Despite such limitations, our readers showed interest in learning more about the 2013 elections through our articles on platforms and voting criteria. Two issues not found in traditional media such as the working conditions in Vietnam and libel suit against a blogger brought about happy endings. The Department of Labor and Employment agency (DOLE) suspended the particular Vietnamese company from hiring temporarily Filipinos while the libel charges against the blogger was dropped.
If you missed any of our Blog Watch commentaries and feature articles for 2013, here’s your chance to browse through our top thirteen articles in terms of popularity or traffic. The popularity of a social media post is not relevant if it does not bring about a policy change. Our most popular post in 2012 was about the Department of Education K to 12 Program followed by the call to abolish the Anti- Cyber Crime law. As of this writing, a temporary restraining order is still very much in place against the anti-cybercrime law.
Filipinos here and abroad showed their anger towards the thievery of the pork scandal. Many were pissed off about the trouble making people accountable. The Million People March brought many citizens from all walks of life in Luneta to show their anger towards what is happening. The power of the people was so evident a few days before the August 26 protest when the President announced that the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) is now abolished. It didn’t stop the people from continuing on with the march.
Where Does the Pork Train Start and End?There have been many allusions to the existence of a rebate or percentage system existing that benefits from pork barrel funds. Although no one has come out in the open to tag and name those who do this, there are a lot of stories. Different sources privy in government dealings consistently disclose that contractors and suppliers usually give 50% rebates on medicines/medical missions.
Cocoy wrote the story of an OFW to show the real plight of some of our Filipino workers in Vietnam . It was the OFW’s wish that workers who contribute so much to this country be afforded full protection of their rights. On April, DOLE suspended GLN English Learning Centerpending investigation of the the OFW complaints. However, it seems that GLN invented a language centre named JOLO to get around the POEA’s temporary suspension – POEA Case No. DAE13-04-0570. The case continues.
The writer reported several incidents of suspected military surveillance and harassment. These cowardly attacks against activist organizations and their leaders further stoke the fires of outrage and further show the need to intensify the struggle for genuine freedom and democracy..
While the Palace raved over the Fitch Investment BBB+ rating, the writer pointed out that the substance of the rating were policies from the previous government (repaying debt, high external position, high dollar reserves, etc.) and simply continued by a current hierarchy headed by an Arroyo appointee.
Though there is an indefinite TRO versus the anti-cybercrime law, the challenge to Filipino netizens and bloggers is to be vigilant and to further intesify efforts to make sure Cyber Martial Law is junked.
Filipino voters wanted to know which of the senatorial candidates’ platforms were strong on trade, labor platforms , food and agriculture among many other areas. This is a positive sign as it shows the voters are doing their research online and not just relying on traditional media for the information.
Carlos wrote this article at the start of 2013. He says “presumably, the ruling clique will try to orchestrate gimmickries again this year in a vain attempt to steer clear from trouble. Evading looming firestorms this year though will be tough for Aquino, as the bankruptcy of his leadership gets clearer by the day.” Events have shown that for the first time, President Aquino suffered his lowest ratings after the Million People March.
It took a growing anti-pork barrel dissent for President Aquino to utter the “it is time to abolish the PDAF” spiel, only to propose reforms in the system seconds after. The same offline and online outrage should make him realize, too, that his pork barrel double talk will not appease the millions who marched to Luneta on Monday, Aug. 26.
What has happened to the charges filed at the Ombudsman? No case has yet reached the Sandiganbayan. Very few from the huge cast detailed in special PDAF audit have been charged for the loss of public funds. Nor has the public been shown detailed accounting of pork spending outside of 2007 to 2009.Perhaps netizens can continue to denounce all the delaying tactics and lack of definitive measures to get to the bottom of this pork barrel scam once and for all.
Indeed, the year 2013 brought in action, policy changes and awareness on many social issues. Despite our limitations (yes, we have day jobs), this is our modest contribution to citizen participation in government.
Thank you for being part of the Blog Watch community and for being with us in 2013. We look forward to engaging more with you in our social media network in 2014!
Photo by Noemi Lardizabal-Dado. Some rights reserved.
Noemi Lardizabal-Dado is a Content Strategist with over 16 years experience in blogging, content management, citizen advocacy and media literacy and over 26 years in web development. Otherwise known as @MomBlogger on social media, she believes in making a difference in the lives of her children by advocating social change for social good.
She is a co-founder and a member of the editorial board of Blog Watch . She is a resource speaker on media literacy, social media , blogging, digital citizenship, good governance, transparency, parenting, women’s rights and wellness, and cyber safety.
Her personal blogs such as aboutmyrecovery.com (parenting) , pinoyfoodblog.com (recipes), techiegadgets.com (gadgets) and benguetarabica.coffee keep her busy outside of Blog Watch.
I am an advocate. I am NOT neutral. I will NOT give social media mileage to members of political clans, epal, a previous candidate for the same position and those I believe are a waste of taxpayers' money.
I do not support or belong to any political party. I was part of accredited media covering the Office of the Vice President and Leni Robredo as she ran as a presidential aspirant in the 2022 National and local elections.
On August 5, 2021, YouTube announced that I was selected as one of 50 Program participants of its Creator Program for Independent Journalists
She was a Senior Consultant for ALL media engagements for the PCOO-led Committee on Media Affairs & Strategic Communications (CMASC) under the ASEAN 2017 National Organizing Council from January 4 -July 5, 2017. Having been an ASEAN advocate since 2011, she has written extensively about the benefits of the ASEAN community and as a region of opportunities on Blog Watch and aboutmyrecovery.com.
Organization affiliation includes Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation
Updated June 6, 2022