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Cyberterrorism Threat Remains after Manila Times Managing Editor Resigns Over Destabilization Matrix

By: Elena Grace Flores

The Presidential spokesperson announces earlier that destabilization is real. There’s a plot to oust President Rodrigo Du30. Manila Times Managing Editor Felipe Salvosa II tenders his resignation. Salvosa opposes the publication that there’s a plot to unseat the President. It is written by Manila Times chairman emeritus and columnist Dante Ang. Salvosa does not want to upset his friends at the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Vera Files, Rappler, and the National Union of People’s Lawyers, Salvosa said.

YouTube video by ABS-CBN News

[VIDEO]: Panelo draws flak over ‘oust-Duterte matrix’.

Editor’s Resignation Does Not Mean It’s NOT True

The opposition rejoices. It is a relief for personalities that the Malacañang implicates in an alleged plot. These people now challenge Du30 to reveal the source of his information. However, the editor does not have the evidence of the writer. His mere duty is to edit the the article. Investigative journalists can secure the facts but this normally happens before an article is written. It’s not the editor’s call especially when the Chairman writes it.

An Act of Insubordination if Not Rebellion

Salvosa, the coordinator of the Journalism program at the University of Santo Tomas, added that Manila Times also asks him to step down because of his strongly-worded social media posts that questions the accuracy of Manila Times’ report. If the publications owner writes about a story that he knows more than anyone else, an employee who questions it online can only trigger friction. That’s purely an act of disrespect or insubordination.

Salvosa Does Not have the Evidence

In his own words, the editor said; “A diagram is by no means an evidence of ‘destabilization.’It is a very huge stretch for anyone to accuse PCIJ, Vera Files and Rappler. The are not actively plotting to unseat the President. I know people there and they are not coup plotters.” He wrote this on his private Twitter page. This is clearly an assumption and not logical.

The Matrix was Validated

The article of Ang has the strong backing of Malacañang. Ang also serves as Du30’s special envoy for international public relations. He surely has the insider’s information. Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the matrix is the result of an intelligence information. A foreign country got these from phone conversations. The matrix has the validation, according to Panelo. However, gov’t forces said there is no clear evidence that links the journalists to any ouster plot. Therefore, their actions can speak for themselves.

The Right Thing to do Amidst Destabilization Threats

Jericho Nograles, PBA Party-list Representative explains: “Whether the destabilization plot is true or not, the fact remains that the cyberterrorism must be defined in our laws. This is for our government to protect the state of the people. Unless we define and punish the crime, the internet will remain as potent tool for coup plotters and destabilizers.”

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