Keynote Speech of Bishop Pablo Virgilio David (Bishop Ambo)

(This is the keynote speech delivered via Skype on April 22, 2019 by Bishop Pablo Virgilio David on the occasion of the 2nd Democracy and Disinformation Conference. Bishop Ambo’s speech was also preceded by a short interview with Patricia Evangelista.)

Truth in the Age of Disinformation
Bishop Ambo David

Some time ago, I saw a film about professional political strategists who do consultancy work for politicians, especially those who are still aspiring for public office. Their work consists basically in packaging their candidate’s campaign in such a way that the public opinion, which they gauge through surveys, is influenced and swayed favorably—meaning, in favor of their candidate.

The opening scene is an interview with the character Jane Bondine (played by Sandra Bullock), being considered for a job. First question is, “Did you ever work for politicians you did not believe in?” (Her answer: “Sure, I could convince myself many things if the price is right.) Second question: “How important is honesty?” (Answer: “Oh, truth is relative in politics. The truth is what I tell the electorate the truth is.”)

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Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen addresses participants of the 1st Democracy and Disinformation Conference, 12 February 2018

(Note: Last February 2018, the Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation held a two-day conference at the Ateneo de Manila University Professional Schools, Rockwell. One of the guest speakers was Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen. We are reproducing his closing remarks, with permission, below.)

Democracy and Disinformation
Our Fundamental Freedoms
Closing Remarks
Day 1: February 12, 2018
Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, Associate Justice, Supreme Court

Thank you for the privilege to address your forum today.

At the onset and for reasons that will be clear soon, allow me to clarify my standpoint.

My legal career before I was appointed to the judiciary mostly entailed working with groups who are mostly labelled as rural, indigenous or peasant. I have also worked with families of the disappeared and victims of human rights violations. I have made representations at various levels of courts including the Supreme Court as well as in various administrative bodies and in the halls of Congress.

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