NEW technologies have spawned a changing media environment that now makes it possible for everyone to create, store, and experience content different from traditional print, radio and TV. The age of multimedia has ushered in a new way of storytelling that integrates multiple media — spoken and written word, still and moving images, animation — as well as the interactive and hypertextual elements of the Internet, to reach the widest possible audience.

Of late, multimedia has entered the realm of political campaign, equipping forces of contending political persuasions in the country with new tools with which to wage their battles for the public’s hearts and minds.

Of course, newspapers continue to be a medium of choice for political advertising — like the recent anti-impeachment ads of Masa Bansa, a group of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo supporters. Next to print, there’s television as exemplified by the current ad placements of One Voice questioning the wisdom of Malacañang’s charter change initiatives.

But beyond traditional media, the Internet has become a convenient host to all sorts of political messages — left, right and center, and everything in between. Remember Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon’s website (though now inactive since the Magdalo soldier’s arrest in January)? At the height of their “persecution” by the Department of Justice, the Batasan 6 — leftist party-list representatives of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela — put up their own blog.

Yet another popular form are audio-video presentations burned onto digital compact discs (VCD or DVD). In his five years of incarceration while on trial for plunder charges, ousted Pres. Joseph Estrada, for instance, has taken a penchant for making videos as a way to communicate with the public and his loyal followers. His website offers multimedia content by way of video streaming (misspelled as “steaming” — wonder if that was deliberate, in typical Erap joke fashion?). Erap’s latest release is reportedly a video of his own state of the nation address distributed in VCD format.

Even the controversial video of Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim’s “withdrawal of support” from the Arroyo government last February was copied onto CDs supposedly for distribution to the media — one of which apparently found its way to ABS-CBN.

Not to be outdone, Malacañang also released, apart from the regular informational materials it churns out, two video documentaries — Paglaban sa Kataksilan: 1017 and Sabwatan sa Kataksilan: 1017. These were shown on government TV networks and published online to justify Arroyo’s issuance of Proclamation No. 1017 declaring a national state of emergency in February.

Now come two recent videos which we received a week prior to Arroyo’s SONA, one from an anonymous source, the other from the Citizens’ Congress for Truth and Accountability (CCTA). Both tackle the so-called “original sin” — the alleged systematic and massive fraud in the 2004 elections that continue to cast doubts on Arroyo’s electoral victory and legitimacy as president.

The release of the videos could not have been more timely, in anticipation of the opening of the fourth session of Congress, which will again hear several impeachment complaints — seven as of this writing — filed against Arroyo on the same charges of electoral fraud, corruption, and the unabated murders of activists since she assumed power in 2001. A new charge involves Arroyo’s attempts to crack down on anti-government protests and to block investigations into allegations of wrongdoing — acts that the Supreme Court later declared unconstitutional.

Made public last week, the CCTA’s “At All Costs” is a video version of the 203-page report on its findings regarding the charges of “stealing, lying, cheating, and killing” against Arroyo. Among the highlights of the one-and-a-half-hour video prepared by multi-awarded film director Carlitos Siguion-Reyna are the voluminous documentary and testimonial evidence showing how Arroyo “won” the elections through fraudulent votes in the provinces of Pampanga, Cebu, Bohol, Iloilo and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, and the various attempts to cover up the electoral fraud as depicted in the “Hello, Garci” recordings.

The video also indicts former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante for his role in diverting millions of Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) funds for the 2004 campaign kitty of Arroyo.

The CCTA has even offered all the evidence it had gathered, particularly those in connection with the fertilizer fund scam, for use in an impeachment proceeding against Arroyo this year, should a complaint be allowed by the House of Representatives. Last year, the pro-Arroyo Lower House summarily junked all three complaints against her in an impeachment process tainted by allegations of wheeling and dealing of congressmen (here and here) by Malacañang, and marred by technicalities and a walkout by impeachment endorsers.

The other video, shorter and untitled, propounds on the sovereign right of the people to choose their leaders, a right that was allegedly stolen from them by no less than the highest official of the land. It makes use of video material explaining Arroyo’s fraudulent votes done by Engr. Jun Estrella, the management systems analyst consulted by the opposition to scrutinize the 2004 election documents. (Estrella’s presentation also appears in the CCTA video.)

You can watch one-minute video clips of the two videos below:

Since the video files (mpeg) are quite huge (the CCTA video is 422 MB while the untitled video is 163 MB), we decided to split them into several files for easy downloading. If you have bandwidth issues, we also generated torrent files for the video clips. Click on the link below to go to the download page:

6 Responses to Waging political battles in multimedia



July 27th, 2006 at 11:28 pm

“Of late, multimedia has entered the realm of political campaign, equipping forces of contending political persuasions in the country with new tools with which to wage their battles for the public’s hearts and minds.”

And I think this is the reason why it is more challenging to “stage” another EDSA. Come to think of it, EDSA 2 was an “ify.” Looking back, it seems that it turned out to be a VIRTUAL PEOPLE POWER–the texting power gave many an outlet to release their anger/frustration, which can explain the reason why EDSA 2 didn’t have the multitude of people that EDSA 1 had. Maybe the only way to kick out GMA is “technologically.”



July 28th, 2006 at 12:17 am

Next time would it be “Winning political battles in multi-media?”

(Its good to be back after how many days of hibernation. Well, this is a new WordPress theme.New beginning.)


Diego K. Guerrero

July 28th, 2006 at 1:03 am

The above links CCTA video are invalid. Thanks


Alecks Pabico

July 28th, 2006 at 8:35 am

Hi Diego,

I checked the links for the split files and they are working just fine. Please try again and tell me if you are still encountering the same problem.


Manuel L. Quezon III: The Daily Dose » Blog Archive » The President’s breathing condition

July 28th, 2006 at 12:48 pm

[…] My Liberal Times says in France, blogging has been integrated into the body politic. In the PCIJ blog, an entry on political battles and multimedia. barako cafe on how blogs are affecting the legal world. […]



August 4th, 2006 at 7:21 am

The birth of every new technology always gives rise to the belief that it will change the world for the better. The printing press, the radio, the telegraph and television were all celebrated as instruments that would usher in new eras of democratization. Well, we all know by now that it’s not so easy to change the world. It is clear that new media have greatly facilitated communication and do possess the *potential* to be used for democratic change. The key word is *potential*. It really depends on how the technology is used.

It’s the same for the Internet and other communication technology like mobile phones.Activists can use them, tyrants can use them–as your article above demonstrates.

“The Internet is not an instrument of freedom, nor is it the weapon of one-sided domination.” It offers profound opportunities for the communication of rights and aspirations but is “not a substitute for social change or political reform.” –Manuel Castells, The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business and Society (2001).

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