Much Ado About the #LeniLeaks Yahoogroups

When I first came across talk about a supposed ouster plot against President Rodrigo R. Duterte being planned using a Yahoogroup, my first reaction was, “People still use Yahoogroup?”

After that, it was a bit hard for me to believe that some people would actually be stupid enough to use a publicly viewable Yahoogroup to plan and coordinate a credible bid to oust a duly elected President.

Then again, some people might point out social media’s role in The Arab Spring and of course, I’d have to give them my now famous incredulous stare.

Even given that those named in the Yahoogroup were billionaires in US dollars, an ouster plot only becomes credible (at least in my mind) if it seems they’ve already worked out the logistics of such a plot.

Then again, if a serious ouster plot’s logistics had been worked out, would it be published on a publicly viewable Yahoogroup?

Anyway, of the #LeniLeaks Yahoogroup messages I am aware of so far, none appear to call for the ouster of Duterte. One or two I have seen appear to be calling for the resignation of President Duterte, which as far as I can tell, is something that all presidents before him had to endure.

And I have great confidence in the fact that President Duterte is not in the least bit intimidated by calls for his resignation. I imagine he’d be a little amused and then quickly bored or annoyed.

The fact that a number of people have said that the matter of #LeniLeaks will be taken up in a cabinet meeting is a bit of a concern though.

I’ve had my time in government and have at one point or another heard a cabinet secretary who was my former boss say, “Do you know what the Secretary’s time costs the government? If you knew, you wouldn’t waste it.”

So, at this point, various reports have come out saying that the #LeniLeaks Yahoogroup messages are still subject of investigation by various law enforcement agencies.

I guess that these agencies will figure out two things:

  1. Are the Yahoogroup messages authentic? Meaning, were those messages really sent by the people named in the Yahoogroup?
  2. Are any of the messages seditious or in other ways illegal in a manner that would be threatening to the stability of the government?

If the Yahoogroup messages haven’t been officially declared authentic and if the messages themselves hasn’t been officially determined as seditious or illegal, what are the cabinet secretaries (and presumably the President himself) going to discuss?

Is there something else in those messages that hasn’t seen the light of day that would be a matter serious enough to merit the attention of the entire cabinet or a cluster of that cabinet?

Perhaps. I have to assume that it IS SERIOUS enough just based on the pronouncements made by some officials.

One thing that I have to point out here is that among the first things that the #LeniLeaks controversy started out with was a message which purportedly came from the Office of the Vice President which called for an “attack” on a couple of personalities on social media who are supposedly watching out for the President.

The #LeniLeaks exploded on social media days after one of the personalities cried foul over being accused of receiving money for services.

The other thing that caught my eye is the central involvement of Imelda Nicolas, who was the Chair of the Commission of Filipinos Overseas.

A friend says that she could still be the Chair of the Commission of Filipinos Overseas in a holdover capacity and if that is true, then perhaps her behavior online could be grounds for an administrative case.

I’m not sure on what grounds Nicolas could be charged with since I am not an expert on this matter.




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