Monday, July 31, 2006

Sunda-sundaluhan? Battle for Hearts and Minds...

While Gen. Arturo Lim was being charged, a website was being launched at the same time. Sundalo, Tagapagtanggol ng Pilipino is being projected as a site moderated by idealistic soldiers that want to express their disdain against the current dispensation.

The sudden appearance of this website in cyberspace sparked support, curiosity and apprehension to many netizens both here and abroad. What really is this site all about? Is it for real? Is this some kind of ploy by the AFP top brass and ISAFP to flush out disgruntled soldiers and their civilian supporters?

Ellen Tordesillas of Malaya had written an article about Sundalo. She and another blogger, Yuko had tried to correspond with the site moderators. They both received what we all think and perceive, a computer generated reply to their comments and queries. They then sent another response to Ellen about her misgivings about the validity of their site. They asked her how they could prove to her that they are for real. They also advised Ellen to send a criteria of how to meet her standards.

I too am skeptical about the site. Further browsing and deep understanding of the issues posted there would confuse the reader. Some postings there seem to discredit the advocacy the site would like to present. If I should develop a site with an advocacy or cause, I would be straightforward and present my case to the reader with utmost clarity. Some bloggers have poited out glaring contradictions on the site. One perfect example is the supposed link of the Communists and the Magdalos. Inclusion of this in the site only bolters the case of the government's allegations. Still another is the inclusion of Gen. Ermita. Unless Ermita is a turncoat, the inclusion of his speech in the site would confuse the reader. MenOk another blogger, also pointed out how detailed the site was. The moderators even apologized for the slow uploading of their site. MenOk has pointed out that the site's counters recorded only 7,000 hits. We all know that that is not enough to knockout a site. With moderators promising a faster browsing speed, one would wonder how they can manage this, unless they have a highend package with the webhost, one cannot ask for more bandwidth.

Still, the moderators would like a dynamic interaction with the readers. This is good, but could also be interpreted as a tool of assessing the magnitude of the support and sentiments from the populace. One may feel that they are being led on to reveal their sentiments which of course could lead to exposing the supporters of the various groups of disgruntled soldiers. Others may view it as an experimental strategy by the administration and ISAFP. For sure, they are aware of the huge potential of blogging especially the untapped power of blogging to convince and persuade.

With all these observations in mind, we cannot discount the possibility of the site as being a farce. So readers and fellow bloggers, its all up to you. Visit the site, browse and discern. Try to read between the lines and then draw your own conclusion. As for me, what started out as skepticism has turned to disbelief.