Sass Rogando Sasot, a transpinay based in The Hague, recently went viral with a movement calling out international media for “destabilising the Philippines.”
Source: Sass Sasot
Sasot, who is currently pursuing an MA in International Relations at Leiden University, then challenged The Juan Nationalist, The Maharlikan.info and Superficial Gazette to a debate. She also included the likes of Gretchen Malalad, Raisa Robles, Jesus Falcis, Ian Casocot, and Carlos Celdran in the challenge.
Source: Sass Sasot’s Facebook Page
The full text reads:
I AM CHALLENGING THE CREATORS BEHIND JUAN NATIONALIST, THEMAHARLIKAN.INFO AND SUPERFICIAL GAZETTE TO A LIVE VIDEO DEBATE
Patunayan ninyong may mga bayag kayo. Because nilalait ninyo ang campaign to call out the Yellow Journalism of International Media, I am challenging you to a debate. Sige na. Kahit pa kayong tatlo at isa lang ako. Isama niyo pa si Gretchen Malalad, Raissa Robles, Jesus Falcis, Ian Casocot, at Carlos Celdran. LIVE. Sa Google Hangout tayo.
The International Media is Destabilising Duterte’s Administration
Ako ang affirmative side.
Jesus Falcis, a lawyer, a graduate of the UP College of Law, and a decorated debater replied to her challenge.
Source: Jesus Falcis’ Facebook Page
The full text reads:
So many people have been tagging me about this ballsy challenge by the Great Sass Sasot.
I’m so honored that she would include me in the list of people she wants to debate with. I don’t think I belong in the same league as Raissa Robles and Ian Casocot but it’s an honor to be mentioned alongside them.
I accept the challenge to a debate on the topic “This house believes that the international media is destabilizing the Duterte government”, with myself opposing the topic, upon compliance with the following conditions:
1. FORMAT. The debate is one on one, using a modified British Parliamentary format. She will be Affirmative / Government, speaking twice as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, and I will be the Negative / Opposition, speaking twice as Leader of Opposition and Deputy Leader of Opposition. The language shall be English, the most common language, for the benefit and welfare of local and international audiences.
2. TIME. Each speaking time will be for 7 minutes, without interruption or points of information to avoid a messy and disruptive debate.
3. DEFINITION. Five (5) days before the day of the debate, Sass should publish a post defining who is the “international media” and what is included in “destabilizing”. The definition should be fair and reasonable according to international debate standards – definition should not be tautological, a truism, a squirrel, or time/place set.
4. JUDGES. Three (3) judges from the international debate community shall be appointed and act as judges of the debate.
5.1 ROLE. The judges will assess the fairness and reasonability of the definition provided in Number 3. If the definition is found unfair or unreasonable, Sass will be given another chance to define the motion fairly and reasonably. If the second definition is still found as unfair or reasonable, the debate will not push through and Sass will be declared as the loser.
5.2 ROLE. The judges will participate in the debate by listening and judging the debate. At the end of the debate, they will declare the winner of the debate.
6. QUALIFICATION. The three judges should have been previous breaking debaters, champions, breaking judges, or past and incumbent Chief Adjudicatiors of the World Universities Debate Championships (WUDC).
7. SELECTION. Of the three judges, one shall be nominated by Sass and one shall be nominated by myself. The third judge shall be nominated and mutually chosen by the two judges already nominated.
8. DATE AND TIME. The debate shall preferably be conducted on a weekend at a time agreeable to all parties, including both debaters and judges.
9. DECORUM. The debate shall be conducted in a civil and responsible manner. No name-calling of any sort shall be allowed. The judges will penalize the guilty party with a loss for any ad hominem attacks against either debater or any person discussed in the speech.
10. CONSEQUENCES. The person declared as loser by the judges shall post a public concession that he/she is wrong and apologize for misinforming the public on Facebook.
Of course, Sass replied with her own terms.
Source: Sass Sasot’s Facebook Page
The full text reads:
Jesus Falcis, the debate format I want is Lincoln-Douglas. And my preferred judges are: De Lima, Gascon, Drilon, Robredo, Bello, and Roxas. I prefer Walden Bello kasi he’s knowledgeable on how international media worked to destabilise Latin American countries.
I agree with all the requirements, including the consequences.
Except the debate format at ako lang naman mag-isa.
She also added in the comments section:
Eventually, The Superficial Gazette also issued a reply.
Source: Superficial Gazette
Full text reads:
COMMENTARY: On Debate “Challenges” from Purveyors of Misinformation
Blogger and political Analyst-wannabe Sass Sasot has challenged the #SuperficialGazette (as well as The Marharlikan and Juan Nationalist) to a “Live Video Debate” on her conspiracy theory of the International Media “destabilising” the Philippines, alongside journalist Gretchen Malalad, author Raissa Robles, artist Carlos Celdran, educator Ian Casocot, and human rights advocate Atty. Jesus Falcis.
We, the Best Communications Team in the Solar System, laugh at Sasot and her debate “challenge” for the following reasons, which cover a variety of topics ranging from the “challenge” itself to the credibility of the challenger herself:
NUMBER ONE: Sasot backed out from her “challenge” after Atty. Falcis – also a renowned debater who has argued for just causes before no less than the Supreme Court – called her bluff (https://goo.gl/K8T4d0), and accepted Sasot’s challenge with a condition that the judges of the debate be debaters / adjudicators who have made it past the elimination rounds of the World Universities Debate Championships (WUDC).
Sasot and her supporters have belittled the WUDC as holding debates “for students only,” clueless of the fact that the students in question are not only Bachelor’s Degree students, but also Masters’, Doctoral, and even Postdoctoral students. The WUDC itself is considered as the Olympics of the Debate world.
Instead, Sasot has asked that the judges of the debate be Senators De Lima and Drilon, CHR Chair Gascon, former Secretary Roxas, and Vice President Robredo, who the likes of Sasot constantly criticize as “dilawan” or members / supporters of the Liberal Party. (https://goo.gl/W5wzdK)
(FACT CHECK: Gascon is not even a member – as a Government Appointee, he is forbidden by the laws of the Civil Service from affiliating with the LP.)
This is clearly an attempt by Sasot to set up a fallback plan. Given the questionable level of Sasot’s logic, intellect, and comprehension skills, the extremely likely outcome is that she would lose the debate to any of the individuals she challenged (especially Atty. Falcis) – in which case, she would blame the “judges being dilawan” for her loss.
To use a simple, two-word expression of contemporary Filipino slang: “don’t us.”
NUMBER TWO: Sasot’s conspiracy itself (the “destabilisation” from international media) itself is of dubious credibility, and equals in intellectual value to a pile of male bovine excrement, if not less.
The International Media and the UN, being global in scope, monitor and report events across the globe. Reporting on the facts of Philippine events – including President Rodrigo Duterte’s words and actions – is also one of their duties.
The likes of Sasot and her contemporaries follow a single communications pattern instead: criticize the media and diminish its credibility whenever the President and his government trigger public backlash / unfavorable publicity through their actions.
It is through learning the facts that we as a people came to oust Estrada, perceive Arroyo as corrupt, and criticize Aquino III as incompetent. The duty of the media as a watchdog to report on the government’s blunders stands independent of political factions, and does NOT constitute “destabilisation.”
Destabilization of the Philippine Government could only occur when an internal or external actor takes steps to diminish the power of the government. Looking back on [actual] Philippine history, it is the PEOPLE who give and revoke the power to govern, and not the media – who are in not in any position to destabilize.
If the President and other officials trigger public backlash that diminishes the government’s credibility, then the fault is on them – not on the media who report their actions.
NUMBER FOUR: Sasot proudly proclaims that she uses “the freedom and security I have here in Europe for THE MOTHERLAND” (the Philippines).
We ask – if President Rodrigo Duterte is as great a leader as Sasot and her contemporaries – Uson, Demata, et al. – proclaim him to be, to the extent of any criticism of the President being tantamount to being an “enemy of change” or a “yellowtard”, is that not sufficient for individuals like Sasot to be “free” and “secure” enough in the Philippines?
Or is Sasot simply justifying her absence from this country, and using it to build a perception that support and positive propaganda in favor of the President is a consensus on the international level, despite the facts that the International Media report on? (Read: H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y)
NUMBER FIVE: This is perhaps the most simple reason – the Superficial Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines is an outlet that specializes in satirical and sarcastic commentary.
Sa Tagalog kumbaga, “SATIRE ‘TO, TEH.” We find it disappointing that despite possessing a degree and boasting of her “international” credentials and standing, Sasot is not intelligent enough to discern the nature of the aforementioned commentary.
Our “in-character” mission is to deliver quality and timely #HistoricalRevisionism to the Filipino people. We leave our “out-of-character” mission unstated to serve as a litmus test of intelligence for our readers. Sasot has failed this test with flying colors.
While we could actually accept her challenge if we wanted to – even in that case, we have ways of preserving our anonymity – the questionability of Sasot’s intellect and ethics means we would rather not expend our effort.
The SGRP stands against [real-world] misinformation, idiocy, and anti-intellectualism alone, and favors no political faction. We only answer to ourselves and to our readership.
We acknowledge that the President and his government have their ups and downs. Sasot and other Fanatic supporters, however, extol and glorify him as a messianic figure of sorts who is incapable of real mistakes, defending him even in cases where his actions are simply wrong.
It’s time for Sasot and her contemporaries to learn that admitting one’s mistakes is a good practice, instead of merely denying them and diminishing the credibility of their critics in the process – a true act of cowardice, no less.
We do, however, thank Sasot for the honor of being mentioned alongside outstanding individuals such as Atty. Falcis, Malalad, Robles, Casocot, and Celdran, even if we have only operated for a single week.
What do you think about this? Do you think the debate will happen? Which side are you on?