A continuous wave of propaganda and counter-propaganda been waged both sides as recent events involving activist deaths became a series of trolling, name calling and scapegoat-making by some military ranks as well as pro-government sympathizers guised as "concerned citizens" as comments from every social networking site tends to create rage over an existing fire simply by putting the blame or justifying actions deemed as impunity and atrocity.
At first, it is quite nonsense as people from Facebook as well as news sites such as the Philippine Daily Inquirer tend to blame the death of Willem Geertman to the New People's Army as well as its sympathizers. Scapegoats, as what this writer think of in putting the blame unto rebel groups especially in the deaths of certain activists and personalities affected by operations "Bantay Laya" and today's "Bayanihan" regardless of the obvious actions taken by the military and its propaganda machine.
Recalling past and recent events
as basis for creating alibis and scapegoats
Looking at the past operations and policies, especially the dreaded "Low Intensity Conflict" of the first Aquino administration, such operations include salvaging, vigilante groups, as well as special operations that made the revolutionary movement in the Philippines nearly deciminated in the latter years of the 1980s. Meanwhile, the Communist Party also acknowledge its past mistakes and inappropriate actions made by siege mentality as well as irrationally-imposed actions such as the anti-infiltration campaigns, bank robberies, and the like, only to be used by its enemies as a scapegoat for their further operations against activists and civilians affected by conflicts (like blaming the NPA after a salvaging operation without any basis except hearsay as its example).
And due to these experiences, actions taken by the military and paramilitary groups nowadays justifies disregarding Human Rights as well as the dead, especially in mutilating fallen enemy combatants such as beheading and skinning while putting the blame on its enemy; the recent death of Willem Geertman using robbery as its pretext isn't even considered robbery due to the death threats given to him months ago as well as moves leading to the Dutchman's death; of Fr. Pops Tentorio being killed for being against mining (that the Military supported mining companies with its forces as its guards and such), or the rebel Arman Albarillo being shot in the head as well as mutilated despite being killed earlier along with 10 combatants in a strife. These actions would say that despite presenting its own as maintainer of peace, democracy and human rights, the military, as well as its actions became more personalistic in its inclination such as "the number of enemies killed" and the use of "special operations" as a pretext for attaining higher position and priviledges amongst the ranks.
Also to remember countless disappeared persons such as Jonas Burgos, being abducted by military elements while the latter described the said incident with the same old scapegoating tactic of blaming Communist rebels despite concrete evidences codemning the former instead of the latter.
Quite ridiculous to think of then followed by those who tend to comment or elaborate statements in Facebook or any other social media site nearly making atrocities further justified simply by reinterpreting it as a "purge" or any kind of action "inimical to the revolution" followed by a series of fabricated evidences or mere hearsays being spoken like official ones.
Such passion taken by those who create a subjectivist interpretation of certain event such as Geertman's death tends to create slander just like before, in fact using enemies of the state as scapegoats tends to create conditions that the state is doing their job in imposing peace and order by all means, or others may think of it as right or wrong as long as the end justifies its means; yet on the other hand, it showed the desperate means in pursuit of rallying the people against its enemy despite the atrocities given against them. One example is in Quezon province wherein soldiers strongly warned residents that a conflict would arise if they amicably met a convoy of activists and churchpeople carrying relief goods and medical supplies while at the same time urging them to rally on their side against the enemies of state including activists; and yet the latter gladly accepted the relief operation despite efforts by the military not to support nor mingle with them. On the part of the resident, to whom they are willing to support after threatening and making scapegoats out of themselves for their operations while at the same time "having the mood" to provide services and hence calling it "projects"?
A desperate legacy
These events rather ridicule than appraise especially those who create a misinterpretation of issues. A "dirty war" so to speak as what they've encouraged upon reading comments that seemed too far and subjective such as a "rebel killing a fellow rebel" or a "revolution that devours its people" without any basis except a smattering of past events that is fast becoming an alibi.
Even Ampatuan massacre was even blamed upon to the Communists and even Muslim rebels according to one commentator made years past, isn't it too far from reality interpreting an issue as if done during 1980s? Even the Glorietta bombing resulted from a septic tank problem nearly even blamed to the ones called "enemies of state" without any idea except that "they are bombing buildings, etc" including malls such as this writeup stated.
Such issues like forced disappearances, murder, or any false flag operation tries to create an even nature of fear against those others tend to describe as soldiers of the people. In Argentina, this can be called as "theory of two demons" wherein the enemy uses dirty tactics and illegal repressive means in order to silence a bigger state threat such as subversion, while at the same time conditioning people by putting the blame to the ones most likely to be described as enemies of the state, regardless of innocence yet affected on such conflicts.
Anyways, this issue is not focused entirely in the Philippines despite its emphasis. Countries such as Indonesia, Argentina, and even the United States of America experienced a scarred reminder of blaming someone that is rebellious and subversive without any idea except fabricated evidences, black propaganda other than their actual actions to mere and unjust sloganeering and scapegoating.