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October 08, 2019 - Tuesday 4:10 AM by Allan Nawal

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Digong's critics have seized the opportunity again to sow disinformation in connection with his visit to Russia and China's celebration of the 70th year of the Communist Party rule.

Known Digong critic Philip Lustre for one made a very ignorant post on Twitter. Lustre, who some friends said had tried but failed to join the Duterte Cabinet during its early days, claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin snubbed Digong and did not meet with him during his arrival at a military base in Russia.

This was a clear form of disinformation because Lustre, I suppose, knew some protocol.

I have covered several of Digong's foreign travels and haven't encountered any Prime Minister or President during his arrivals. Other ministers, such as the Foreign Minister of a particular country would be around to welcome him. Not the President or the Prime Minister.

You see, arrivals are not part of the meetings so other ranking officials are tasked to welcome a visiting high-ranking official such as the President or a Prime Minister of a particular country.

But Lustre made it appear that Putin should have welcomed Digong. It was an ignorant suggestion and a plain attempt at projecting Digong as an unwanted visitor, which is not the case.

First, it was Putin who invited him over.

Lustre might have forgotten protocol in an attempt to downplay the significance of Digong's visit to Russia.

When US President Donald Trump arrived in the Philippines for the ASEAN Summit in November 2017, Digong was not around to receive him.

Digong was also not around to receive New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden when she attended the same event.

Recently, when Singaporean President Halima Yacob came, she was welcomed by other officials – not Digong.

Back in their home countries, no critic had made fun of Trump, Arden, and Yacob because Digong did not receive them when they arrived. Critics there simply knew the protocol and did not dare twist it so they could achieve their goal.

So why did Lustre do that? Maybe because he thought Filipinos were so ignorant they would not bother to check and will immediately take his criticism hook, line, and sinker.

Some critics made it appear that China did not regard Digong as a real friend because no Chinese official invited him to travel to Beijing for the 70th anniversary of the Communist Party rule.

They said that if Digong was regarded as a true friend, he would have been invited to such an important event in the history of China.

“The master would not share the table with the dog,” one critic had written.

However, one thing in common among these critics was that they failed to check the guest list.

While the event was important for the Chinese ruling party, they might have deemed the presence of any global leader unimportant.

None of the world's global leaders were present even at the grand parade, where Xi oversaw the display of China's military might.

Not even North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

I guess critics had to find more serious things to capitalize on, even more than the loose tie that Digong sported when he met with Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Meanwhile, while they try to find every fault they could, the inflation just hit below 1 percent. And that is verifiable, not made up.