Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sen. Manny Villar's new radio ad: where's truth in advertising?

It may be a historical first as Senator Manny Villar has now taken to advertising his defense against the corruption charges leveled against him in the senate's ethics committee.

I heard part of the ad this morning and it is basically a reiteration of the statements he has already made in so many press conferences.

This is indicative of how he sees the ethics complaint filed against him, it is a PR and advertising problem.  And I would surmise that his PR team had calculated and estimated the amount of negative publicity that will be generated by the ethics complaint against him, then proposed to spend equal or more than the equal amount to counteract the negative publicity.

Villar's money is spreading and being pumped into what must a huge damage control team.  I don't think I have to explain how PR damage control teams work in the Philippines and it doesn't require the sophistication that one would imagine PR firms in the US have.

Villar's view of the C-5 double budget insertion scandal is so far removed from the concepts of integrity and principle so sorely lacking in Philippine political affairs.

Instead of facing the issues against himself squarely in a forum created just for him by his peers in the senate, he has sought to find a forum in the Supreme Court and yes, in the media.

The only thing he really has to answer is did he or did he not receive money from the building of the C-5 highway extension?

But then again, he really doesn't have to answer that because evidence has already been presented that shows that his companies received hundreds of millions if not billions from the construction of the C-5 extension.

He should face the ethics hearing and if it renders an unfavorable decision, he should take that decision to court.  

However, pre-empting the body even before it can formally hold a hearing on his case, smacks of defying the institution he belongs to.

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