Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Paid Anti-Noynoy Propaganda

Jose Ma. Montelibano calls Noynoy Critics paid hacks

(This is in reaction to Jose Ma. Montelibano's article on Inquirer Politics and all recent appeals directed at me to stop being critical of Noynoy Aquino,the most prominent one being Random Salt's Open Letter to Dick Gordon.)

A number of lawyers who claim to be part of Noynoy Aquino's inner circle have said that there is hardly any need for them to hire an agency to do PR for Noynoy.  The news media come at him in droves and they say that they actually have to be fended off.

It was also said that there are hundreds, if not thousands of volunteers, ready to make Noynoy Aquino win.  The Noynoy volunteers, it was said would be available to do everything including, perhaps, populating the internet with social networking site users, bloggers, and commenters to propagate Noynoy's message.

I am actually impressed by the fact that every time somebody writes something that is critical of Noynoy Aquino, there is almost always a storm of reactions defending him. 

(read full story)

However, there are some indications that most of the comments are coming from just a couple of IP addresses and one commenter was actually caught in another blog posting comments using different aliases.  There is even one commenter who was apparently smart enough to use some sort of anonymizer  service because the IP address recorded on the blog was traced to a company that leases out scores of IP address.  These guys know their stuff, I wonder how they can do this full time.

Be that as it may, I have no doubt that Noynoy is the most popular choice for President.  As I have said before, even The Center's survey says that Noynoy Aquino is still in the lead - despite losing a couple of percentage points.

It reminds me of the time when Joseph Erap Estrada ran for President, the support for his candidacy was overwhelming to say the least. 

This time around, I don't think my idol Conrado de Quiros will be writing a column similar to the column that he wrote against Erap.  If I am not mistaken, like Bart Simpson, he wrote over and over again that "Joseph Estrada is unfit to be President of the Philippines" or something like that.  Perhaps he'll do the opposite and write that "Noynoy Aquino is fit for the Presidency" till he fills his column -- I don't know if it will help, but I don't think it will be necessary.

When it was made clear that Joseph Estrada was running for President in 2010, articles started coming out about his sloth, his mediocre intellect, his chronic drunken carousing, his mistresses, and his gambling when he was Vice President which was caught by Edgar Bentain -- who disappeared and is believed to have been killed.

The same is happening to Noynoy Aquino as the more critically minded are voicing their concerns and sometimes vehement objection to a looming Noynoy Aquino Presidency.  While some have done so in a "civil and moderate" manner, others opted for the more extreme route in characterizing the inadequacies of a Noynoy Aquino Presidency - some are funny and some are just downright nasty.

Anyway, given the supposed overwhelming number of people who are freely volunteering to campaign for Noynoy, there is a slant being fed that those who oppose Noynoy are only being paid to do so. 

Jose Ma. Montelibano in his opinion piece that basically brands all those who criticize Noynoy Aquino as being paid hacks:
The Hired Guns of Slant and Spin
December 17, 2009 22:07:00
Jose Ma. Montelibano
Philippine Daily Inquirer

It is hunting season, and there is only one target – Noynoy Aquino. It is unfortunate for him that he leads the pack, and it is a hungry pack. Combine hunger with money and power and you will be amazed to see how creative even in the dark ways. Thus, Noynoy has to steel his emotions and leave his mind clear. The further down the stretch it gets, the dirtier and sharper the darts will be aimed his way.

But if it is misfortune that makes him the primary and, often, the only target of black propaganda, it is greater misfortune to those who have to use their money and power to target Noynoy. They must be wishing with all their might that they instead be in Noynoy’s place and be the primary target of lies and slander. After all, the only reason why a good person like Noynoy whom nobody tried to hurt in all his years in Congress and the Senate I because he is the number one preference among Filipino voters.
From someone who did not earn any significant criticism, thanks largely to a lifestyle that did not merit criticism, Noynoy is suddenly vilified by known operators for pay in the Internet and less-than-respectable media practitioners. In the world of innuendoes and lies, the players surface during election period and then slink away after. Every so often, to defend the indefensible, like the Ampatuans whom a presidential spokesperson said Gloria would not just turn her back to, these paid hacks resurface to ply their trade
The fear of players who work in the darkness of AC-DC media, tri-media and the Internet, is to be exposed to the bright light of the sun. For one, their daily lives and the company they keep cannot be the subject of scrutiny. Thus, they become the masters of deflection or distraction, better known as squid tactics. Their mastery is to point attention to their target and definitely not at themselves. If by their negligence they get exposed, you will be amazed at how many people have so many sad or ugly stories to tell about them. And you do not need to go far – just their neighborhood or their work place.

But, who is Jose Ma. Montelibano? Is he any relation to Jack Montelibano, the husband of Maria Montelibano who now heads the Media Bureau of Noynoy Aquino?

The implied threat here is that Montelibano and the rest of the Noynoy camp will destroy the reputations of those who write critically against Noynoy.  I have already been put on the receiving end of such attacks.
Anyway, as far as sticking it to Noynoy Aquino is concerned, there are a lot of people out there with more or less the same views as mine.  One wonders if Jose Ma. Montelibano can actually name names and point out who it is that is being paid to attack Noynoy.

As I've said before, it's soo much fun making fun of Noynoy Aquino.  I wish I could take the credit for single handedly bringing about his downfall, but I am just one blogger among many bloggers who share the same view that Noynoy is unfit to lead the country.

Utak ng Tilapia, I think, is a frontrunner when it comes to really funny depictions of Noynoy Aquino's inadequacies.  The picture below is an example of their work and is reproduced here with the permission of the creators.

Granted that this humor may not appeal to everyone, especially those in Noynoy's cult of followers, its point is no less valid that the points raised in a more serious manner.

Atty. Jose C. Sison had this to say about the Noynoy-Mar tandem and bitch slaps all calims made by their camp that they are out to change the political landscape:
Comparing their public service record, the Gordon-Fernando tandem seems to have an edge over the Aquino-Roxas team. They also generate a lot more hope for that longed-for change in our government. And this is primarily because the Aquino-Roxas team and their handlers in the Liberal Party have also fallen into the trap of engaging in transactional politics, accepting turncoats and trapos into their fold just to ensure and clinch victory. This is not my assessment only. Several readers have posted on the internet the same kind of observation like the following:

“I agree with the article. If the politicians were sincere in their advocacy for change, they should have done so months before, out of principle. It seems they only jump ship when it is convenient, when they already see the surveys. Noynoy seems to be a trapo. He was holding a meeting with Erap at the height of typhoon Ondoy. He met with Chiz. He got mutineer Danny Lim in his senatorial slate. He was even open to meeting with the Marcoses who ironically had the decency to know the implication of a possible merger. But not Noynoy. The Hyatt 10, Cory’s Bulong Brigade, Kamag-Anak Inc are back in power. If Noynoy cannot control LP, what chances does he have in leading the country?” (Posted November 23, 2009 by a certain “selina_burnett’).

“It is indeed disappointing to see Noynoy and Mar accepting turncoats. The LP will be seen now as a party of trapos. Sad, quite sad. I would not be surprised if Noynoy’s popularity slides because of this” (Posted November 23, 2009 by “keener00196).

“How can Noynoy be the candidate who will lead change for the country when he has on his side all the old trapos and oligarchs who want to maintain the status quo? No transformation in our system of governance can happen as long as a leader is beholden to conflicting interests of the different groups supporting him” (Posted November 23, 2009 by nermd).

Before it is too late, Noynoy and Mar should revert back to principled politics and change their tactics. As another reader writes, “Noynoy honesty ang pinaglalaban natin. Huwag ka nang kumuha ng ibang LP converts. Ikaw at Mar lang panalo na tayo. Huwag ka nang kumuha ng iba na makakabawas sa boto mo dahil sa kanila, kayong dalawa lang panalo na tayo” (Posted by noynoyparapangulo November 23, 2009).

This is just a friendly reminder. While the correct choice is Gordon and Fernando because of their strong political will to transform our kind of governance, it appears to be an unwise choice at this time because only Noynoy and Mar, as shown by the surveys, are in a position to prevent the other leading contenders from winning the race and from further inflicting upon us more of the same kind of inept, inefficient and corrupt government. The element of trust in Aquino and Roxas to bring the necessary changes is still there. But if they continue with their backsliding ways, Gordon and Fenando may be the only good choice left for people to realize that longed-for change.

Patricia Evangelista, "Jesus in Yellow" which comments on the Haciend Luisita massacre by juxtaposing it with the Noynoy Aquino political ad.
In a nation where government responsibility has shifted to the media, and calls for aid are directed to newsroom desks instead of the hotlines of the National Disaster Coordinating Council, this sort of move isn’t particularly surprising. A united GMA7 and ABS-CBN may seem like the best of metaphors for a united nation, but it says very much about the sort of man Noynoy Aquino is. Flanked by stars, surrounded by celebrities, content to ride on the waving banner stamped with his parents’ faces. There is no message, other than that personality is king. There are no voices, not even his. His defenders say it’s not the time for campaign—and yet that video rolls on and on in prime time television. You are not alone, they say, but who stands with you? Anne Curtis? Ate Shawie? Marielle Rodriguez? Just recently, Noynoy promised to give up his share of Hacienda Luisita,and yet denies knowing of eviction notices to farmers even while the case sits in the Supreme Court. Laza continues to march in rallies, five years after a bullet ripped a good man away. Nothing has changed, the same songs, the same names, the same injustices.

They say the miracles are colored yellow now—the yellow of thick lengths of ribbon, the triumphant swags of bright flag, the inside edge of a flame on a bamboo torch held up to a camera lens, the same yellow of grass outside the gates of Hacienda Luisita, where a man named Jesus once walked with his father.

Manila Standard Columnist Emil Jurado also registered how he views Noynoy Aquino in "Noynoy’s supposed integrity"
 Noynoy’s lead, according to his supporters, is due to the fact that he is seen as a man of integrity, different from his opponents who are traditional politicians, some of whom have been involved in controversies and charged with graft and corruption.

I agree Noynoy is untainted. That’s because he did not do anything as congressman and senator. I do not agree, however, that it is synonymous to integrity.

Noynoy’s drum beaters always talk about the legacy of the late President Cory Aquino. But what legacy? Are they referring to the Hacienda Luisita and Mendiola massacres, the Kamaganak Inc. scams, the rampant smuggling of BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes at Customs by Mrs. Aquino’s relatives, the turnover on a silver platter of the Malampaya project to Shell because of her closeness to a Shell executive; the mothballing of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant which led to the 12-hour brownouts during the Ramos incumbency, and many more?

* * *

What this country needs is a President with enough experience and know-how. The challenges we face are daunting.

Certainly, anybody who claims he is “clean” is not good enough.

As I have been saying all along, the presidency is not a training ground for someone whose only qualification is that he is the son of famous parents.

Integrity is not enough. Our problems are too enormous and we need the leadership of somebody with experience and expertise.

Other bloggers have similarly posted their critiques of Noyny Aquino as a Presidential candidate:
I have to hand it to Noynoy’s handlers. Aside from establishing Noynoy’s ownership of the ‘honesty’ brand, they also appear to have succeeded in positioning Noynoy as the solution to corruption.

    * Noynoy = Honesty = Anti-Corruption.

Of course there’s an even bigger equation at play here, which certainly works to the advantage of Noynoy and any other opposition candidate. It is this:

    * Corruption = President Gloria Arroyo.

Considering the above mentioned equations we arrive at this:

    * Noynoy = Anti-PGMA

And that my friends is how Noynoy is perceived by his supporters. Obviously, Noynoy’s handlers want to make sure their candidate will have the best chance of winning and at this point in time the anti-PGMA angle seems to be all that’s working for them.

While I can acknowledge the marketing wisdom here, I’m still of the opinion that an anti-PGMA stance is not enough. So, am I saying that being anti-PGMA is wrong? Of course not. Nor am I saying that we shouldn’t vote for Noynoy because he is against PGMA. What I’m saying is we shouldn’t vote for Noynoy or any other candidate who has nothing to offer but an  anti-PGMA stance.

Well, there’s really much to be said about a candidate who chooses to be vague or silent about what he really stands for and plans to do for the country. From the time he was thrust into the limelight following the death of his mother, former president Cory Aquino, Noynoy has shown nothing but qualities that hardly qualify him as a leader but certainly make him popular with people who refuse to see beyond dramatic devices. For one he has been milking the “I’m not sure I’m the one but with the people’s support I can be” line for all it’s worth. Dear reader, Noynoy is just playing to your emotions. Don’t be fooled.

At the end of the day, what we’re really talking about here is the country’s future not some telenovela. With that in mind please know that what this country needs is a leader who has real plans and the right skill set to carry them out. If you want to see an end to corruption, hunger, poverty, crime, and everything else that ails the country, demand real solutions from Noynoy and all the other candidates. Let’s base our analysis of the candidates on their ideas and not their campaign slogans and gimmicks.

In Noynoy’s case, all this hoopla around his being honest is just a gimmick.

The next challenge is to actually make use of what are really just the beginnings of a growing focus on platforms -- where the ideas of politicians are presumably articulated. And how do we achieve that? Using the same method we have always used -- hammering in the message into the thick skulls of The Pinoy Establishment (and by "establishment" I include the mindsets firmly established in the collective psyche of the land). One way to do this is to expose the empty rhetoric of what can still be considered to be Philippine "politics as usual" (or at least the part of it that constitutes the standard pitch or appeal to the average Filipino). The reason that politics as usual prevails is because there are no real issues relevant to the ordinary Filipino that underpins these "politics" -- and this is what makes these politics "usual" -- because we don't work hard enough as responsible participants in a democracy to look under the shiny hood of mass appeal and clever marketing.

  • What key concepts underpin the politics-as-usual of the moment? Here are some that readily come to mind:
  • Winnability based on pedigree platforms;
  • Anti-Arroyoism (or more generically, anti-incumbentism); ignores the fact that whoever sits in Malacanang seems not to make a difference to the lives of a big chunk of the Filipino population. Indeed, the whole debate around charter changed was framed around anti-incumbentism.
  • Indignation over "corruption". Is removal of corruption the real issue? For that matter what exactly does "removal of corruption" mean?
  • "Good" vs "Evil". Back in World War II, the "good" and the "evil" were quite easy to distinguish. In 21st Century Philippines, however, "good" depends on who says so -- specially during the campaign period.
  • "Hope". Entire campaigns were built around some nebulous concept of "hope". Hope in what exactly? The prevailing or triumph of "justice" and "conscience"? What exactly does that mean exactly?
That is what politics-as-usual means to me -- an inability to move forward beyond the above meaningless platitudes to imagine a specific, more targetted, and clearer goal for our society; goals that are tangible and whose attainment can be measured. Enter the enemies of democratic maturity and the masters of the art of re-packaging the above concepts -- the demagogues.
It is not only unavoidable that Noynoy Aquino will be the next President of the Philippines, it is necessary that he be elected, and by a landslide. In him lies the ultimate salvation of the country, not, as he in his unaccountable hubris believes, because he will be a good leader who will unify the people but because he will fail spectacularly.
Only when this country feels the sting of a shared and bitter error, only when it is brought to ruin as a result of the people’s lack of ambition, honesty, and courage will it have a chance at becoming a real democracy and a true sovereign nation. Like a willful child who will not relent from playing around the stove despite being warned of its danger, the Filipino people will not learn their lesson until they are burned.
I’ll keep trying to tell them to watch their fingers, of course, because to remain silent would be a disservice to the brighter, more thoughtful ones I occasionally encounter. But I no longer hope to change or deflect the catastrophic course this country is on; my only hope is that I and people like me can find enough of the bright and thoughtful who can be inspired to eventually re-float the ship of state after Captain Aquino drives it onto the shoals.
But then, maybe a man like him has no choice but to consult the whisperings of the dead. Like Erap and FPJ before him, Noynoy has not proven that he is anything more than a celebrity. How is he qualified to lead on his own account, therefore? Heck, any decision he makes will be held up to the standard of his dead progenitors, and anyone who’s had a dead anything in the family tree knows that that’s a no-win situation.

Highly likely then, that we will end up with a president susceptible to oracular whisperings that will NOT come from his dead parents from people who will claim to be channeling them – priests, nuns, civil society types, do-gooders of every stripe, and grifters who know which buttons to push. Niiiiice.

Worse, he is a dynast who activates, quite easily, the sleeping serf in all of us. The magic of his name – evoked by even the noted blogger – is an artefact of that part of our psyche that hungers to be ruled by an offspring of the divine Grail Family. We believe on a deep, subconscious , and ineluctably romantic, level that the name carries with it the promise of greatness and that that greatness will be unleashed at the opportune time.

Maybe we need a leader who leads reluctantly, yet finds his place when greatness is thrust upon him.

No need for proof that he is great, therefore; and never mind the apparent mediocrity. All that matters is the faith that when comes our darkest hour, his will be the hand that will lead us out into the light. On this faith – and precious little else – will we stake the future of our country.

And so, if Noynoy does bring anything back to the Filipino people, it won’t be pride.

Maybe we just need someone who will give the Filipino people their national pride back, to be able to say that they FINALLY came together as one to swipe the table clear of the usual suspects and given themselves a fresh start, by choosing least evil of a hundred evils, who just might be the one they can all get behind in reforming the sorry state of government.

It will be the willingness to surrender reason to teary-eyed, chest-swelling, sentimental faith.

If these are the only qualities that commend Noynoy to the electorate, then I sincerely doubt that he will be worth the trouble.

We don’t need a feel-good messiah. We need someone with a vision for the country and a clear idea of what needs to be done to achieve that vision. Someone  with a set of goals, an understanding of where we are right now in terms of achieving those goals; an understanding of what needs to be done, and the determination to get things done. Will that be Noynoy Aquino?

From the looks of things, hardly.

The sad thing about Filipinos is that no matter how much other people try to tell them that they are deluded about their lives as they are with their candidates, they would still persist with their silly ideas. This is where Noynoy comes in.
Over the past few months, I cannot seem to get myself to understand why people, just like when they are watching soap operas, are in a daze with regard to this whole “Noynoy is our hero” or “Noynoy will be a good president because his parents are good people” crap. How on earth can you tell that he will bring change to this God-forsaken country when he himself is from a political dynasty? IS THAT EVEN CHANGE? People think that he can save the country from turmoil for the sake of his dead parents and that he has an amicable spirit. Like what my friend has told me, indeed, Noynoy is the emotional choice and his way of thinking is like that of Charles I who strongly advocated the Divine Right of Kings. Charles I’s way of thinking I can somehow understand because he lived in the 1600’s but Noynoy’s way of thinking is completely deluded and so are the people who support him.
Every time I ask people on why they vouch for Noynoy, all their answers are fantasy – just like telenovelas. Filipinos are full of dramas and it really angers me to a great extent. What’s even more disturbing is that even the middle and upper class of the society support him too for some reason I cannot and will never understand. I thought it was only the members of the lower classes who were fond of dramas. I do believe that now, it is fair to say that Filipinos are drama freaks, thinking that Noynoy is the right choice.
Let me just remind you people that like all trends, this Noynoy Aquino trend will fade away and you people will oust him when he’s not doing any good just like you ousted other presidents. When that happens, I will just laugh my ass of and say “I told you so.”
My reasons are not so complicated. I think Noynoy will not stand a chance against manipulators that surrounds him. His honesty will be no match to the flatterers and whisperers, whose only interest are to collar big contracts from the government.

His utterances  with regards to the structure and system of government, is not even motherhood statements eloquently articulated. I believe that base on the personality that advices him, the Philippines will have the same banana if ever by mistake he becomes the next president of this belleguered country.

My reasons are simple. I do not want another Cory in the making. I do not want a repeat of the Josip Istrada mestik.

One of my reasons; I want a candidate that would offer a new chance base on a fresh ideas, not base on criticism about the failure of other people. Every administration have been  pictured as the evil and criticism is no longer contributing a bit to national progress.

I am looking for real leaders and good managers.  And Noynoy don’t exhibit the leadership traits that I am looking for, and he have nothing to show of with regards to management skills.


Rhea said...

The supporters of Noynoy are irrational. Instead of answering issues, they resort to attacking the commentators.

Admin said...

That is so true. I got the scars to prove it.

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