Category: information

The Duterte government’s communications crisis: Andanar’s PCO

Katrina S.S.

CONTRARY to what many assert, I do not think that President Duterte has a communication problem.

I think he has a problem with his Presidential Communications Office (PCO), its Secretary Martin Andanar, and the whole team of people working under him.

Read on…

communication gaps galore: chacha, foreign ownership, federalism

on the occasion of president duterte’s first 100 days, ANC covered an event where finance secretary sonny dominguez talked about tax reforms.  i was only half-listening until suddenly — someone from the press must have asked him about charter change and foreign ownership — suddenly he was admitting that because of the chacha talk, he was being asked by foreigners if they would be allowed to own land na, and he said his response was:

Why? Can you buy land in Singapore? In Indonesia? … Why should you be able to buy land here?  Land is a sensitive issue in the Philippines.

or something to that effect.  not sure now if he said indonesia, could have been malaysia or another ASEAN nation.  i’ve googled the event, for naught.  have also hung around ANC waiting for a replay, also for nought.

i couldn’t have imagined it lang.  my first reaction was jubilant: surely sec dominguez is speaking for the president, hurray!  and then i wondered what it means for the charter change agenda.  puwede bang magshift from presidential to federal without touching the economic provisions?  or or or is it possible that even the federalism thingy has been shelved, and we’re back to forging by hook or by crook a constitutionally acceptable-to-all autonomous state for the moro people of mindanao?

alas, nothing, as usual, from the presidential communications operations office (PCOO) and it took that disgraceful near-brawl in the lower house of congress a whole week later (read Hotheads delay Cha-cha hearing) to tell us that the supermajority is still hellbent on convening as a constitutional assembly (read Time running out, Cha-Cha should start in Nov — Arroyo), never mind that there is no public support for it.

it does not help, of course, that the PCOO has yet to launch any kind of information campaign on the proposed shift to federalism.  as it turns out, sec martin andanar is such an intellectual featherweight pala, and it’s pathetic that all he can manage to put out for public consumption is a twice-a-week inquirer column that luis teodoro rightly disses as “masterpieces of fluff and personal glorification.”  LOL


Federalism, for what by Florin T. Hilbay
Federalism project puts the cart before the horse by Yen Makabenta
Regional net worth in a federal structure by Philip Camara
What’s with ConAss? by Rita Linda V. Jimeno
Curb vested interests, so Con-Ass can work by Jarius Bondoc
Political dynasties doom Cha-cha: Monsod
do not delete (economic provisions)
do not delete 2
do not delete 3

distressed and disconcerted

by the torrent of killings, drug-related and not, with many innocents presumably “caught in the crossfire”, but just as badly by the shabu menace that’s past eradication and likely impossible to “contain” in this third world country without livelihood options for mules, runners, and pushers and without free health and support services for addicts asking for help.

and disgusted by the announcement of house speaker pantaleon alvarez (whom we don’t know from adam, yet who is sooooo powerful all at once with that super majority na, super minority pa) that the prez has changed his mind re a constitutional convention for the shift to federalism upon the advice of previous presidents fvr, estrada, arroyo, and aquino because, you know, concon is too expensive, argh.  please naman, mr. president, this is too important.  we simply do not trust congress.  if we can’t afford to do it properly, then let’s not do it at all, instead work with what we have already, like senator nene pimentel’s local government code of 1991 that could work for the bangsamoro, too.

and disgruntled, still, by that disastrously pa-creative coverage of president duterte’s first SONA, those “disturbingly lingering, unflattering low angle ‘ilong’ shots,” ika nga ng isang veteran TV director, not to speak of the rather pointless tight shots on the presidential hands and other indie film gimmicks that were all quite inappropriate to a SONA, seriously distracting from the speech of a president who does not really speak very clearly, whether in english or tagalog or bisaya, and so you need to focus and to watch his lips if you want to catch the full sense of what he’s saying from one sentence to the next.

calling out presidential comms sec martin andanar: what were you thinking? there was nothing “master class” about that SONA coverage.  the president cannot be boring even if he tried (except to diehard critics of course) just because he’s unlike any president we’ve had before, and we need help deciphering him, adlibs, asides, and all.  and i hope it’s not true that you’re tapping the same indie feature film director (famous for poverty porn) to direct information campaigns critical to nation, unless the idea is to distract from the issues maybe, or from shifts in the presidential mindset? make it impossible for us to keep track? OMG

p.s. sana pinaghahandaan na ninyo, at ng mainstream and social media na rin, ang information campaign on federalism and constitutional change.  we expect nothing less than savvy and clarity on all sides.

heads should roll! #COMELEAK

Katrina SS


Plenty. And certainly none of it includes falling silent in the face of hackers, or saying things like: O sige, magaling na kayo, tama na ‘yan! – a paraphrase of what Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said on April 21. (, 21 April)

From a friend who worked for government in a past life: “We passed the Data Privacy Law in 2012. The Privacy Commissioner was appointed last March. There is no IRR yet. In the four years in between, we’ve suffered without this law: from the stupid credit card calls we get, the unwanted texts from NTC, the lack of opt-outs for various spam and other stupid promos. With the Comelec data leak, we should demand that the newly appointed Privacy Commissioner (Raymond Liboro, formerly of DOST) make this a priority. There are penal provisions for the keepers of sensitive personal info that do not exert the best effort to safeguard these data. I hope someone goes to jail for this. Otherwise, well, we get the usual treatment of being fucked over and over and over again.”

And then from my tech guy: “Is there a way to keep that data safe? No. There ARE a fucking MULTITUDE of ways to keep it safe. Of varying degrees of tediousness and – with equivalent levels of security.

“Can something like that ever be totally secured? Probably not. I’ve seen too many Hollywood heist movies. But if it’s valuable enough, it can be secured so that it would take the resources of a country and a legion of hackers to get to it. And it should take so much time that the information would be useless by the time they get it. That’s totally possible.”