One of the questions that dominated the discourse pre-Typhoon Lawin was: what the heck is government doing?
The truth was, we weren’t hearing much about what was being done, who was doing what, and whether government was prepared at all. It didn’t help that too many members of the President’s Cabinet –including the heads of communications – were with him in China, and so there was absolutely no sense at all that there was anyone in control of delivering information about the typhoon, one that was said to be akin to Typhoon Yolanda of 2013.
Here’s the thing: when you come from an Aquino government that had three communications offices, having no functioning communications office for President Duterte is nothing but a liability. For the public and the government itself.
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.
this is my 3rd attempt since his monday presscon to finish a post on president-elect duterte. i keep getting overtaken by events – the thursday presscon was a zinger, too, and so was the friday decision to stop with the presscons for the nonce, and what about that saturday night thanksgiving speech, oh my gods.
it’s been a week and on facebook ay nanggagalaiti pa rin ang journalist circles over duterte seeming to make excuses for the journalist killings instead of saying … umm, whatever they wanted him to say, i guess, like something pnoy would say, or gma, in their politically correct ways and words that signify nothing really, because the killings went on anyway under their watch.
in a facebook message exchange with jojo abinales, the professor in hawaii who hails from mindanao, he brought up digong’s statements re journalists and thinks that maybe the prez-elect was actually referring more to broadcast journalists, not the writers.
Sa probinsya they are the pundits. So no wonder he cited Jun Pala who was a broadcaster who threatened people, could easily be paid. Kasi I doubt if he reads the newspapers or even Interaksyon or Rappler. But he listens to talk radio like all Chico de Calle … You may have to listen to talk radio for a while. The Tulfo types. Now put that in a Davao context. … Have you listened to his TV show Mula sa masa Tungo sa masa? Some of it is in YouTube. It is hilarious. I think he believes the journalists are like his interviewer in that show. One question lang and he then rants and raves.
yes, that weekly tv show worked for davao, the mayor sharing the latest, speaking his truth, from long immersion in politics, taking the time to explain, even if not in a linear or logical manner because he likes to suddenly backtrack for some history or go sideways for some synchronicity or flash forward for some prophetic promise, and then he’s back to the present, or not. it works for me, too. i am loving this exposure, finally, to the mindanao state of mind and to bisaya / dabawenyo the language and culture.
meanwhile, pinag-uusapan pa rin, the alleged pambabastos ni duterte sa isang lady reporter nang kanya itong sinipulan sa monday presscon. digong defended the whistling on thursday: “whistling is not a sexual thing,” sabi niya. actually it is. that kind of whistle at a woman springs from human sexuality, the male-female dynamic that keeps humanity multiplying, although i would concede, nay, insist, that whistling is the least offensive of sexual signals, and can even be pleasing to the target. ask any man, woman, lgbt who has been whistled at in a friendly setting. in my youth it was taken as a compliment, with good humor, because there is no real threat, with apologies to the feminists, lol. mas problema talaga ang reaction ng asawa o boyfriend o tatay o bro, who tend to go macho and patriarchal and get offended for their woman and feel the need to speak up to defend her honor. but was her honor sullied at all? i don’t think so. to her credit, she handled it all rather well, cool na cool nga. but yeah, maybe it’s just me and my sexually liberated (kuno) aging hippie self, haha.
i didn’t vote for duterte but i certainly respect the incontrovertible win of this rogue mayor from mindanao who dares challenge the church and the oligarchs and the drug lords that have long ruled our lives (and look where we are now). so his putanginas don’t bother me – kagalit-galit naman talaga ang sitwasyon. no filter, no holds barred, no hypocrisy, is good, even if it takes getting used to. ang nakaka-tense, yung death threats, but then again drug lords do deserve death for dealing deadly drugs.
media peeps just have to be better prepared to ask follow-ups immediately, right then and there, for the sanity of us all, instead of being rendered speechless by the unexpected from digong and then raising a howl later, like losers. and yes to a communications team that would, for starters, go on damage-control mode right after a presscon, answering questions, explaining contexts, whatever, until media peeps get the hang, beyond soundbites, of the new prez, or until digong metamorphoses, as he threatens, into a different version of himself once he is president. or maybe he was joking? abangan.