Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Three reasons why Noynoy's trust rating is suspect

It is now quite generally established that the administration of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III is being held up by the Philippine Media as one that is "trusted" by the people. The question is: Does the Noynoy administration deserve the trust of the Filipino?

Here are three things to consider:

(1) The Noynoy administration relies on a bloated public relations machine.

The obvious function of a PR machine (embodied in MalacaƱang's three-headed "Communications Group") is to make its client look good. And like thick-make up on an aging hooker, huge resources channeled to a spin group says something about the Client.

(2) The Hong Kong Government is mounting its own inquest proceedings on the Mendoza hostage massacre incident.

Clearly this the Hong Kong Government's vote of no confidence in the Philippines' ability to police and deliver justice to its own people. Noynoy's office had full oversight over a domestic investigation team, and as we know now...
In October, the President watered down the recommendations of [Justice Secretary Leila] De Lima’s panel and spared local officials, including his close associate, Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno, from civil and criminal charges for their role in the botched rescue.

Not surprising therefore is this move by Hong Kong. You get micro-managed when you lose the boss's confidence.

(3) Noynoy's "popularity" is rated by his own kin.

Where do we get all our "reports" on how "popular" Noynoy is? We get them primarily from the Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia "research" firms. But we now know that those "firms" are owned or associated with Noynoy's extended family.

Furthermore, Noynoy's "official" Facebook "fan" page -- touted to be among the biggest of its kind on Facebook -- is actually made up of (1) people who originally signed up for a Cory Aquino tribute page and (2) people who were forcibly migrated by Facebook administrators from a once privately-held campaign page. Details of this are revealed by blogger Paul Farol here.

* * *

How then can one trust a president who (1) relies heavily on a PR machine, (2) cannot take his own people to account, and (3) deliberately misconstrues people associating themselves to digital artifacts as "evidence" of his "popularity"? Filipinos are good at doing nonsensical things. Perhaps the answer to this question, therefore, lies deep in the underbelly of the Filipino psyche.

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