Whatever happened to Inquirer.net columnist Conrado de Quiros? He seems to have stopped being a spin-doctor for his Excellency, Philippine President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy). De Quiros worked hard during the Presidential election campaign months before the May election and even weeks after P-Noy’s inauguration in June to ensure that the President sustained his image makeover, all using his borderline fictional style of writing. Nowadays De Quiros is nowhere near the subject of P-Noy and his aides even as gaffe-after-gaffe fill the days of the Office of the President.
In fact, it is very hard to find articles in the mainstream media that are not critical of P-Noy nowadays. Even P-Noy is complaining that “if they get to watch the news on television or read it from newspapers or online websites, most of the time the news were negative.” He even said that he found it impossible to work because of the negative press he is receiving. To quote P-Noy from a recent article from Inquirer.net:
“Kahit naman sino, natural lang na nawalan ng ganang magtrabaho kung puro kapalpakan lamang ang nababalitaan (It’s natural for anybody to lose his passion if only the bad news is reported)”
Yikes! Is P-Noy really losing his enthusiasm for the job because of the negative press? He said the above in front of about 1000 OFW’s working in Japan while he was there during the recently concluded APEC summit. Oh dear. Poor P-Noy is reduced to complaining to Filipinos who are out of the loop. Somebody please quickly remind P-Noy that being the President of a Republic is not equivalent to being a staff of a mom-and-pop shop where you can gripe about “your boss” during your lunch break.
Speaking of mom-and-pop, in the same speech to the OFW’s, he did not miss another opportunity to brag to the audience why he was elected to office in the first place. With reference to his parents he said that “he does not go on trips abroad just to brag, or otherwise his late parents—martyred senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino Jr. and former president Corazon Aquino—would surely make him feel their disapproval.”
You just have to love the way he emphasizes that he is not a brag by bragging. We get it. You don’t go on trips for the pleasure of it. You go on trips because you have to; it’s more a “duty” lest the country sink into a deeper hole. As the saying goes, “lokohin mo ang lelang mo!”
I don’t understand why he seems so surprised over the criticism he gets for his unpopular decisions anyway. His administration is no better than the previous one and it is arguably even worse depending on whose side you are on. He should at least acknowledge that he now knows what former President Gloria Arroyo (GMA) must have felt like when she was still in Malacanang. At least GMA neither wavered nor complained when she was receiving punches left, right and centre. Some people are just too whiney.
P-Noy’s official spin-doctors are not even good at their jobs. In response to the recent popularity survey conducted by Pulse Asia, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda stated that P-Noy is pleased that the Ulat ng Bayan survey showed “high performance and trust ratings across all socio-economic class groupings.” He said this despite the fact that his rating slid 9 points (down to 80 percent) from his previous trust rating. He even further stated the following:
The President noted further that the performance and trust ratings indicate the shared optimism among all sectors of society, in contrast to the negativity of those who want to return to the old ways. This confidence, he said, affirms his conviction that the straight and righteous path is the road to success. It also acknowledges the work done so far and serves as an impetus for the administration to sustain its efforts to reform the government and revitalize the economy.
To be fair, 80 percent is indeed high despite the non-stop gaffes, although we already know that it is likely because his supporters don’t expect much from him anyway. But Lacierda’s statement contradicts P-Noy’s wavering enthusiasm for his job expressed during his speech in Japan. And anyway, their overconfidence is such a turn-off because they don’t even acknowledge that the drop in the rating even though minimal should be taken seriously.
The P-Noy administration is certainly full of itself. I can’t help but recall how the newly elected US Florida Senator Marco Rubio reacted when their Republican party won in the recent mid-term elections. He was quoted as saying “We make the grave mistake if we believe that tonight these results are somehow an embrace of the Republican Party. What they are is a second chance.”
The US Senator’s statement is quite a contrast to P-Noy’s triumphalistic statement about their latest trust survey. It goes to show that they still think that they can continue what so far has been a mediocre performance.
They do try to believe their own lies, which could be why P-Noy seems to be getting angry when things don’t go his way and thinks that some people are just out to get him — even some world leaders: he “slammed the APEC allies over travel advisories” according to one report on the papers. Why would P-Noy think it is his place to scold other world leaders for not submitting to him? He obviously just embarrassed himself because instead of being taken seriously, they just laughed at him:
He said the advisories had been issued amid efforts of his government to encourage investors to come to the country.
Mr. Aquino, who attended the APEC CEO Summit here along with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, was the one who got the most attention from businessmen, as several questions were thrown at him over how they could invest in the Philippines in the light of the adverse travel advisories.
Mr. Aquino and the New Zealand leader were joined by business and industry leaders led by Asian Development Bank (ADB) president Haruhiko Kuroda, DHL CEO Hermann Ude and All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. chairman Yoji Ohashi, who is also vice chairman of Nippon Keidanren.
Mr. Aquino and Key were separated by a coffee table and delivered their speeches before the question and answer portion.
Mr. Aquino sternly answered the question on travel warnings against the Philippines, which elicited laughter from the crowd.
Key, for his part, seemed to have reddened serious and blushed while Mr. Aquino voiced his displeasure over the advisories. New Zealand was among six countries that warned against travel to the Philippines, citing imminent terror attack.
For his part, Presidential Communications and Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma stressed that it is the responsibility of the governments from other countries to ensure the safety of their citizens. He even lauded Japan for giving the travel warnings in Nippongo and he wishes that other countries would follow Japan’s lead and warn their citizens in their own language. “What makes the Japanese travel advisory different,” Coloma noted, “was that text was written in Nippongo, which means only Japanese people can understand it. There is no English or international version,” Coloma said. “The travel advisory was written in Japanese.”
One cannot help but ask the perennial question: “What was Coloma thinking”? Logic does elude him. Chinese, Nippongo or Greek warnings are still warnings. Travellers will still heed them when they consider coming to the Philippines.
Where is Conrado de Quiros when the administration most need him? At least he can do a better job at fooling the voters.