The ironic fall of a venerable "e-mandirigma"

Esteemed blogger BetterPhilippines (henceforth referred to as just “BP”) raises some good points in his latest blog to question the sincerity of Undersecretary Vicente “Enteng” Romano’s resignation letter, particularly his taking “full accountability” for the fiasco, when in fact (as BP quoted from the

“At the unveiling of the new Philippine tourism label earlier this week, [Tourism Secretary Alberto] Lim told the Inquirer that the tarsier and the smiling coconut tree were inputs provided by President Aquino when his team presented it to him.”

First point: As is evident in the above snippet, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III himself had contributed two of the key elements of the failed design. That alone highlights the sad reality of a career in politics and government — that there always needs to be a fall-guy to shield the Top Chump from disgrace. And d’original, the venerable, e-mandirigma himself — Enteng Romano — in one of the biggest ironies to emerge in the last ten years of pathetic Pinoy history is today’s taya (“it”). After spending the last ten years as a self-described “cyber-revolutionary”, he falls on the first few months on the job — brought down by the very technology he so savvily harnessed over most of his “revolutionary” career. The poignancy of this turn of events is captured in what he says in his press statement:

Well, it’s because I’m in a hurry. Before I joined government, I was in the streets clamoring for change. And when I joined, I wanted to spend every waking hour effecting that change.

Too bad, Enteng, even the average eight-year-old knows the simple rhyme: Haste makes waste. And what a monumental waste indeed. If we are to believe Ellen Tordesillas’s “investigative journalism” we will find how almost 5 million pesos was blown on this most recent of gaffes:

Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim has been quoted by media as having said that nothing has yet been spent from the P200 million budget for the promotions of the “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” branch that they launched last Nov. 15. […] It’s a lie. Almost P5 million has been allotted (presumably spent) for it.

What was that again? “Full accountability”? I think you need to be a bit more angry about all this, Mr Romano, because I think you are no more than a sad patsy in all this. Is it really worth sacrificing your hard-earned reputation to prop up the continued rule of these pathetic bozos? I mean, come on. Your ad agent (or “marketing consultants” as such conmen prefer to be called nowadays) is laughing all the way to the bank to the tune of five megabucks, and your former bosses are getting away with murder here; while you slink away and lick your wounds — perhaps for the rest of your life.

By the way I meant “get away with murder” literally as we shall see in the next point BP highlights in his blog…

Second point (and this is a big point to be made!): Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda described Romano’s resignation as the “honorable” thing to do — an attributed “virtue” that is brought to question in light of Point One above. But BP provides more revealing insight into the character of the Second Aquino Government where he writes:

[Lacierda] exaggerated not only his characterization of Romano’s act of resigning, but also his interpretation of the president’s state of mind [i.e., his stated “reluctance” to accept Romano’s resignation] when he came to know of the resignation offer.

Aquino reluctant? If that was the case then why did he accept Romano’s resignation on the very same day it was offered? Couldn’t he have waited another day to think about it? Just consider how the president handled Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno’s courtesy resignation over the Quirino Grandstand Hostage Crisis. Now that one was a display of reluctance or rather a strong unwillingness to let go of someone.

Does this therefore mean that 5 million puny pesos wasted is a bigger outrage and more deserving of the resignation of a senior cabinet officer than the deaths of eight innocent foreign tourists?

Considering the surprisingly expeditious resolution of the logo fiasco in the form of Romano’s resignation being a stark contrast to the foot-dragging and finger-pointing that continues in the aftermath of the Quirino Grandstand Hostage bloodbath, I’d say that what we have here is a brilliant case-study of the Filipino Character as embodied by the Government Filipinos have chosen to lead them from 2010-2016.

When we begin to understand the sorts of minds that inhabit a society that tolerates such dysfunction, we begin to really understand what needs to be done at the most fundamental levels.

All together now:

Kahol ng Bayan

Marahil nga na nakakabagot
Ang mga suliranin ng ‘sang Lipunang
Sa kabiguan lamang nauuwi
Mula munting pakitang-taong ambag
Hangga’t sa mula pusong alay na palag.

Makabuluhang resulta’y di inaasam
Sa mga kilusang kinakamkam
Bagama’t punto ng pag-alsa
Kahit pinuno’y di alam
Basta’t “sugod” ang kanyang damdam.

Ngunit saysay ng sigaw di malaan
Pagka’t kailan ma’y walang nakamit
Na pag-unawa sa pinagmulang prinsipyong
Makabuluhan kung mayroon man.

Sa mga susunod na kabanata
Ng kasaysayan ng bansa
Ang paglitis ng madla
Di magtutugma sa iba
Kundi sa malinaw na pangamba:

Pinoy nga naman talaga,
Parang aso umasta
Matangkad lang kapag naka-upo
Sa tawag ng amo lang tatayo.

[Dedicated to the Filipino “Revolutionary”
by benign0, Lyricist Extraordinaire]


About benign0

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35 Responses to The ironic fall of a venerable "e-mandirigma"

  1. nitesoul says:

    i pity Enteng. but i also admire his courage by resigning from his post. unlike the DILG peeps. 

  2. UntidyHairedOne says:

    [b]“At the unveiling of the new Philippine tourism label earlier this week, [Tourism Secretary Alberto] Lim told the Inquirer that the tarsier and the smiling coconut tree were inputs provided by President Aquino when his team presented it to him.”[/b]

    I even caught this while I was watching news the night this fiasco became a national issue. This was [i]obviously[/i] the reason why the slogan and the concept felt to me like it  was done by a grade 1 student.

    Lim: Mr. President, here’s our concept for the new  tourism slogan
    Abnoy: Why are there only words? [i]ilagay natin yung coconut at tarsier para Pinoy![/i]
    Lim: Whatever you say Mr. President. Should we also put the Chocolate Hills?
    Abnoy: Hmm… *thinks deeply*… nah… [i] those would look like b00bs[/i]


  3. aboy says:

    Another gaffe of this administration… I think they are too worried that at this early stage of PNoys administration, boo boos had been piling up so quicly… They wanted a quick escape out of this mess, thus in my theory , pressuring someone to take the fall…

    on the side, just to use the quote you mentioned above benign0, “haste makes waste” – Proclamation No. 50 of PNoy… tsk tsk tsk..

    • benign0 says:

      Yeah, don’t get me started on Proclamation 50. I described a while back here how that one is also based on idiotic premises – popularity, impunity, and a nebulous ideal/goal. It’s a government that mirrors what the Philippines is: the result of lots of “action” underpinned by VERY little thinking. 😀

  4. UP nn grad says:

    Enteng is a fall-guy. I won’t be surprised if he is one of those people that Noynoy allowed into his administration reluctantly (Enteng not a college classmate nor a shooting buddy (Puno) nor a drinking buddy (Mislang) ).

    Enteng resignation hits 2 birds with one stone. To get rid of an unwanted entity (like Noynoy — but Robredo has not turned in his resignation yet) and at the same time shifting the conversation away from mediocrity and the P5Million.

    Enteng is a patsy. :mrgreen:

  5. ChinoF says:

    Romano for me is one of those idealists who decided that if they wanted change, they should join government and make it happen. So they did join government. They thought they could work within the system, as some believe is best. But sadly, they could not make it happen. Why? Because they realize that the system itself is so botched up. They end up becoming part of the very “corrupt” people they once sought to oust. 

    It’s the system, folks. Wake up. 

    • ninjaone says:

      It’s not the system who made Enteng make those mistakes. The system did not influence or force him to plagiarize a logo, to launch a brand before it is tested, to spend P4.8M on the launch, (as acknowledged by the DOT officials in That was his own doing, his own decision, and actually a precedent. Maybe for other things we can blame the system, but not for that.

      • ChinoF says:

        You may be right about Romano’s particular decision-making flaw. But the system certainly allowed other incompetents in. For one thing, is Romano qualified for the position he was given? But yes, there are worse cases than him. And of all these, it had to be Romano who had the delicadeza to go. 

        I just wanted to point out that the idea that merely changing the people in government will change the country’s fortune has been most likely disproved in this case. Well, I guess it has been disproved with the current government after all. Just because you’re a vehement activist with “good intentions” doesn’t mean you’ll do well as a government official. 

    • dumb-oh says:

      calling out the Anong Nagawa Mo Para sa bayan group!

    • ChinoF says:

      Hmm, perhaps my edit of my comment above wasn’t too good (yes, I edited it just to add some thoughts). Perhaps “part of the corrupt” isn’t accurate; “mixed up with the corrupt” would be more like. And perhaps Romano is better off calling for resignations rather than being among the people whose resignations he might call for. 

    • AlvinEternal says:

      Nagkwentuhan kami ng tatay ko tungkol sa resignation ni Romano. Wow, he got his taste of his own medicine. Dahil sinu-sino ang tinitira niya (kahit si GMA).

      Mas karapatdapat ang mga taong may kaya. Another thing is the system. So kahit anog palit ng presidente o sinu man ang nakaupo, as long as the rotten system lives, change is inevitable.

      Unless we start it from ourselves.

  6. ninjaone says:

    There was a news blackout on the P4.8M expense of the DOT for 24 hours from the time Tordesillas posted the DOT documents to the time ABS-CBN gets an exclusive and reports right it.
    Only after Romano resigned at 430PM were the expenses reported at 5:59PM and at 11:56PM. and I suspect Malacanang asked that the story be deferred till Romano resigns. Lim in the interview on ABS-CBN denies he knew of the expense, but the documents clearly shows his signature. Noynoy says Lim still has his confidence. Romano is the sacrificial lamb to save Sec. Lim’s head, to divert everyone’s attention and make themselves look accountable. 
    Malacanang and ABS CBN also try to divert the attention on this yesterday by inundating the public with stories of the Maguindanao massacre while being silent on this issue. 

  7. ChinoF says:

    Just had this thought about the issue: I wonder if Romano realized that he was cavorting with wolves in sheep’s clothing and decided to ditch it. But his departure statements seem to show that he didn’t.

  8. Hyden Toro says:

    The Poet John Keats wrote: ” Truth is beauty. And beauty is truth.”

    A President who built his political career on myths and lies; taking some people to accept his
    imbecility? Noynoy Aquino displayed not only his arrogance of being in power. He accepts resignations of people whom he sees as disposables. However, he keeps people, like the self-confesed Bribe Taker Sec. Puno, for reasons unknown, Maybe, Sec. Puno, is his “cabo” in his Hacienda Luisita Mafia. Sec. Puno knows too much of Noynoy Aquino’s activities. So, he buys his silence, by making Puno stay in his position. This is the President we have…

  9. Marques says:

    Stupid and slogan Pilipinas Kay Ganda, Target ng tourism ay foreigners. how do you expect them to remember it? Wow Philippines was already good and unique(referring to it only as a slogan) simple and easy to retain in peoples minds like Malaysia truly Asia, Uniquely Singapore, Discover Hong Kong and so on. English dapat wala nang kaartehan about being nationalistic etc. we should provide solutions that work not be stuck on ideology/theory.

  10. Tish says:


    His resignation was the government’s scape goat.  Let’s wait few months or years, Romano’s going to be reinstated in the government, perhaps as a consultant or he might put up a firm and be hired by the government.

    I saw Lim’s interview last night, wala daw siya kasalanan.  Romano was under him, he consented the whole thing and for him to declare that he has no accountability for what happened is just plain wrong and hypocritical.  I’m sure that a sincere apology and acknowledgement that he made a mistake would appease the Filipino people.  He would not be perceived as weak if he apologized, it would only make him a better person because it meant na he learned from the experience.  Then again, kailan ba naman umamin ng mali ang gobyerno?  Except for GMA- Hello Garci.  Palibhasa kase it was not his Php 5 million that was wasted.  Walang panghihinayang.

    • ici says:

      its funny how they keep telling us to “move on”…would they be in power now if people simply moved on before? what’s good for the goose is good for the gander (and vice versa…maybe).

      • ChinoF says:

        “Move on…” Forget it? The media always tries to make people do that anyway. It’s time people tell them that they won’t forget. 

  11. ici says:

    a lot may disagree with me but really, i don’t think i owe enteng anything for resigning.  he botched up big time and it is but right that he resign.  i don’t have to thank him for it or make him a hero for that matter.  since i am his “boss” (or so says the prez), i would have fired him the day after that very expensive “soft” launch or whatever excuse they are using today.  ugh, i felt like puking when i heard him being all so righteous as he was being interviewed on the radio and mike enriquez heaping him praises and thanking him…wtf?! may utang na loob pa tayo ngayon sa kanya?!!! he was actually BASKING in the adulation of the people. believe you me, a deal has most likely been hatched already to save the hineys of his bosses and he would probably be given another gov’t post, perhaps even a seat in a gocc para hindi halata…

    and don’t get me started on bertie lim. yan ang president ng mbc?!!! oh the excuses and the blatant lies to squirm his way out of this hole. i am not speculating, read his before and after the launch statements.  

    campaign and grey…here’s a bar of soap. i don’t give a crap if they were against the premature launching blah blah blah…fact is, they were the ones who came up with that monstrosity. 

    as for noynoy…i don’t even know where to begin.

  12. Artemio says:

    There are even art students who could easily come up with truly original logo designs way better, cheaper, and more inspired than that one being proposed by those thieving incompetent plagiarists. If they like, they can simply put together a contest among artists including students and amateurs, who I’m pretty confident could create better and meaningful masterpieces than those paid so-called “professionals.”

    In the first place, why is there need to replace an already internationally recognized “WOW Philippines” with something worse? The new admin appears to be so keen on deprecating the milestone accomplishments of previous pioneers like Gordon.

    Also, whose bright idea was it to use a relatively obscure dialect, Tagalog, instead of the more effective and world-widely used English for an international market?

    • ChinoF says:

      The new admin doesn’t seem to attribute WOW Philippines to Gordon… it was launched under GMA, so thus they consider it the “work of the enemy.” 

  13. ChinoF says:

    So Romano himself admits that his daughter’s involvement is true. Yet he says that it’s nepotism only if his daughter is paid. Oh really? Nepotism means preferring a relative on the job, paid or unpaid. “Greed and Betrayal” truly repeats itself. 

  14. bp says:

    and he’s upset her daughter is now being dragged into the controversy. eh siraulo pala talaga tong romano na to. he shouldn’t have involved her in the project in the first place. even without pay that’s still questionable. palusot pa ng palusot. ayayay.

  15. Pingback: 2011 is indeed a year of hope for the Filipino people!

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