Notes on the coming war

My apologies for the melodramatic, even somewhat inaccurate, title; I couldn’t resist.

1. The return of Dante Ang, or at least Ang’s "Ina ng Bayan" image for the President. Her "bad boy" speech before KBP executives on Thursday assumes that there is a mother figure to set the bad boy of media straight. (It is the President, of course, who gets to do the spanking.) This is all of a piece with her "chasing the bully around the schoolyard" speech the other month; that one assumes a stern schoolmistress — another mother figure — with the disciplinary rigor to lay down the law.

2. The return of Bobi Tiglao’s "strong republic." Bobi may be headed for Greece, but the President’s crisis of legitimacy has given new life to the policy-slash-image-slash-strategy he put together when he was on study leave in Japan. In her "bad boy" speech, the President used "strong state" (apparently the version she prefers now) almost like a mantra.

3. The reemergence of ABS-CBN as broadcasting industry leader, with Gabby Lopez’s speech in the same KBP conference in Baguio hitting the right high notes; it was a gracious but firm assertion of the truth on the Julius Babao case. It isn’t only that GMA, the ratings leader in the country’s dominant broadcasting market,  has its own problems with admittedly problematic KBP; it’s also because media leadership is not and cannot be a matter of ratings alone. It also comes from taking a stand. 

4. The confirmation (if confirmation were needed) of Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye as a spokesman who would say anything, even lie outright, to extricate his principal from problems of her own making. His comments after the President’s KBP speech mark a new low.

PS. I must say, though, that I was rather put off by the "initial reaction" statement issued, on behalf of NUJP, by one of its directors, Rowena Carranza. As I teased Joe Torres in a text message, what was the ontological status of that initial reaction? Does the NUJP, among whose leaders I count several as good friends indeed, issue collective statements? If it does, why is there an "initial reaction," purportedly for the entire NUJP, from one of its directors, followed a couple of hours later by the official statement (under Joe’s name)? I have no quarrel with either statement, as a matter of fact. But consider the example of the most recent post of NUJP secretary general Caloy Conde. It is right on the money, but there is no doubt that it is his own position. Of course other NUJP members share his view, but the post is all his. (And still newsworthy on its own.) Just wondering.



Filed under Readings in Media, Readings in Politics

4 responses to “Notes on the coming war

  1. manuelbuencamino

    Yes John the title should have been : Escalating the War

  2. DJB

    Off-topic: but have you listened to the mp3 between Rainbow Warrior and their man on site at Masinloc during the incident?

    I can’t put a link in your comments so just go to the Greenpeace main website and look for “audio” of a phone call.

    I think the NBI might find it interesting as evidence of a conspiracy involving foreigners to commit criminal trespass against that crucial electric utility. In the conversation, they talk about the team of “climbers” as part of the operation, clearly a publicity baiting stunt. I’ve downloaded a copy in case they take it down.

  3. DJB

    On the Subic Rape Case, why in the world did we field women lawyers? Why didn’t we send big burly young attorneys backed up by a fatherly figure and an even more senior old lawyer. It is international political theatre and we have the home field advantage. We should be projecting the message that the whole country cares about this case, that we protect and cherish our women, not just protest their conditions. It’s all about optics, yet we always have to play the victim, because that is the ideology that has taken hold: victimology. I think it is because the Left actually wants for the Filipino people to lose whenever they get into some issue involving America. To prove their persecution complex.

    The whole “prosecution” team should be replaced with men that are smoldering with rage, but are holding it back at every step. Not screaming, metaphorically speaking, that we are being GANG RAPED by the whole process, or our own govt.

    There is honest puzzlement about our behavior, even among Americans who support our case and wish those men, if found guilty, will find harsh boyfriends in Bilibid. For they have done more than allegedly rape an ally, they have endangered a serious mission of the US military. That believe it or not is my greatest hope for justice in this case.

    Not the helpless howling that doesn’t realize we are actually in a position of moral strength if only we would play our cards right.

  4. jojo

    Katrina Legarda, a tuta of the Left? I think she has more sense and chutzpah to become a willing tool of the Maoists and Stalinists in her midst. Also the lady has had a strong record sending rapists to jail: see where Romeo Jalosjos is now.

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