Impeachment as a game

That’s the title of an entry in [email protected] Holdings who says,

The degradation of trust on the impeachment process began, ironically, in 2001, when the Estrada impeachment trial was held hostage by the prosecutors (who walked out of the proceedings and then Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr doing nothing to call them back). After the euphoria of EDSA 2/power grab (whatever you call it), the Filipino people have realized that taking shortcuts won’t work. And scheming politicians also learned a lesson, ironically from the so-called Craven 11: impeachment is just a numbers game. And these scheming politicians learned this lesson by heart, and now impeachment is just that – a game.

A similar point is made in today’s Inquirer editorial. Of course a solution was identified some time back: Solon proposes House inquiry instead of impeachment.

Are reports of the ruling coalition’s breakup grossly exaggerated? Yes, if accounts of yesterday’s emergency luncheon at the Palace are to be believed: Arroyo, De Venecia: Our coalition won’t break. A media friend who’s a reporter called me recently to exchange scuttlebutt and mentioned, in passing, surprise that despite the Palace-House tensions, the Speaker was on hand at the airport to greet the President as she arrived back home from India.

“Listen,” I told my reporter-friend in jest, “even at the last moment, as they haul away the stretcher bearing the President’s body, the Speaker would be by her side expressing his bereavement, while sticking the cyanide capsule in her mouth.”

One thing is obvious, the President is incapable of appreciating irony. Essentially she reenacted Dinky Soliman’s swan song in her administration, reprising that let’s hold on together song. The parting words of the protagonists are superficially reassuring:

After a Cabinet meeting, Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno insisted that Ms Arroyo and De Venecia continued to have good relations and that he, too, shared the same ties with the Speaker.

“We’re on the best of terms. You will remove the Speaker over my dead body,” Puno said.

At the luncheon meeting, someone mentioned “in passing” the impeachment complaint and the President “effectively belied any knowledge” of Malacañang having a hand in it, Gonzales said.

But is it all hugs and kisses on the Lakas-Kampi front? How does the public, as spectators, separate lies from bullshit and spin? Manuel Buencamino refers to Harry Frankfurter’s essay, “On bullshit,” and gives real-life examples that differentiate between the three:

Reacting to Joey de Venecia’s “back off!” story, former Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos said, “It’s a big lie. There was no such meeting. Why don’t you ask Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza if there was such a meeting?”

Here’s why the denial of Abalos is bullshit:

Mike Arroyo admitted there was such a meeting in Wack Wack.

Now here’s Mike Arroyo’s lawyer lying about that Wack Wack meeting, using 77 words to conceal two words: “Back off!”

“Mr. Arroyo had gone to Wack Wack that day simply to play golf when the young de Venecia arrived and sat beside Secretary Larry Mendoza. Mr. Arroyo overheard the young de Venecia following up his project proposal with Secretary Mendoza. . . . De Venecia continued to follow up his project proposal to Mendoza, prompting Mr. Arroyo to remind the young de Venecia that he cannot be involved in any government transaction because he is the son of the Speaker,” said lawyer Jess Santos.

Here’s Mike Arroyo mixing two parts bullshit and one part Jess Santos:

“I never said to him, ‘Back off.’ That is not even in my vocabulary. . . I never pointed a finger at Joey de Venecia. I only met him there, how can I do that? . . . What I did is that I reminded him that he might be guilty, he might be liable under the antigraft law because he’s the son of the Speaker, he cannot, he cannot deal with government contracts.”

That was Mike Arroyo’s statement upon arrival from his long-planned sudden trip to Europe.

Why do people with unlimited resources bullshit and lie when they can afford to buy spin?

For those unfamiliar with the term “spin”, Wikipedia says it is “a heavily biased portrayal in one’s own favor of an event or situation.”

Let’s go back to the story of Attorney Santos and add a paragraph to modify it:

“The young de Venecia responded by thrusting his face at Mr. Arroyo, explaining the AHI bid in a rude and loud manner. The young de Venecia’s behavior, especially since it was the first time he met my client, startled Mr. Arroyo, prompting him to point his finger and exclaim, “Back off, please!”

Voila! We transformed a lie into spin. We even placed “back off” in a favorable light.

If Attorney Santos used our spin, Mike Arroyo’s arrival statement could have been less defensive and more masculine:

“Of course, I told him to back off. It’s the first time I met the guy and he shoved his face right up mine… Coño! Que mal educado! He’s lucky I didn’t hit him!”

Still, the fighting continues on multiple fronts. Burgos family to test writ of amparo. Even as Senate subpoenas Cabinet papers on NBN-ZTE deal, the Palace won’t give Senate NEDA records on NBN. How and why this will end up in the Supreme Court, is explained by Senator Manuel Roxas II in the Business Mirror story:

“I have consulted the lawyers on this,” he said in an interview. “What they says is that it has not yet ripened to a so-called justiciable issue” that should be brought to the Supreme Court, meaning the issues have not been joined. “But eventually, it will get there.”

Roxas explained that there must first be a rejection by the Senate investigating committee “on a vote that we see the invocation [of executive
privilege] as improper, or the invocation here deals with matters not subject to what executive privilege can legally or properly be applied to. Once the issues are joined we can now go to the Supreme Court.”

Having been a former executive department official, Roxas conceded that “Cabinet members must be free to discuss policy decisions and not be afraid that whatever they say there may be broadcast outside; that is the essence of executive privilege.” But he also argued that “it is one thing to discuss policy . . . it is another thing to be discussing a bribery attempt; I think that is where the issue will be decided upon, what is covered by, and the proper use of executive privilege.”

Not to mention GMA bent on pushing cyber ed although

Incidentally, Neal Cruz indulges in satirical writing today.

And in the Ugh Department: 87 percent of e-mails from RP spam.

And on a sober note, Juan Mercado on Burma. Also, Jeremy Wagstaff on The Real, Sad Lesson of Burma 2007. And The new totalitarians: Burma and the rebirth of a terrible idea as pointed out by Newsstand.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Manuel L. Quezon III.

57 thoughts on “Impeachment as a game

  1. mlq3: in reacting to a situation that would normally require spinning, i think, these people with unlimited resources tend to harrumph and vigorously proclaim their innocence, believing that this is enough to convince the public.

    At bottom, it reveals a certain contempt for the intelligence of the people – they think that we’re dumb enough to swallow the shit they’re shoveling. On a different level,tho, it shows that these people have not realized that they’re no longer the only ones who are savvy. If you think about it, these people who bullshit are oldguard; they come from the ranks of those who still believe that those in government are a ‘different’ breed of people – a sort of aristocracy that peons ought not to question, and whose word the peons should take as gospel truth.

    What this implies, of course, is that as the younger generations of politician take their turn at government, we will see more spin – because these young uns (altho they will still consider themselves aristos) will have learned that the masses are no longer clueless.

    It’s an escalation of the game, really. As the public gets savvier, so to will the fake aristos develop their skills at doublespeak. Right now,the public is ahead of the fake aristos still lording it over in government – Arroyo, Abalos, etc. – and so we see their bullshit for what it is. In time, when the young guns take their place, we’ll have a harder time calling bullshit on these people.

  2. I do not know who sings better between GMA and JDV, but one of them should sing this song:

    This Masquerade
    by the Carpenters

    Are we really happy with
    This lonely game we play
    Looking for the right words to say
    Searching but not finding
    “The reason” anyway
    Were lost in this masquerade

    Both afraid to say were just too far away
    From being close together from the start
    We tried to talk it over
    But “Pulido” got in the way
    Were lost inside this lonely game we play

  3. Only after a Messenger from Heaven comes down and tell his own version of “truth” then maybe we will have this case resolve and get a clear picture of what really transpired. But for now, there’s no telling who is Bullshitting, lying, telling half-truth, half-lies because everyone swears to Heaven that he or she will tell nothing but the Truth…all in a game called dirty politics…

  4. rom,

    Once upon a time when the public was still ignorant and isolated, politicians could bullshit. And they could also lie easily because they had more information on their side.

    These days bullshitting and lying are harder because information and the exchange of it is widespread. Thus there is a need for spin, not only to “reframe” issues but also to blur black and white into gray.

    So you have a cardinal rosales commenting about human rights abuses under Gloria as a mere speck compared to …..and you have the same cardinal saying that there may be corruption under Gloria but there are bigger fishes….

    when everything is relative, spin becomes.

  5. “How To Master Poltical Spin”


    Spin doctors are people that put a particular “spin” on what has been said–often, with little concern for its truth. The real concern is whether or not people believe the spin. Sometimes the spin on a message is more important than the message itself.


    Difficulty: Challenging


    Step One
    Understand what it is that a spin doctor does. Spin is cynically perceived as a form of propaganda: biased, manipulative and deceptive. Sociologists see the rise of spin as a real problem for democracy because it masks transparency and provides the public with distorted information. 2

    Step Two
    Become ambiguous, one of the major techniques of spin. Incorporating unclear phrasing can make your exact meaning hard to pin down, which is useful when answering questions about a subject that you don’t want to address.


    “This is something certainly that Kampi does not countenance. I think there will be unanimity in Kampi in distancing itself from him [Ver] and condemning this,” said Puno at a press briefing in Malacañang.

    Step Three
    Selectively present facts and quotes that support your position.


    “Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno admitted Tuesday that Francis Ver was an officer of the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Partner of the Free Filipino, Kampi), but that his alleged bribe to Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran was “absurd” and that the party was distancing itself from his action.

    Step Four
    Learn to use the non-denial denial,


    At the same time, Puno said he did not know who was talking to Ver when asked about who could be behind this.
    “I’m really baffled I can’t understand why he is doing what he was alleged to have done,” said Puno who described Ver as a “quiet person.”

    Asked if they would file a case against Ver, Puno said, “We want to see first if he indeed used the name of Kampi or if he did it on his own.”

    Puno said that Ver was a lawyer from the University of the Philippines. He also served for a long time at the Department of Interior and Local Government. He resigned in the late ‘90s.

    “I don’t know where he went since. He resurfaced and when I got back in Congress, he volunteered himself as a lawyer [in my staff]. I took him as consultant. In Kampi, he was designated as one of the deputy secretary generals,” said Puno.

    Step Five
    Create confusion in the situation .Speak in euphemisms to sound less offensive, disturbing or troubling.


    The net result of all of this is nagkagulo kami [we were all thrown in disarray],” Puno said.
    “When this came up, some Lakas congressmen were pointing to Kampi members and we were looking at one another and nobody knew anything. … Whatever is the objective, the net effect right now is nagkakaroon ng gusot [there is a rift] between Lakas and Kampi because of what happened here and this is really disturbing,” he added.

    Step Six
    Use the right words with a touch of humor.


    “Anybody who goes around trying to bribe Crispin Beltran should have his head examined. I mean, that’s like bribing the Pope, it’s the height of absurdity,” Puno told in a phone interview.

    Step Seven

    Play up weaknesses and make them look charming.


    “Puno said that upon knowing about Ver’s moves, he immediately talked to De Venecia to explain that Kampi had nothing to do with it.
    “I was telling the Speaker nothing will happen in the House without you knowing because you are the Speaker and you are the leader of the congressmen … and he was thankful for this,” he said.”

    Don’t get caught up in your own spin. It’s the same as believing your own lies.
    Be subtle when you put a spin on something. Add enough truth to make it plausible.

  6. manuelbuencamino:i agree. which is why i think the future will be a scarier place in terms of how difficult it’ll be to sort the spin from the truth.

  7. mav,

    You’ve provided an answer to what makes Ricardo Puno an indispensable man for FVR, Erap and GMA. Ric Puno is a spin master par excellence.

  8. mlq3,

    arbet:”scheming politicians learned this lesson by heart, and now impeachment is just that – a game.”

    But not all politicians are scheming. But then again, the numbers, how many are scheming how many are not. And so, impeachment could actually be a real test on who are scheming and who are not. As a test, it has its value in that the electorate are able to evaluate. The two erap impeachments produced two popular senators — chiz escudero and alan peter cayetano. Prelude to the second erap impeachment chiz said if they don’t have the numbers, they will not proceed. I called his office, talked to his CoS to protest Chiz’s stand, reminded him of how the first one gave the people the chance to evaluate. We should not be deprived of the second. It has its value for the people even if it’s just a numbers game for politicians. Pichay did not win in spite of being the top spender because the voters didn’t favor how he was during the impeachment.

    Voters have learned a lesson by heart, the impeachment is a screening process for them to separate scheming politicians from those who are not, and to vote accordingly.

  9. Pete,

    Only problem is Puno always comes across like he’s spinning. The whole business of spin is not only about how or what, it is more about WHO. Someone with the reputation of Puno will have a hard time being believed even when he is telling the truth.

  10. neither side of the political fence has a monopoly on spin. spin masters abound posing as pr practitioners, opinion surveyors, or “journalists”. the last election affirmed their ubiquity, slyness and potency. look at the bunch of senators that were nominated and eventually elected.

    nah, i don’t think it will be harder to spot the “young guns”. they are not subtle at all, except for the hardcore, unwash throngs that still adore the likes of erap, trillianes, jalosjos, and the lying accusers who have the raps but not the goods. these pathetic people will jump when their “idol” blows the whistle, no questions asked.

  11. When it comes to “spin”, Rummy was one of the great masters. As in Donald Rumsfeld. Seen few of his press conferences and the way he phrased his statements in reply to reporters’ questions, you can tell that after he delivered them, the reporters will look at each others as if asking, ‘you know what Rummy is taking about’. Try these…

    “We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” –on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction

    “Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.”

    “Freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.” –on looting in Iraq after the U.S. invasion, adding “stuff happens”.

    And stuff does happen in the Philippines too. Those spinners may had learned a lot from Rummy..

  12. In my meetings with some key clients yesterday, talk about the ZTE/NBN, etc. issues could not be avoided even if these were serious business meetings. This administration is losing a lot of support from the business community, just last year these people were singing praises for GMA’s management skills, now its a uniform attitude of disgust. Even as we blog some members of our customs office are “indirectly” asking for bribes when clearing shipments saying they are just asking for Christmas gifts, I doubt if they are just given cards. I take it back, not indirectly but “pakapalan” na.

  13. Now I’m stumped, I’ve been up all night trying to smooth out 3rd quarter shipments, its like everybody wants to avoid December arrivals, I’d like to report that its because of the holidays and shipments can’t be cleared during this time, but its really the “cost” of December shipments here are very high due to “Christmas gifts” to customs. Its very embarassing for me being a Filipino to report this to foreigners, I don’t think we can ever distance ourselves from corrupt countrymen, we all feel the shame…

  14. ramrod,

    Have a friend inside customs. They have a ‘drop box’ as big as a balikabayan box. He’d been mentioning a name since 5 years ago. I hear the same name mentioned in media as involved in smuggling. Friend has first hand knowledge.

    btw, was in Batangas once. accross the street was a mansion-ish house in a big high-fenced compound. Neighbors say the owner’s from Forbes park and there are lots of race horses inside. Surname of the owner? A _ _ _ _ _.

  15. rom:

    the public getting savvier… hmmm…. not gonna happen any time soon. while there has been so much talk about the change in voting patterns in the last election, the next hurdle the public has to get through is apathy. while it may be true that people have been more critical of the mush they hear from politicians… it’s gonna take a big leap for people to realize that they can do something other than take to the streets (to get shot).

  16. There are times that spinning a story more effective than telling outright lies, although spinning itself is a form of lying.
    I still belive though that people and the society, and nature, have the capacity to ferret out the truth. As they say you cannot foll all the people all time.
    We are just giving so much credit to those spin masters who in reality could not actaully alter the course of history.
    Reality is the name of the game. The Germans and the Iraqis learned that during thier wars with the Americans.
    It is useless, nay futile, to spin an issue when truth ism staring in your face. Dont overrate the spinners and underestimate your common sense.

  17. MAV,
    Help us out here! Is this a spin or what?

    Inquirer Report(10-11-07)
    A key ally of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has tagged Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno as the mastermind of the “weak” impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Roel Pulido.

    Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia said the complaint was the handiwork of Puno, the President’s adviser on political affairs, and the chair of the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi).

    “It was their own making,” Garcia told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of on Tuesday night. “It’s from a faction within Kampi.”

    Garcia was apparently so appalled by the supposed Puno gambit that he threatened to bolt the party.

    “We will resign from Kampi,” he said. “[The issue] will lead to the breakup of Kampi between our group and the group responsible for the filing of the impeachment [complaint]. They now try to foment intrigues. The other faction is destroying the party.”

  18. nice… i’m afraid i’m not much of a chess player though. i can’t see where all of this bullshit will lead…

  19. “Puno is named impeach brains !”

    “A key ally of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has tagged Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno as the mastermind of the “weak” impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Roel Pulido.
    Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia said the complaint was the handiwork of Puno, the President’s adviser on political affairs, and the chair of the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi).
    “It was their own making,” Garcia told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of on Tuesday night. “It’s from a faction within Kampi.” INQUIRER

    Tips & Warnings on Spins:

    Don’t get caught up in your own spin. It’s the same as believing your own lies.
    Be subtle when you put a spin on something. Add enough truth to make it plausible.

    If you are working for someone, don’t tell them that you are spinning their story. Let them believe in their own greatness.

    Don’t lie. You can misrepresent, but don’t get caught in an outright lie. This will cast aspersions on everything you have done up until this point. It may also land you in jail if you are caught spinning something under

  20. Ang impeachment na ginagawa ng opposition ay may dalawang layunin- ipaalam sa bayan ang mga sinasabi nilang anomalya sa ilalim ng pamamahala ni GMA at palakasin ang kanilang politikal agenda. Sa aking pananaw ang taktikang ito ay nakakatulong sa kanila lamang interest at hindi ito nakatoon para sa interest ng mga mamamayan.
    Sa aking pananaw, nasa mga mambabatas ang kapangyarihan na gumawa ng nararapat na batas para malabanan ang mga sinasabing anomalya. Ang usapin sa anomalya ay kinagisnan ko na noong ako ay mura pang isipan at hanggang sa ngayon ay anomalya pa rin ang pinaguusapan.
    Ang masasabi ko lang, habang pinagaaralan pa ng mga mambabatas kung ano pa ang ibang batas nakailangang gawin para lalo pang mabawasan ang mga anomalya sa ating gobyerno, ay gamitin nila ang kanilang kapangyarihan na magcheck and balance sa gobyerno.
    Ang mga pinangyayarihan ng mga daan daang milyon at bilyon na proyekto ay nasa 10 point agenda ni GMA. Ang mga mambabatas ay may sapat na kapangyarihan para maatasan ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno na involved dito na mabigyan sila ng regular na report hinggil sa status nito, simula sa conceptualization hanggang sa matapos. Ang lumalabas sa ngayon ay hinihintay muna ng mga mambabatas na matapos ang kontrata bago magiimbestiga kung may anomalya para may kontrobersya. Huwag nilang sayangin ang pera, oras at pagod, sa halip ay maging preventive ang kanilang aksyon, sa pamamgitan ng pagmamatyag sa una hindi sa huli, kung talagang nagmamalasakit sila sa bayan.
    Ang masasabi ko lang sa ginagawa ng mga mambabatas sa mga kasalukuyang kontroberya alin sa dalawa- nagtatanga tangahan o talagang natutulog sa pansitan.

  21. Impeachment is indeed about numbers, but it is far too serious to be considered a game and has a very serious purpose. It is why Pinoys often choose senators who are of the opposing party to the president they chose (assuming everything’s on the up-and-up during elections) — checks and balance. A Senate that can convict keeps the president on his or her toes.

    It is folly to consider an impeachment trial a purely legal exercise bound by rules of evidence and other legalisms that appky to a court of law. That’s why it isnt punishable by anything except removal from office and that being acquitted in an impeachment trial can’t invoke double jeopardy in a later criminal trial. ‘Betrayal of public trust’ is a political charge, not a criminal one, unique to impeachment. It just means ‘we may not have hard evidence to convict you now, but we dont want you as president because youre [incompetent, a pathological liar, a drunk, etc.– all options not crimes per se.]’

  22. “The Philippines is the most democratic country in our region. We have no tolerance for human rights violations at home or abroad.” GMA Speech in the UN General Aseembly;Sept.28,2007

    Very Important Spin Lesson :

    Make your own definition of human rights and say “We don’t violate them!”

  23. Linguistic parsing has become an art form in this age of instant communication. In an age of the ideology of relativism or subjectivism (Carmen Pedrosa Model) as the rationale and off course material self-interest (marketocracy) as the driving force.

    A perfect example is below on Ray “the magician” Tetangco who also doubles as our BSP governor. He also is on the board of NEDA. The template for the propaganda line of Big Mike and GMA is their primordial role in the so called economic miracle the country is experiencing. Naturally Ray the Magician has to support that line. The BSP cannot continue to buy up dollars in an attempt to support Bernanke and Paulson in their mandate to protect the U.S. economy from crashing. Philippine governments present and past have lived on inflation generation to support revenue enhancing measures.

    The Philippine financial markets are opening itself up to the enlargement of asset bubbles. So far Zimbabwe, China and Bangladesh are the best performing equity markets. More liquidity means lower interest rates and more funds going into assets in turn driving more and greater bubbles.

    Currecnies since Cnetral banks moved away from the gold stanbdard have essentially moved to the political standard. The stronger your political standard. That means political and economic institutions are strong enough to withstand storms. These are built up over time after storms do their damage. Insitutions are born or strengthened only during times of turmoil or after. It appears that GMA is a crook. She had acheived political power by the shredding of the constitution by the SC.

    Everyone in government including the BSP governor have weak backbones. Watch for more speculative plays on the Philippine peso through the stock market. So far year on year in peso terms it has reached onl 30%. In 1994 it reached a monstrous year on year high of 75%. The peso hit Php 22 to $ 1 then. Let the good times roll. In the world economy there are two distinct terms used to describe developing economies. Emerging markets and Frontier markets. The Philippines is somewhere between frontier and emerging markets. More frontier than emerging.

    ‘Rising wall of liquidity’ could ruin gains

    By Jun Vallecera

    THE monetary authorities peered outward 18 to 21 months down the line and saw global liquidity rising, a trend that could wreck the country’s improving macroeconomic fundamentals.

  24. mav the spin buster,

    Is Bong Austero a spin master?

    I’ve read his ‘open letter’ and based on your post “How to master political spin”, Austero’s ‘open letter’ is a classic and a masterpiece of a spin.

    Whatchathink of BA as spinster huh? tnx.

  25. Puno operations:

    FVR win dag-dag bawas

    Cha-cha people’s initiative

    ‘Impeach me’

    any body has a dossier on spinny rony?

    mav says get to the truth behind the spin,
    mb says spin depends on who spins,

    now we must get to the truths behind the spinner.

    expose the naked truth on spinny rony

  26. Ronaldo Puno (born April 25, 1948) is arguably one of the most successful campaign managers in Philippine politics. He supported the presidential bids of eventual winners Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

    He was a former interior secretary of the Philippines, and was a representative in Congress. He is also the leader of Kampi, the chief administration party of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He is also touted to serve again as interior secretary.

  27. Fav quote of BA in blog:
    “I have learned early on not to wrestle with a pig. It gets dirty. Besides, the pig likes it.”
    – George Bernard Shaw


  28. ramrod, if what i have been consistently hearing from people in business, whether pro, anti, or neutral (and being businessmen, on the whole pro or neutral), their no. 1 complaint to me is customs/smuggling. they say it’s never been worse. as in, never (the erap days look good in comparison is one complaint i’ve heard), and everyone is in the know as to who the top dog is in this department.

  29. bong’s letter was sincere and triggered a reaction in many, many like-minded people. it also proved useful ammo for the palace which further circulated it and the palace news readers were reading it on nbn channel 4.

    bong’s epigraph in his blog (the shaw quote) is a direct rebuttal of the epigraph (the upwardly mobile pigs quote) in the uniffors blog. compare and see.

  30. spin? in the face of truth, spin is slapped senseless and doesn’t know which is which anymore. observe Bush’s admin. that is one hopeless case of spinners who spun so much nahilo na sila sa sarili nilang spin.

    as i’ve said before, lying can be very tiresome. you have to know your lies and you have to lie all the time. no one can do that all the time.

    if someone here has the bright idea to imitate the Daily Show, GMA’s admin would be crucified with their spin.

  31. These people can spin all they want. They’ve lost all sense of integrity, I wonder how they can sleep at night…

  32. “as i’ve said before, lying can be very tiresome. you have to know your lies and you have to lie all the time. no one can do that all the time.”-devils

    Devils, by the looks of it, we are witness to the emergence of a new species – SPINOSAPIENS (these can sustain lying all the time).

  33. “ramrod, if what i have been consistently hearing from people in business, whether pro, anti, or neutral (and being businessmen, on the whole pro or neutral), their no. 1 complaint to me is customs/smuggling. they say it’s never been worse. as in, never (the erap days look good in comparison is one complaint i’ve heard), and everyone is in the know as to who the top dog is in this department.”-mlq3

    I don’t mind if they keep it within the smugglers circle because these can easily afford to pay, the problem is they are extorting money from the legal importers already.

  34. MAV,

    Great piece!

    Who in your opinion is the greatest spinner of them all?
    Ermita, Bunye, Saludo, Remonde, Puno or Cunanan? You might want to include Mike D?

  35. Phil Cruz:
    my answer:their boss!

    “The Philippines is the most democratic country in our region. We have NO tolerance for human rights violations at home or abroad.” GMA Speech in the UN General Aseembly;Sept.28,2007″

  36. MAV,
    Hah! But of course. How could I have missed her. But I think the most skilled is Puno. He can smoothly weave and weave a complicated web in one breath. Medyo swabe pero ang dating spinner pa rin.

  37. Phil Cruz:Ronnie Puno is like Alastair John Campbell who was the Director of Communications and Strategy for thefroemr Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (Tony Blair).

    In February 2003 he was a central figure in the alleged “dodgy dossier” controversy. A dossier on Iraqi concealment of Weapons of mass destruction and human rights abuses under Saddam Hussein was published on February 3. The dossier purported to be based on intelligence but a large section had been taken (unacknowledged) from a PhD thesis available on the internet.

    A few months later he became embroiled in further controversy after the BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan broadcast claims that the government had included evidence it knew to be false (famously described as “sexed up” by another BBC journalist) in an earlier dossier (about Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction). In a later newspaper article Gilligan said that his source had specifically identified Campbell himself as responsible for the alleged exaggerations. Campbell demanded a retraction and apology from the BBC, but none was forthcoming.

  38. Spin doctors, or propagandists, to use their old name, are a strange breed with disagreeable mannerisms that set them apart from the rest of the population. They have the extraordinary ability to be insincere, obscure the truth with irrelevant claptrap, hang up the phone mid-sentence and still be able to sleep straight in their beds at night.

  39. mav,

    Of course, the ‘spin-pose’ of the century is Toting Bunye holding up a CD on each hand with the malacanang seal on the background. Captioned, “the presidential spokesman toting bunye, presenting the tale of two cd’s.”

  40. “Whatchathink of BA as spinster huh? tnx.”

    i just snort out my coffee. i’ll sue you pete for scalding my nose.

  41. it really sounds devious when you call them that. but really, self-loathing is a hallmark of most PR professionals. and they’re really not that amoral as some may think they are. they just swallow back down any vomitus attempting to escape out of their guts.

    “How do you get to be one? It sounds like a high paying job, in a mercenary way that is.”

    tanong mo kay Manolo. he used to be a PR writer if I remember right. even read an article of his abt loathing his job. i think you don’t apply. they get you themselves when you demonstrate “unusual abilities.”

    i think i was offered one as well by a small private company. the job ad called for writers, so i applied. then i was asked how i view white lies. i said, my favorite quotation re that subject is this: vi veri veniversum vivus vici.

    suffice to say, i didn’t get hired.

  42. devils re: writing jobs. the reason i post my resume in full is so that readers know who i work for, have worked for, etc. that’s the full disclosure requirement of the profession.

    when i started working i began in lifestyle. on the side, i would take any job offered. mainly the equivalent of what copywriters do in ad agencies. i had one stint cranking out articles about mexican food, for example.

    but quite quickly teddyboy bluntly told me that i was too grim for lifestyle writing and that he mentored me in moving to op-ed. one of his claims to fame of course, was/is as a speechwriter.

    and so, my sideline became speech writing. it’s been the sideline of many, many notabable writers and quickly teaches you to submerge your own thinking when engaged in such a job, because the purpose of a speechwriter is not to put thoughts in the head of a client, but rather, simply to communicate the client’s thoughts better.

    in a sense it’s no different from editorial writing, my other line of expertise if it can be called that, because in writing editorials you write the party line and must adhere to institutional thinking. it’s not under your name, so you must submerge your identity into that of the collective (in the case of editorials) or the client (in the case of speeches) who has commissioned your work.

    in contrast a writer who publishes anything under his own name is responsible for what he writes; the responsibility in the case of writing editorials is to the institutional interest/principles of the paper and in the case of speeches, to the communication objectives of the person who is actually delivering the speech.

    when i wrote that essay you referred to, my point was that the filipino writer trying to earn a livelihood is in the same position renaissance artists were: glorified servants. the need to earn means taking on these jobs, and as many as humanly possible, because no single job will ever afford a writer the chance to keep body and soul together. you cannot earn a living simply being a columnist (unless you’re an extortionist or have independent means), you may be able to do so being a speechwriter but then on the other hand, you never produce your own thoughts and an independent body of work; often the two must be combined and you just have to trust yourself and the reader to work out a check and balance where you don’t end up being too soft on those for whom you write while the reader remains clueless that you have to juggle jobs.

    i should’ve become a tax lawyer.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.