Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Analytical Attribution: Gibo and Ondoy

by Dr. Prospero E. de Vera

A few days ago I wrote my blog entitled "Heroic Leadership: Gibo and Ondoy" in response to the surprisingly aggressive attack made by LAKAS-KAMPI strategists on my Strictly Politics year-end commentary on the impact of Ondoy and Pepeng on Philippine politics.

The attack was contained in the Manila Standard article written by Christine Herrera which quoted LAKAS-KAMPI spokesman Dominguez as saying that I was part of a "politically-motivated vilification campaign" against Gibo Teodoro (http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideNation.htm?f=2010/january/5/nation1.isx&d=/2010/january/5).

Dominguez also challenged me to "be forthright and tell the public that I (he) was in fact working for another presidential candidate."

After posting my blog on Facebook and getting a rather tepid response from some of my friends, I had planned to let the whole thing go. That was until I learned from friends that the mis-interpreted and obviously politically attributed news release has been carried by several websites and posted all over the internet.

The original Manila Standard article was carried by the Teodoro's campaign website (http://www.gibo.ph/updatefull.aspx?key=G0iyBGcAWD//zGviev35NUwT+3gV2cIs56h86xj+8HZ8uLJ5lZgPHA) and featured in www.politicalarena.com (http://ph.politicalarena.com/gilbert-teodoro/news/mudslinging-ushers-in-campaign-period-by-christine-herrera).

It was also carried by Hataw tabloid in a news story titled "Gibo Di Takaw Publicity (Political Analyst Niresbakan)- (http://www.hatawtabloid.com/news/34-catfrontpage/12955-gibo-di-takaw-publicity-political-analyst-niresbakan), and by the Pilipino Star entitled "Cheap Publicity Binira ng Kampo ni Gibo" (http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=538114&publicationSubCategoryId=92).

The Negros Daily Bulletin, a provincial paper also featured it in a story entitled "Political Wannabees Asked: Public Service not Cheap Publicity Stunts"

And Almar Dangilan in a column in Hataw tabloid declared "Gibo Di Mapagsamantala; at RFID Huwag Katakutan" (http://www.hatawtabloid.com/archive/13033-gibo-di-mapagsamantala-at-rfid-huwag-katakutan).

Not surprisingly, LAKAS-KAMPI strategists used the official government portal (www.gov.ph) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) to attack my personal views. Here’s their news release entitled "Lakas Dares Presidential Wannabees: Do Public Service, Not Cheap Publicity Stunts"
(http://www.gov.ph/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=2002598) and (http://pia-misorocccam.blogspot.com/2010/01/pia-dispatch-04-january-2010.html).

The news story added that "de Vera must be talking about his candidate, for a man of his stature we would have expected him to be forthright and tell his viewers that in fact he is working for another presidential candidate. Enough of hypocrisy!!

I am tickled by all the attention. And happy to hear that I am now a "man of stature" who is expected to be "forthright" and tell my viewers that I am working for another presidential candidate.

There are just two problems. First, many of the things mentioned in the article are politically attributed to me. I did not say many of those statements in the television program. I strongly suggest that the LAKAS-KAMPI strategists view the show again and please ascribe to me only those statements that I actually made.

The second problem is that my critics are completely missing the point!!

I am not anti-Gibo. I've always held Gibo Teodoro in high regard as a person. We were panelists in a forum organized by Action for Economic Reforms (AER) about a year ago discussing the post-GMA administration political and economic blueprint and I found him to be a very intelligent and articulate speaker who came well prepared for his presentation. I have also publicly declared that his stock was rising because of his performance in the debates.

Don't attack the messenger, address the message!!

This is about very poor government response during Ondoy and Pepeng. This is about heroic leadership in times of crisis. Let's debate on these issues. And while we’re at it, let's include government accountability for the Maguindanao massacre. Let's talk about accountability for arming civilian volunteers and putting them under the control of recognized local warlords. And let's debate on the whole government policy in Mindanao.

These are the discussions that should be hitting the web, newspapers and tabloids. These are the issues that the people should be reading about.

Unless we start focusing on these important issues, then I cannot help but agree with the comments from friends that Gibo’s strategists are just riding on my airwaves.

A good friend MC Canlas from San Francisco wrote the following about my blog "Heroic Leadership: Gibo and Ondoy". "Gibo is not in the news to propel his rating. To attack you by his strategists is one way of getting in the news. Namumulot ng barya sila. Sori sila, di lang anino ni GMA ang dala nila, multo pa ng masamang administrasyon sa kasaysayan ng bansa"


  1. Good evening, Ka Popoy. Without protest, I agree with you when you said, Gibo is gaining better momentum because of his shrewd responses to questions in almost all presidential debates he attends; and he really comes prepared for a helluva rumble. Well, we have to give the guy the credit he deserves. Amen. However, everytime I look at him, him and his soon-to-be pitiful fate leads me to reminisce the excruciating defeat of US Senator and Republican presidential candidate, John McCain. Simple: for Americans, John McCain was simply an excellent mimic of his predecessor. And for that reason, a McCain presidency, again for the same majority of Americans, will just be an encore of the incumbent's policies. On this basis therefore, I would like to say the same for a possible Teodoro presidency. And please, my goodness, he better quit brandishing his gratefulness to GMA in the media for giving a 40+ man the 'BREAK' to prove that he is his own guy! Mr. Teodoro strongly adheres to the Golden Rule Principle and he is not going to trade that for any grandiose offers. So it follows that by having been appointed to the Defense Department, which for him, by the way, is considered the sweetest judgment Mrs. Arroyo ever made for his political sake, he cannot therefore be expected to return this with an 'un-Filipino' gesture, once succeeds the presidency, not ever. And so goes round and round and round again the cyclical wound in our political struggle: NO CLOSURE. Thanks for reading, sir. More power. FRS

  2. I've never thought of the "excellent mimic" tag for Gibo but now that you've said it I have to agree with you completely.

    Gibo's weaknesses in his position on issues is not showing coz everyone is tuning in only on Villar and Aquino. He is not being compared to them on an issue-vs-issue basis. That's why his closeness to GMA and "excellent mimic" tag is not yet very obvious.

    McCain got into that problem coz there were only two candidates in the US presidential race and his position on the Iraq War, tax breaks for the rich, etc. contrasted clearly with those of Obama and "mimicked" Bush position.

    I actually thought Gibo could finally release himself from GMA's shadow when he kicked Ampatuan from LAKAS-KAMPI. This could have clearly seprated him. Alas, that was the only thing he did. After that he went over to Maguindanao and accompanied Mangudadatu to file his certificate of candidacy (inunahan ang LP) and it was back to GMA's trapo style politics.

  3. Can I laugh to the high skies? Totoong naunahan ang LP when Gibo did that gesture, and also perhaps Manny Villar. Pero siguro naman kapag ang isang politiko sinakyan ang ganoong ka-emosyonal at karima-rimarim na isyu upang mai-abante lamang ang kandidatura, ay maaari na nating ituring na 'tunay' nga siyang alagad ng kadiliman. I have heard from friends a lot of good things about Mr. Teodoro. And demonic politicizing fortunately is not one of them. Going back to Senator McCain, yeah, you can say that again, sir. It's very quick to see the difference between candidates' policies and ambitions because they are perfectly trimmed to two. Unlike here, most often than not, legit issues are brushed aside and give way to gutter politics. Magaling si Gibo. Kaya lang, his manner of expressing gratitude for a good deed done is out of place. Still, like I said, he is a copy cat of his boss, and the problem will surely include a very bold task of convincing the electorate he is not. Thanks for reading. FRS