Revillame slapped the network with an P11 million lawsuit to protest what he considers its unjust removal of him over a contract. Had the giant network counter-sued with, say, P20 million, it would have been credible and perhaps a fair legal battle. But to slap Revillame with a NEARLY HALF A BILLION peso-countersuit (and without paying the gigantic filing fee) can only mean, as his lawyers stressed in their press statement, that ABS-CBN is not serious about its lawsuit, and is out to just harass him. The network’s message seems to be that it’s God and how dare that little insect fight God. Its incredible arrogance in this unprecedented suit should send a chilling message to the media world that no one, but no one crosses ABS-CBN. But are there media practitioners protesting loudly? Where are the media organizations?
P-Noy government hires a PR firm
Purisima complained loudly that the Aquino government is floating a billion-dollars worth of global peso bonds and is in the process of doing a $3 billion bond exchange, and yet, all the local media could talk about is this $15,000 contract with the US PR firm. He said that the lead agencies in these floats, the Department of Finance and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, need to communicate to their stakeholders who are mostly outside the Philippines. Nakakapikon, said Purisima.
I chuckle over the controversy that the hiring of this PR firm has kicked up, for it proves that public controversies are indeed cyclical; to quote former President Estrada, “weather-weather lang.” I distinctly remember how the Arroyo administration was clobbered in the media by the then opposition, led by the Hyatt 10---now the administration in power, ---for the former’ s plan to get into a pricey contract with a PR and planning American outfit called, if my memory serves me right, “Venable.” The anti-GMA media rode on the sudden disclosure of the PR contract, and before it could be consummated it had to be scrapped. Now the shoe is in the other foot and the Aquino administration is defending its own PR contract.
But all administrations have this problem. Recall that during the US elections, candidate Barack Obama was so critical of the “Bush war” and promised to bring home US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. A year and a half later he shipped out 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and there’s no telling whether the surge would stop there.
The lesson for all presidential candidates the world over is, don’t be too quick to moralize on the campaign trail, for the situation inside the corridors of power can be so different from the outside. What you condemn now, you embrace tomorrow.
Philippine government officials in New York
To the young people, Dr. K., the brilliant émigré from Germany and a Harvard summa cum laude, is doubtless a relic from the distant Nixon years. They might have learned in school that Nixon, who resigned in 1974 for fear of being impeached over Watergate, had appointed Dr. K. as his Secretary of State in 1973, and the latter was credited with the opening of diplomatic ties between the US and China. But young Pinoys may react to Dr. K. pretty much like many Americans did in the 2008 US presidential elections, when Republican candidate John McCain presented him as the guru of his short list of foreign policy advisers---they were unimpressed, largely because he seemed to be a voice from such a distant era.
Henry Kissinger's PR firm
To the young people the 87-year old Nobel Peace Prize winner (1973) may indeed be a relic of the past, but the New York-based international consulting firm that he founded in 1982 and still chairs, Kissinger and Associates, continues to be influential in world circles. One reason is the prestige of the people who had served in its staff, among them the financial whiz kid Timothy Geithner, Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury, who’s credited with helping ease the US somewhat out of a recent recession which could have been worse. Another reason is the prestige of the firm’s list of top multinational clients, which has leaked out from time to time in US Senate hearings despite the firm’s strict secrecy policy. Many of these clients are in Fortune’s top 100.
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