What lies beneath the surface is a horrid underbelly of hypocrisy and corruption

The mysterious Mr Jones does it again.

Mr Jones’ latest entry seems in part to have been triggered by a recent column by columnist Conrado de Quiros, referring to the Carandang-Coloma schism and the P200 million budgeted by DBM Sec. Abad to Carandang’s office. He quotes de Quiros:

That is how cronyism starts, with the people in power favoring a few friends, saying they are better than others, they are more capable than others, they are smarter than others. That is how corruption starts, with the people in power proposing that what is good for them is good for the nation, what makes them richer makes the nation richer.

He then calls de Quiros a “moralizing hypocrite” and proceeds to list the US delegation and the staff sent by Carandang (1) and Coloma (27). See Mr Jones’s complete accounting here. It’s not only the number that is worth noting, but the tasks delegated:

The Assistant Secretary for Media Relations, Renato Marfil, took along Susan Esguerra, his secretary, to assist him. …

And then there’s the Presidential News Desk. Francisco Lopez Banos the PNS Editor in Chief took along his editor, Rodrigo Del Agua. … And so the Presidential News Desk had two editors but no reporter. …No wonder that Ishko had no stories to file except a false leak that Mar Roxas used fake credentials to attend the President’s UNGA speech.

The Executive Director took along two Team Leaders/Project Officers. One for New York and one for California. But you got to hand it to them. After all, what will the Executive Director direct if he does not have two underlings and their two underlings.

The group also included two pool cameramen. Pool? One for NY and one for California? If that’s the case, then the question will be what pictures would the California cameraman take when the President is in NY and vice versa? But whoa, there is already one Official cameraman so why take two unofficial cameramen, so they can pool?

As for MARO, Jo Paulo couldn’t do it all so he took along one supervising MARO for New York and one for San Francisco/San Jose. And both officers couldn’t do it all either, so they took along one co-project officer each.

There were, in addition, two editors and one writer. If at all, shouldn’t it be the other way around, two reporters and one editor?

Now look at the technical staff: Teleprompter operator, teleprompter technician, VTR technician, and teleprompter/VTR technician. Paano yan, one plugs the machine while the other one turns it on? And just in case one of them gets sick or dies, they brought a back-up who knows how to plug and turn on both machines?

…Carandang sent one, singular assistant secretary – Ma. Carmen Mislang from the speechwriting team. Everyone else remained in Manila and kept in touch with Mislang via phone and internet.

What do you think, excess or necessary?

Felicity

  • GabbyD

    but felicity, there is nothing here about the “wider picture”.

    all that is here is:
    1) jones’ criticism of de quiroz (which btw, we’ve established is an OK proportion of spending)

    2) a list of people sent on the delegation, where he implies that there is inefficiency, an example of which is the number of teleprompters, the number of editors and the number of coordinators

    where is the “hypocrisy and corruption”? my point is this:

    1) what is the evidence that they didnt do any work? i’d love to believe your say so, but i’d appreciate an argument that EXPLAINS how you know they didnt do any work. (ex: you say its possible/usual that only one guy works the telepromter… does that mean you cant have an extra guy to maintain it? just in case it conks out? especially when ur in a foreign country without the usual support?)

    2) lets say you are right — the extra ONE teleprompter maintenance guy is excess, there’s one too may editors, etc… this is the HORRID UNDERBELLY? of all the stories of corruption that has EVER happened, this is the HORRID UNDERBELLY?

    its a little exaggerated, is my point — even if you are right.

  • Felicity

    Hey gabby watch it. Title does nit have the word teleptompter on it. You are playing pick and choose tge detaiks whereas we are looking at wider picture so dont play synecdoche and blame it on the title.
    And your barriw field of vision is betrayed by that last comment. Of course they do not report that they did not report anything. But entire jobs are dedicated to monitoring reportage analysis or media monitoring at the very least. I do that. Manuel does that. But we do it in different capacities. Obviously mthe different aspects of the media profession is not entirely clear to you.

  • GabbyD

    @mb

    it was reported in the newspaper that they didnt write stories about the visit? i find that incredible.

    if its true that they didnt work at all, that is a problem. i have no info at all about that.

    also, the title of this blog post is so funny…

    the underbelly of hypocrisy and corruption is about teleprompter maintenance? i wish…

  • manuelbuencamino

    GabbyD,

    Eh yun nga ang sinabi sa dyaryo. Wala silang newsfeeds other than that slime job kuryente about Mar sneaking in the UNGA speech with fake credentials. Maybe they filed internal reports? I would appreciate your sharing them with us if you read them. Thanks in advance.

  • GabbyD

    “Ay oo nga pala, they didn’t file any reports”

    @mb

    how do u know they didnt file reports?

  • manuelbuencamino

    Gabby,

    1. “aba, natural! thats called division of labor…”

    Aba! Eh i-justify mo nga kung bakit yun presidential news desk kasama ang editor – in chief at editor? Were they going to edit each other’s reports? Ay oo nga pala, they didn’t file any reports. Maybe that’s because division of labor says: editors edit they do not file reports. Reports are for reporters.

    2. “you have two cameramen, coz u need 2 cameras for different shot angles.”

    And you need one official cameraman for official angles, right?

    3. “wala ba tayong puwedeng pagusapan except how many teleprompter guys were sent? is this how LITTLE we trust our leaders — we are debating the merits of ONE vs TWO cameramen?

    Yikes!”

    Yikes, you missed the point of the post. Mr Jones was showing how taxpayers’ money was wasted because people who shouldn’t have joined the delegation did.

    I appreciate the fact that someone spent time analyzing the delegation. Now we can move from blanket statements and argue over specifics.

  • UP nn grad

    What lies beneath is a persistent demonstration of a horrid underbelly of cronyism. As Rico Puno has already said, if not for him, wala si “Noynoy”, so ubod ng laki ng utang la noob na dapat ay kilalanin ni Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino.

    So round1 Justice Sec deLima versus Puno — round 1 goes to Puno, says referee “Noynoy”.

  • Bert

    And, Marlene, Joe America there above you is my friend, he did not vote for Noynoy because he’s American and not a voter, but his wife is a fan of Noynoy and voted for him, :).

  • Felicity

    Gabby, i have used a teleprompter. I used to work in TV news. Bigger stations have someone doing the prompter and flashing the chyrons on screen at the same time. In smaller stations, anchors move the prompter themselves while reading the news. Four people to turn a knob? it’s crazy.

    i don’t like nitpickers but mr jones i think did a good job of bringing forth for us to question — ano ba talaga ang ginawa nila?

    i used to work in tv news. big washington pool at the white house had about 5 staff + speechwriter and a spokesperson taking care of 10-15 news agencies including print, radio and broadcast with a total of probably 50-60 crew.

  • Bert

    To: Marlene de los Santos

    Just for your info: I have it from a good and reliable source that almost all of commenter in this thread including me and most probably Mr. Jones the mystery blogger himself voted for Noynoy, ‘di ba guys? :D.

    We are not criticizing Noynoy, but merely commenting on what are happening to the people serving in his administration.

  • GabbyD

    “Well for starters I know for a fact they haven’t got any equipment.”

    if true, then this has nothing 2 do with de quiroz’ point. (or even jones’ point)

    the issue becomes: they are supposed to get X money. they arent getting X money. why not?

    i guess my beef is that mr jones’ name calling of de quiros makes little sense. de quiroz’s point is simple and undeniable: operations should get the lions’ share. that is NOT HYPOCRISY.

    lets talk about mr. jones analysis of operations decisions…

    1) “The Executive Director took along two Team Leaders/Project Officers. One for New York and one for California. But you got to hand it to them. After all, what will the Executive Director direct if he does not have two underlings and their two underlings.”

    aba, natural! thats called division of labor. what does he seriously expect — the exec director does it on his own?

    2) “The group also included two pool cameramen”

    you have two cameramen, coz u need 2 cameras for different shot angles.

    3) “Now look at the technical staff: Teleprompter operator, teleprompter technician, VTR technician, and teleprompter/VTR technician. Paano yan, one plugs the machine while the other one turns it on? And just in case one of them gets sick or dies, they brought a back-up who knows how to plug and turn on both machines?”

    pati ba ito, dinisketahan nya? i have never used a teleprompter, but its at least conceivable that manning/maintaining this machine is a 2 man job? that they require different skill sets? this is small beans…

    wala ba tayong puwedeng pagusapan except how many teleprompter guys were sent? is this how LITTLE we trust our leaders — we are debating the merits of ONE vs TWO cameramen?

    yikes!

  • Felicity

    @ruben — i was asking the same thing. how many media persons needed media handling to warrant that many media handlers?

  • Felicity

    Well for starters I know for a fact they haven’t got any equipment. Phone calls, computer use, computers themselves, internet, not even a stapler. Salaries for the staff. Commuting allowance. The speechwriters aren’t getting paid. It’s not just Carandang and Lacierda working on messaging 24/7. They need research. They need to conduct surveys. They need writers. They need analysts, experts and consultants. Messaging sounds simple, but I work in international organizational communications and believe me you need a very hard working dedicated team who are able to monitor, analyze and make recommendations based on public information trends. Governments hire entire think tanks to do that: messaging.

    I would like to demand where the 200mil is going to be spend by Carandang’s office. But same goes for Coloma — where is he going to spend the 1billion?

    Of course the problem here is de Quiros is asking only the one side of the coin, turning a blind eye to the other. And it’s no secret de Quiros was in the strategy team under Maria Montelibano, the “Samar” group. Coloma and Esposo included. These were the Pinball group (Pinky/Ballsy)

  • GabbyD

    “But I also think whining about 200mil is just throwing a tantrum. it’s not how much money you have but how you spend it”

    this is EXACTLY de quiroz’s point. one wonders how one can spend 200 million when ur job description is “messaging”. this is his point — HOW will the 200 million be spent?

  • Felicity

    I’m not impressed by the blogger but at what he talks about. These are the inner workings of politics that we need to see: who’s really the boss, the people or Jojo Ochoa? Noynoy should open his eyes.

    More on topic, I personally don’t think 27 media handlers and assistants of assistants was necessary. and i do think a bigger budget for PCOO is necessary, as you point out. But I also think whining about 200mil is just throwing a tantrum. it’s not how much money you have but how you spend it. Like taxes — doesn’t matter how much we pay for as long as we get ROI in the form of healthcare, proper services, decent security.

    What caught my intention initially was his first entry (as far as I can tell, at least on his blog) about Ochoa giving Noynoy the Coloma version of the agreement for the Communications division of labor.

    That was wrong from the getgo. I think we should not necessarily take sides, but what he’s doing is opening our eyes to the fact that it’s not all as it seems, that hideous, expedient politics is in play.

    Cronyism in its horrible infancy, to quote Mr de Quiros. But who’s being a crony — Abad or Ochoa? To me it looks more like Ochoa. But then again, two can play at the game.

    Point is, they shouldn’t. At least now we know.

  • GabbyD

    i dont understand why ur impressed by this blogger.

    its obvious that operations should have more money. its MUCH LESS obvious why messaging should get 200 million.

    can someone explain where the 200 million goes to? what does “messaging” really mean? how large is his staff? carandang should be earning 60k or something right? x12 months, that 720thou for one year.

  • Bert

    “The ties that bind the controversial interior undersecretary with President Benigno Aquino III apparently run deep and go way back that, by his own account, would make any boss think twice before letting him go.”_Inquirer, Oct. 11

    “When he started during the campaign for Congress, I didn’t see members of his party, neither his classmates, except for two or three,” Puno told Philippine Daily Inquirer editors and reporters over dinner on Thursday.

    “When he ran for senator, I also didn’t see the Liberal Party. It was only the two of us and his cousin (accompanying him) in the mountains.”-Rico Puno

    (Sorry, this is out of topic) The gall of this man, Rico Puno, to think he is indispensable, trying so hard to disparage his allies in President Noynoy’s administration for his own personal benefits. I wonder what this guy can do in government aside from being a personal factotum of the president.

  • Marlene Delos Santos

    Mr. President the tendency of people is to criticize you but I know someone who didn’t vote for you and are criticizing you. That means you don’t owe anything to these people their mouths are babbling because they don’t like you. They didn’t vote for you. Those who voted for you are greater in number. The proof is very clear you won. With God’s guidance, which we are always praying to be bestowed upon you, Mr. President continue with your sincere plans for the good of the Philippines. Our prayers are with you. Babbling mouths guns, etc are no match with prayers. What they sow they will reap (Galatians 6:7)They must know “there is no authority on earth that which God has not established” (Romans 13) God bless you President Aquino ” be of good courage be ye steadfast unmovable always abounding in the work of the Lord for as much as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1Corinthians 15:58)

  • ruben villanueva

    did anyone care to ask why…what they really contributed during the trip…or just plain masturbation of an ugly mind…orgasmic gossip.

  • The Trade of Favors, this is, the primary currency of the nation,just ahead of the dollar and peso. Importance is assigned to the personal debts paid or collected, rather than public good. Integrity is a foreign word . . .

  • baycas

    VP Jojo and Mar,

    Stop this proxy war already. Thanks.

  • Felicity

    Judging by this list, an overstuffed turkey. I personally know Mai and I know she works super hard and does a lot of things, so if anything she’s the one who should have been allowed to bring an assistant.

    It would be good to also know how many media persons actually went, to justify the need of so many media handlers.

  • manuelbuencamino

    Interesting. I think all those people must be made to explain why they had to go on that trip with PNoy. Also, the PCOO needs to rationalize its operations as different offices seem to be doing the same things.

  • Bert

    President Noynoy,

    Wake up and make your move before it’s too late. Your administration is in serious threat by cancerous factionalisms within, creeping slowly but surely, eroding your chances of providing your country the effective government you promised.

    Beware!

    Ang sumisira sa bakal ay ang sariling kalawang.