MANUEL B. VILLAR: It’s not impossible to end poverty
By Michael Lim Ubac, Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:32:00 05/06/2010
(Editor’s Note: The presidential profiles will be running in no particular order but as the stories come in from our reporters in the field.)
(Seventh of a series)
MANILA, Philippines—From selling seafood in Divisoria to leading the two chambers of the Philippine Congress, the boy from Moriones in Tondo, Manila, now wants to reside in Malacañang.
“Is it difficult to think that a poor fellow can also become President of the Philippines?” Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar asks rhetorically during his campaign rallies all over the country.
The real estate magnate and lone billionaire in the presidential derby shuns long introductions and quickly reminds the crowds about his humble beginnings in Tondo—once home to the Smokey Mountain dump, which in the 1980s became the symbol of crippling poverty in the country.
Critics, however, question his rags-to-riches story to the point of digging up his family income in the 1960s, which they say was of middle-class standards at the time. They sneer even at his campaign jingle: Did he really swim in a “sea of garbage” as a kid? Was Manila that filthy back then?
More recently, he denied wrongdoing and dismissed as mere politicking allegations that he pressured stock market officials in 2007 to bend trading rules and let him rake in earnings that now form part of his campaign kitty.
Still, this “brown taipan” has attracted the biggest crowds in the presidential race—thanks largely to the “concert” troupe he brings along when touring major cities. Attendance in a Davao City rally last month, for instance, was pegged at 120,000, despite heavy rains, according to police estimates.
In his public addresses, Villar seems to stress that, for all his affluence, he should not be counted among the country’s Old Rich oligarchs. In fact, he considers their perennial lock on the country’s economic and political power as a hurdle to his antipoverty vision. (Insiders in the Villar camp say he has fully calculated the risks of making such statements.)
the 2010 election is probably one of the nastiest philippine presidential election in its history. not that philippine elections are known for intelligent debates on national issues, but noynoy aquino in particular have received the worst kinds of negative attacks.
there is a very long laundry list of negative and even personal attacks on noynoy aquino that started almost on the day after he announced his candidacy. almost all the attacks were personal – lack of achievements, lack of experience, being a bachelor, being autistic, his cigarette smoking, his hair or lack of it, his use of his parents credentials and the most recent, the double fake psyche reports.
but none of it, not a single negative attack got to stick to aquino. that makes aquino a teflon presidentiable.
aquino’s standing in the polls since the very start has not changed - he has been the front runner. while his current rating may not be as high as what it was at the start, he continue to dominate the other presidentiables. shrinkage from his going in rating is normal and expected. what is unusual and admirable is that he has maintained his front runner status from day one till now even though black propaganda against aquino was always there in various and new forms.
how was aquino able to survive such atttacks?
this is next at The 2010 Presidentiables Blog….
MARIA ANA CONSUELO MADRIGAL: In serving people, work becomes joy
By Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:18:00 05/03/2010
(Editor’s note: The presidential profiles will be running in no particular order but as the stories come in from reporters in the field.)
(Fourth of a series)
MANILA, Philippines—Diving is one of the things Sen. Maria Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal loves.
The view under water is simply spectacular, she says.
The sharks and the barracudas do not scare her.
Where she is now in Congress, she says, these species abound and she is fighting them with hammer and tong.
Corruption is the campaign theme of Madrigal, who is running as an independent candidate for president in the May 10 elections.
She passionately talks against shenanigans in government, particularly in real estate deals, as though she were on a jihad.
If that were so, it was because she learned what being a ship captain was like at a very early age.
At a time when most Filipino children’s familiarity with a boat was confined to those made of paper, Madrigal already was at home on the real thing.
At age 5, ships became the playground of this future senator and aspirant for captain of the ship of state.
“I’d gone into holds and hatches, and I could tell if a ship was a tanker or container. I grew up with that,” she says.
“Many of the captains and CEOs of today’s shipping companies were trained by Madrigal Shipping. We can be proud to say we trained very good people.”
These captains also followed the ideals of the family—incorruptible, hard working.
Old rich family
Madrigal was born on April 26, 1958, to one of Manila’s old rich families.
Her father was a son of the late Sen. Vicente Madrigal. Her mother, Amanda Abad Santos, was a granddaughter of Jose Abad Santos, appointed by President Manuel L. Quezon as president during the war against the Japanese forces and former Chief Justice.
Her granduncle, pre-Commonwealth Assemblyman Pedro Abad Santos, founded the Socialist Party of the Philippines.
Her aunt, Pacita Madrigal-Gonzalez, a senator during the Quezon and Magsaysay administrations, was also the first head of the Social Welfare Administration, now the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Vicente and Amanda Madrigal were natives of Ligao, Albay, and San Fernando, Pampanga, respectively.
Aside from Filipino and English, Madrigal has a working understanding of Kapampangan and Bicolano.
She also speaks fluent French and Spanish, some Portuguese and German.
Madrigal started learning European languages during her family’s religious pilgrimages to Lourdes (in France) and Fatima (in Portugal), among other places.
C5 scandal + VLL PSE scandal = Villarroyo
did we just witness manny villar’s losing formula? villar’s poll ratings started to take a dive at the height of the C-5 controversy at the senate when he avoided confronting his colleagues at the senate to avoid talking about it ang being questioned on it. it was a simple formula – talk to the press but do not attend senate hearings.
the slide continued when mar roxas in a press conference coined the word Villarroyo. although the point of the name villarroyo was not exactly the same as the C-5, it’s point being villar is the secret candidate of gloria macapagal arroyo, it reminded people just the same about corruption which was C-5 was all about at its core.
arroyo is seen by many as the mother of all corruption in this country, she scored highest after marcos on corruption in surveys. having villarroyo as a name reminded people about the same kind of corruption that people associated with arroyo and did not like.
it is the same fear that people have in not voting for teodoro. teodoro is seen by voters as too close to arroyo so much that just the association gives teodoro the same kind of corruption image. the VLL PSE scandal is about the same thing.
villar does not deny he talked to the PSE (philippine stock exchange) officials about the locked-up shares of VLL after the IPO. he said he talked to them only to get news from them on the status of the listing of VLL at the stock market. so it was just a business call or a follow-up call.
he however forgot that he is the senate president and no ordinary person and even a no ordinary CEO of a philippine corporation. in fact, why would he do such a business call when he is supposed to be no longer connected with the private company VLL? elected officials are prohibited by law to hold corporate positions in private companies when they get elected. this by itself shows impropriety.
villar in his statement also says there was no violation of PSE rules as the locked-up shares he held as they were not released, it was disapproved by the PSE. that means he did ask the permission PSE to release the locked-up shares. it means villar has asked the PSE to violate it’s own rules. that is another impropriety.
saying the government did not lose money in the whole thing and it actually gained in taxes is not the point nor does it change the fact that he committed improprieties in the whole affair.
neither is anything diminished nor made right in throwing the trash at erap estrada who also had his own misdealings with the stock market before when he was president. the charge on estrada then was price fixing on BW Resources shares, a scandal that almost led to the implosion of the philippine sotck market. we do not condone what Estrada did but the proper conclusion here is that villar is just like estrada who both used their power to gain at the philippine stock market.
the C5 scandal and the VLL PSE scandal shows a clear similarity – villar seem to be in the habit of using his power and stature as public official to influence government and other related agencies for his personal gain, specifically for the businesses he and/or his family owns.
the name villarroyo rings a bell.
quotes from this blog on the advertising ran by the presidentiables were published in the april 2010 issue of Entrepreneur Philippines Magazine (cover photos, above). we like to run some parallel points to those quoted in the magazine.
the heaviest spenders, aquino and villar have been churning out new executions in a fast clip. that is the way to go – they need to put on air the ad most relevant to voters. politics and national issues change very rapidly. most national issues take at most has a lifespan of 3 days. there are very few instances when issues take weeks on the front page and headlines.
first, it’s not easy to come up with new ads frequently specially for political campaigns. the second biggest problem is scheduling. the presidentiables are constantly on the move, travelling to the provinces for sorties, in some instances at least 4 different locations in a day. getting them in manila for a tv shot is very difficult. you can of course shoot the commercial where the presidentiable is but that will be very costly for them.
the biggest problem is getting the ad or the storyboard done by the ad agency. not many ad agencies have the ability and the smarts to churn out tv ads in a huff. the challenge is very daunting and huge – you need to read the the issues properly, read the pysche of the voters , then you write the strategy after which you write the storyboard. the first leg is the most difficult.
while we recognize the campaigns are doing well in airing new tv spots, we are not necessarily saying they are airing the right ads. we all be talking about those next here at the 2010 Presidentiables Blog.
the noynoy aquino ad campaign has very recently taken a different strategy.it is now on a bandwagon, winner’s approach claiming back the “people’s campaign” platform he started with. this ad portrays aquino, not directly said but obvious as the eventual winner.
this is a high risk approach. it is too much of a soft ad that we think is inappropriate at this time when election time is still weeks away, the issues raised against aquino have not been answered and his closes rival, manny villar is not about to give up anytime soon. more on the villar ad campaign in a later post.
erap estrada has also since revised his advertising strategies. interestingly enough, estrada has dropped his “nostalgia campaign”. that is a smart move. estrada now talks about national issues and performance. it’s good that estrada changed his ad campaign, but we think he was not wise in choosing the issues he talks about as they are on the fringe of the voter mind.
there is however something very irritating about his ads – he appears to be too much in showbiz rather than presidential which among all the presidentiables, only he can actually claim being once a president of the country. once in showbiz, always in showbiz?
read the articles of the source of the quotes.
click to read article : noynoy aquino to lose the election due to advertising blunders
we are publishing here the platform of government of nicanor perlas. please be warned – you will need to wear your eyeglasses or if you don’t wear one now, you might need one after you read the platform. the font size of the texts used in that site are horrifically small.
The Six Pillars
My platform has Six Pillars. The first deals with eradicating the massive poverty, inequitable growth, lawlessness, and conflicts that plague our country. Our first pillar aims to Eradicate Poverty and Enhance Quality of Life for all, through, among others, a vibrant broad-based economy, social justice and peace.
The second addresses the pervasive corruption that is tearing the social fabric of the nation and rupturing the hearts and minds of Filipinos. Our second pillar therefore seeks to Advance Moral and Effective Governance in all institutions of society and all situations in life.
The third concerns itself with stopping the massive destruction of our ecology and our environment. Our third pillar seeks to Uphold the Integrity of Creation and respectfully partner with it as our source of life.
Our fourth pillar seeks to Build Partnerships for Social Justice. We want to introduce a new approach to real participatory governance and authentic democracy. No one can solve the problems of the country alone… tayong lahat ang kailangan upang mabago ang ating bansa. This means government working together with civil society and business in the pursuit of social justice and creating a better country.
The fifth pillar strives to Promote Creative Education and Inner Change. Better schools, colleges and universities, drawing out the many talents, intelligences, and potentials of students, are crucial. Equally as important is self-directed education and transformation. At the end of the day, it’s important to also address the factor of inner change—taking responsibility for changing our hearts and minds. No one can do our inner work for us. And there can be no genuine change in a system or institution if the people who work there do not change. Depressed, apathetic, and poorly trained people cannot create visionary and high-performance organizations, much less a world-inspiring country. Individual and cultural transformation are the foundations of the other pillars.
And then finally, the Sixth Psixillar of the platform aims to Mainstream Visionary Initiatives. There are thousands of promising initiatives throughout the country in a wide variety of fields that already point the way forward to another, much better Philippines. We will reward innovation. We will systematically discover, magnify and multiply these existing success stories.
This platform with its Six Pillars recognizes that everything is interconnected and requires a multidisciplinary approach. Ang lahat ng bagay ay magkaugnay. Reducing poverty, for example, is not simply about appropriate government policies that strengthen the economy, creates jobs and minimizes the adverse aspects of globalization. Poverty reduction also requires significant advances in peace, culture, including education, health care, sanitation, clean water, housing, micro-finance, nutrition and of course, agriculture and asset reform among others.
We are talking about a practical platform of sustainability that recognizes all of these connections. We cannot transform the system if the system is plagued with corruption. But you cannot get rid of corruption if you don’t involve the citizenry in changing behavior. And you cannot change if there’s no inner change. Everything is interrelated and systemic.
read the complete platform here: http://www.nicanor-perlas.com/Nicanor/complete-platform2.html
who can argue with success? these are all very familiar images for most we have seen them on tv and for some we were there when these things happened but for all we re-experienced it all of it again recently when cory aquino died and we were all out on the streets saying good-bye to cory.
(click here : http://1millionprayers.wordpress.com/)
these images did something to us and we can;t escape the fact that noynoy aquino and his presidential bid sprang it. to a few they were not conscious of it but for most we asked noynoy to run for president.
seeing these images and hearing these words are difficult to argue with. they are already embedded in our hearts and minds and this ad serves to remind us that they exist there.
we have a nasty suspicion that this ad was developed as a direct answer to manny villar’s emotional ads of his brother dieing because they had no money to buy medicine for him. that villar ad in the minds of the admen in the aquino camp must have thought villar’s tv ad was soliciting empathy with the voters. their answer is to “out-empathize” villar by reminding people about two, not one emotional event in noynoy’s life – noynoy’s dad was assassinated and his mom got sick and died in front of us.
that thought this ad being a direct answer to villar’s emotional tv ad immeditaely came to us after hearing the first sentence noynoy said in this ad - ”Kami rin inapi nang walang kalaban-laban.”. a few bells rang in our mind when he started the sentence with “kami rin”. question – sino yung ibang inapi? answer – villar when his brother died without the benefit of medicines.
that thinking must have brought goose bumps to the creative team who thought about it but we think it’s really amateurish thinking on their part. it is also quite a cheap trick to do. they will not win any award soon on strategic thinking on this one. we do not think it will even be nominated for “The Strategic Thinking Award Of The Year”.
will it be effective? that is the question that is even more difficult to answer. from the point of view of getting more votes for noynoy, i think it will to some degree but i do not think it will be of much significance.
whether the aquino campaign knows it or not, noynoy’s campaign has moved away from these messages and strategy. if it was not conscious of the move, his competitors, most specially manny villar who is co-front runner made sure of that.
this we think is a very good tactical ad but we do not think this has legs to be the main brandsell advertising for the aquino campaign. putting this as the main brandsell tv ad we think is a major strategic blunder by the aquino campaign.
weak, poor and failed strategic thinking is what we think is the greatest weakness of the aquino presidential campaign. that is most obvious in the waste they allowed to be made when from a high of 60% in preference to the 47% in presidential choice, aquino’s ratings had consistently gone down seeing it now on a statistical tie with manny villar.
that alone tells the weakness in strategic planning for the campaign for squandering such a huge lead over his rivals. the aquino campaign group was given on a silver platter a brilliant and superior product to sell but they did not know what to do with it and lost the leadership.
the ads are creative and well done. the writing is close to crisp and almost memorable and the production values are excellent but the strategic thinking is where they fail. the strategy laid down seems to look at just ads, almost as stand alone ads when they are supposed to be running a campaign with a beginning, a middle and an end. there is no continuity in strategic thinking nor is there any worth in it.
they fall in love with creative executions and get stuck there, completely forgetting that ads and most specially campaigns that succeed are those that begin with a brilliant strategy and heads up thinking.
we do not know what is next to this ad but we hope there will be more . we hope this is just a tactical ad and that we will see the main thematic or brandsell very soon. running tv ads will not make them win, it is running an ad campaign that will.
the key questi0n - who can argue with success or are we arguing with boredom?
~~ a mindscape landmark – carlo arvisu ~~
ps: a note on production values : the director should have seen that noynoy’s brows are forming at the center of his forehead making it look like noynoy is angry while the emotion in this ad should have been serenity, sincerity and concern.
Independent Presidential candidate Nicanor Perlas, President of Partido ng Marangal na Sambayanan (PANGMASA) announced today that Muslim leaders from five major organizations officially joined the PANGMASA initiated coalition for new politics. A diverse and large sector of the Muslim world is endorsing the presidential candidacy of Nicanor Perlas. Counted among the new members of the fast growing nationwide coalition for new politics are:
- Iman Faisal Baulo – Iman of the Manila Golden Mosque in Quiapo
- Sultan Hadji Basher M. Alingan – Chairman,Lanao del Norte Sultanate Group Movement
Sultan Manking M.Liawao – Sultanate of Lanao Sur
- Sultan Osop Guinto – MNLF Group of Lanao del Norte
- Datu Macabagul “Bobby” Paudac- MILF Returnist Group
- Sultan Jamael A. Ampaso
“The support of these Muslim leaders and their constituents is the basis for the possibility of a lasting peace in Mindanao. These leaders are supporting my candidacy and new politics because of the credibility of my Peace Platform.”, stated Perlas.
Peace, according to Perlas, is situated in the larger context of integral sustainable development that recognizes the primacy of social justice, broad-based and equitable economic development, and respect for the diverse identities of the Filipino people. There will be meaningful and principled dialog with the Muslim groups in Mindanao and consultation with the general public and appropriate civil society groups.
The structural roots of conflict and the pursuit of social justice, including the equitable delivery of government social services, infrastructure, and economic opportunity will be addressed.
Perlas’s peace platform will demonstrate the government’s will for genuine peace by ensuring that the appropriate government services are delivered to the poorest provinces of the country, even before and while peace negotiations are going on.
The Muslim leaders join the growing ranks of Perlas supporters that include Partido Kalikasan (PK), an emerging national Green political Party operating in 15 bioregions nationwide represented by Cagayan de Oro environmental lawyer Maning Ravanera, PK Chairperson and National Leader ; Roy Cabonegro, Secretary General of PK and Jules Penales, spokesperson of PK Metro Manila that formally endorsed “Green Candidate” Nicanor Perlas. Read more…
we have been saying we like richard gordon and he is a very good option in the 2010 election. we also said his campaign is going nowhere with his poll ratings continually at the low single digits.
he has been getting single digits because he started late in the campaign while his opponents started very early and/or campaigned like crazy with tons of money and heaps of popularity. compared to his opponents, even though he is as smart if not smarter than them, he looks puny.
despite the very poor poll ratings, we think gordon will eventually catch up and in fact we are predicting gordon will probably get more votes than teodoro when the election ends but his winning it highly unlikely. we said that as we were expecting that gordon will ramp up his campaign efforts. although he had a boring tv ad to start with, we thought with gordon being known as a very creative person, his efforts will push his ratings up.
we said that, but we did not mean he should do what he just did. in the news today is a line that goes something like
this – manny villar had offered him a bribe, reimburse him of his election spending to withdraw his presidential campaign and help villar in the C-5 mess at the senate.
with his ratings at desperately low levels, to be desperate is a good thing, but we do not think this kind of desperation is what he needs.
one of his complaints is that villar has bought media as according to him what he does in the campaign does not get out to the media, implying media bought by villar is intentionally not publishing or broadcasting his efforts.
he should not blame media for this, he should blame himself and his own media bureau for it. media is not publishing his efforts as he has not been doing anything worth publishing. the country in the past weeks have been preoccupied with other bigger things. a small thing like what gordon is doing in his campaign has no chance to be seen or heard.
his media bureau is most likely not doing a good job either. it is their job to get things out for their candidate. it appears they are unable to get messages and news that are worth anything for media. lack of content? bad strategy? bad writing? bad media relations?
also, the fact that this charge of gordon is now on the front page of PDI and broadcast on tv last night belies his charge of a “media wall” that is intentionally preventing publication of what he does in the campaign. as we said, do something news worthy and you will get press. this charge of bribery is something big and newsworthy, so he got the press. there is irony there.
but that is not the kind of press coverage he should be aiming for. this kind of press we think is a waste of time and does not really add anything to his campaign nor contribute anything to the building of his brand image.
so he says villar is a bad person for bribing him, what does it do to help him? nothing really, but what it does is it presents gordon as a whiner and someone desperate enough to try to call attention to himself all for the wrong reason.
what he is doing is he is starting a fight with a giant. it’s impact is really short term plus the fact that it is pregnant with risks. this can backfire on him.
besides, why pick on a a very strong giant? rather than villar, it would serve him more if he picked a fight with noynoy aquino, a not so strong giant.
well, actually we don’t want him to pick a fight with the giants. as we have written here previously, he should go after teodoro (not a giant) and estrada (small giant) supporters instead. (read here : to win, gordon should target teodoro and estrada supporters)
the other part of what we do not like on what gordon did was the whole message – villar bribing him to withdraw from the presidential race. why in the world will villar ask a puny opponent like gordon who at best has gotten less than 2% in the polls?
it does not make sense to us that villar will ask an opponent with such a tiny poll rating and following to withdraw. villar’s potential gain from gordon withdrawing from the election is so minuscule that it is really not worth the effort and the risk.
gilbert remulla said it right -
It’s very difficult to approach a person like Dick Gordon. If there is somebody who is independent-minded, someone you cannot put a rein on … it would be Dick Gordon. So why would we approach him and risk something coming out [in the media]? We’re not that desperate,” Remulla said.
if villar is going to bribe anyone, he should bribe estrada who has 11% to 15% of the poll rating. given the close race between villar and aquino, to get even just one half of what estrada has will give villar the presidency. also, based on estrada’s past track record, bribery is certainly not new to him. estrada spent time thinking about that for a few years in his vacation err detention cell in taguig. gordon we believe cannot be bribed but its a distinct possibility for estrada.
richard gordon, his media bureau and his campaign strategist are doing this all wrong. it’s a waste of time trying to get tiny morsels of press time and space for something of questionable value to gordon and with very little mileage and pregnant with risks.
gordon, gordon why are you doing this to yourself?
what happened here is a classic PR & Marketing 101 learning point - when you do a media interview, stay on your topic, focus on discussing and publicizing your platform of government and messages. avoid any off-topic or any controversial topic. talking about something that is outside your platform or messages specially when it is potentially controversial will ensure your platform and messages will NOT be publicized and the controversial topic will instead get publicized.
when that happens the interview will become a missed opportunity on building your campaign and gets you into a controversy that you do not need and should not spend time on.
The promise of Lupa ng Araw that was felt so deeply by our forebears has been betrayed. We are now confronted with the devastating results of years of self-serving traditional politics and politicians. Poverty, unemployment, graft and corruption, conflict, injustice, and environmental decline, these are but some of the ills devastating the country today. Virtually every level of governance and every institution of society has been infected by the pursuit of narrow and self-serving political ends. There is no guiding vision that unites the country much less the various departments of government. This produces loss of hope and worse, apathy and cynicism.
We have now reached a turning point. Many Filipinos want something more dignified. The country yearns for a new direction to achieve genuine freedom, justice, solidarity, to restore the Philippines that so inspired Rizal, Bonifacio, Aquino and many others.
Filipinos yearn for “GINHAWA”, that is, true freedom, true justice, true prosperity, true respect for nature, true solidarity, true dignity and honor – all based on our deep innate sense that we all come from one Divine Source, one Creator. Partido ng Marangal na Sambayanan (PANGMASA) will change this dismal state of affairs with a new vision, a new agenda and new policies and programs that will bring “ginhawa”, that will make this country rise up from the ashes and take its place in the global community of nations.
We envision the true Philippines that has deep sources of spirituality; the Philippines that respects and empowers individual Filipinos towards excellence; the Philippines that understands meaningful societal change, participation and inclusion; the Philippines that respects and values culture; the Philippines that protects human rights, ensures justice and promotes participatory democracy; the Philippines that progresses economically by serving the true needs of the people; the Philippines that protects and nurtures the integrity of creation, our sources of life – our ecology
Partido ng Marangal na Sambayanan (PANGMASA) summarizes these aspirations in its vision statement and principles as follows.
We envision a prosperous, peaceful, democratic, moral and visionary nation, living in harmony with Nature and energized by creative, honest, responsible citizens who are aware of their divine origin and purpose; citizens who have united together to sustain a free, vibrant and diverse culture, a broad-based and inclusive economy, a participatory, just and compassionate governance that contributes positively to world affairs.