Archive for November, 2008

UST Varsitarian answers Ateneo Professors Position On RH BIll 5043 – rabid mediocrity

November 27, 2008 45 comments

varsitarian_comUST (university of santo tomas) Varsitarian wrote a piece to answer the Ateneo professors support of RH Bill 5043.

UST Varsitarian’s answer reminds me of those muslim extremist zealots whose rabid reply to anything is everything but sensible, smart and intelligent. its an extreme hype of over-activity thinking that if you include as many curse words, name drop every 5 sentences, sprinkle ad hominems and personal insults, the piece will sound intelligent and convincing.

Dishonest, mediocre, anti-poor

BY ISSUING a statement supporting the population-control bill, Reproductive Health (RH) Bill 5043, the 14 faculty members of the other Catholic university—Ateneo de Manila– betray the canker that may eat into any Catholic institution that, while inherently holy, has tendencies toward evil. Star Wars calls it the Dark Side, St. Thomas Aquinas calls it concupiscence. We simply call it intellectual dishonesty.

Since they teach in a Catholic institution, the 14 should either have the readiness to defend the Catholic position or at least have the sensitivity to refrain from doing something that would divide the Church. But not only do these self-proclaimed Catholic educators break away from the Catholic position and urge Catholics to do so: they twist Catholic teachings to suit their self-serving position.

Their distortions of the Catholic teachings on freedom of conscience and the centrality of the human person are shocking. If these teachers indeed have conscience, as they claim to be practicing in disagreeing with the bishops, it will be what the catechism calls as erroneous conscience. And what centrality of the human person are they talking about when RH bill 5043 seeks to make available contraceptives and abortifacients and pave the way for legalizing abortion by the use of millions of pesos that could otherwise go to direct provisions for maternal health and poverty? Population-control measures like RH bill 5043 look at the poor not as persons but as rabbits whose propagation must be checked. How could the poor have freedom of choice and conscience when the state, backed by hundreds of millions of pesos, compels them to take contraceptives and limit their children to two per couple? Were the Filipino poor neutered by the Marcos dictatorship and the Chinese families forced into complying with the one-child rule by the communists allowed freedoms of information, choice and conscience?

Even more shocking is the academic mediocrity of the professors. Their support for the population-control bill is backed by the intellectual school of doomsday social science, whose methods and claims have been questioned by more cautious, less panic-prone, and more socially responsible schools. A cursory review of the endnotes of their statement would reveal that their review of literature is narrow and shallow. It is as if social science had stopped with Malthus and Ehrlich.

They claim, for instance, that “a close association exists between our country’s chronic poverty and rapid population growth… [thus] curbing out population growth rate is a requisite of sound economic policy and effective poverty reduction strategy,” and that the bill aims to control population growth to arrive at a so-called “healthy” economy.

Their statement should at least belie Rep. Edsel Lagman’s claim that RH bill 5043 is a “healthcare” bill; it is not, it’s a population-control measure that harks back to the days of the dictator Marcos who enshrined family planning in the 1973 Constitution and made it a centerpiece of his “constitutional authoritarianism.”

But going back to the claim of the 14 doomsday pundits that there’s correlation between “chronic poverty” and population growth, it’s astonishing that a claim should be made when most recent literature have shown there’s none. Despite being in the academe, they have missed – or intentionally excluded? – important and authoritative studies on population and poverty that deny any link between the two.

The New York Times, Asiaweek, Far Eastern Economic Review, and Economist have declared overpopulation as among of the greatest hoaxes of the last century. Nobel-winning economists themselves such as Simon Kuznets have denied any negative correlation between population and economic growth. Meanwhile, Amartya Sen and Gary Becker have recommended that funds for birth control would be better used in directly addressing poverty.


But after repeating the tired litany of doomsday population economics, the 14 Horsemen of the Apocalypse just as casually turn to the alleged health benefits of a birth-control program for women, even if not a single one of them has a medical degree or any diploma remotely connected to the health sciences.

But the doctors, nurses and health professionals of UST, Human Life International-Asia, and Pro-Life Philippines know better. Pre- and post-natal care for women has nothing to do with contraceptives and abortion. Medical science can deal with pregnancy complications. If there’s high maternal and infant mortality, it is not because of unwanted pregnancy or pregnancy complications: it is because of the lack of health services. In the same manner, while many Filipinos die of TB and dengue, the public health budgets for combating these diseases are low compared to the tens of millions used for birth control, which basically looks at babies as diseases that need to be checked, contracepted, aborted.

Moreover, it does not follow that readily available contraceptives can improve the health of the people. Health experts say that pills, injectables, abortion suction, menstrual regulation machines, ligation, and vasectomy are in fact risky and could result in injuries, sickness, and even death.

It must be emphasized that “reproductive health” is not maternal health, which is the more embracing, the more medically correct concept to represent the holistic health care of women. RH bill 5043 is not a maternal health measure but a contraceptive measure: it looks at every pregnancy as “unwanted”; it looks at pregnancy as the cause and a compounding of poverty; it tries to check the fertility of women not because of any consideration for women’s health but for purposes of social engineering!


Nor is the bill “pro-youth” for providing sex education to young people, as the 14 Wolf-criers claim. It would merely increase the chances of the youth engaging in the risky and reckless behavior that safe sex engenders.

Admittedly, information is the right of everyone. But could we expect quality and correct information and instruction from a government whose public education system are a shambles and whose health services are a disaster—and information and instruction for young people during their formative years? Moreover, since the paradigm and ideology of the bill itself are suspect, the course content of any instruction it seeks to provide is also suspect.

Leave sex education to the parents. They may not do a good job at it, but that’s all right since the state can’t seem to get anything right at all!

Pro-abortion, anti-life

Ah, but RH bill 5043 insists it promotes contraception to stop abortion. This is a bald-faced lie when one considers that most of the backers and their funders are pro-choice (read: pro-abortion). One of the signatories of the statement, Mary Racelis, claims in one article that “educated Catholics” should support the bill because it would curb abortions. She cites the “473,000” induced abortions allegedly performed in 2000 without even questioning the veracity of the figure. Worse, she cites the World Health Organization estimate that the abortions could have been double that figure—800,000 abortions!–without questioning how the UN body could have made such an extrapolation.

Any social scientist worth his salt or any Filipino with a modicum of education would easily make educated questions about such figures, considering that previous demographic estimates made in the name of birth control and safe sex have been widely off the mark, such as Thomas Malthus’s doomsday scenario in the 19th century of an overpopulated earth in the next century (“a libel inflicted on the human race,” said Karl Marx); Paul Ehrlich’s similar scenario in 1980 at the turn of the 21st century (he lost the wager with Julian Simon 10 years later, remember?); the projection by UN agencies and Philippine public health authorities in the early 1990’s that the Philippines would have some 10,000 HIV-Aids cases in 10 years because of low condom use (the country has only 3,000 now); the claim of gays they easily comprise 10% of the population (a projection exposed as limp); and the fantastic claim of the UN Fund for Population Assistance and the 1994 Cairo Conference that the “costed population package” to implement so-called reproductive health care services in developing countries by 2015 would total $77.7 billion with domestic contributions from the poor countries themselves who are supposedly beneficiaries of such services funding two-thirds of the cost!

Racelis and her fellow Ateneo divination experts should ask whether or not the same alarmist situation conjured by the UNFPA and Cairo is being used by the WHO, UNFPA and backers (or true authors?) of the Lagman bill to justify the initial tab to implement the RH bill—some P1.2 billion!


The 14 themselves belong to an institution that has no apprehensions in getting funding from organizations that promote abortion. Together with the Packard Foundation, which promotes “safe and legal abortion” in other countries, Ateneo has put up the Health Unit—Ateneo Graduate School of Business in Leadership Innovations in Population Management. One wonders how Ateneo’s partnership with an abortion foundation dovetails with its setting up a medical school where students are supposed to make the Hippocratic Oath and uphold Catholic bioethics.

And the Ateneo Institute of Church and Social Studies has published a monograph with articles by social scientists from Ateneo and birth-control demographers from UP and other secular institutes (whose studies are cited by the Ateneo 14) that basically back the Lagman bill. The publication and the discussions were funded by a pro-choice organization.

In all of these cozy and cash-rich sleeping-with-the-enemy arrangements, Ateneo’s jesuitic nature seems to be showing indeed.


In any case, by equating women’s health with birth control, the 14 Grim Reapers betray their enslavement to the population ideology of the UN and its agencies and the population-control industry. They betray at least their academic mediocrity—perhaps ingrained by their arrogance—for not considering very relevant and trenchant studies that question the blurring between development and population funding.

The Ateneo professors should at least stop calling themselves “Catholic educators” or “educated Catholics.” For a truly educated Catholic view on population control, here’s the view of Cecilia Hadley and Maria Sophia Aguirre of the Department of Business and Economics of the Catholic University of America as published in the International Journal of Social Economics (2005 Vol. 32, Issue 9):

“During the last decade increasingly large amounts of money have been spent on limiting population growth of underdeveloped countries. Population control is seen as the corner-stone of development and population activities. Thus, population control has become ‘population assistance,’ and birth control has become ‘reproductive health services.’ Population control is pursued at the expense of women’s rights and to the detriment of real economic growth and social improvement.”


“Rather than helping countries and peoples, the continual focus on population assistance has left them desperate for other forms of aid. This focus has actually infringed upon human rights especially upon many women who do not understand the contraceptives they are being given. The large amounts of funds that developing countries are now exhorted to provide for support population measures drain resources better spent elsewhere on such things as reducing malaria and educating women. In short, ‘population assistance’ has usurped a great deal of the energy and funds of the international community without even empirical justification for such an approach to development issues and has resulted in a neglect for other areas of real need.”

We enjoin Thomasians, Ateneans, and all Catholics to be truly themselves—discerning and critical of issues, always seeking the light amid the darkness foisted on them by shadowy figures that include those who call themselves Catholics, educated, and educators. Let us all fight the grand deception of the population-control complex and reject RH bill 5043.…ocre_anti_poor


more ateneo professors express support for RH Bill 5043

November 27, 2008 Leave a comment

more ateneo professors express support

66 Ateneo faculty members support RH bill
10/29/2008 | 03:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Sixty-six faculty members of the Ateneo de Manila University have signed a declaration supporting the passage of the Reproductive Health bill despite warnings by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

The declaration, dated October 27, 2008, said the teachers were speaking for themselves and not for the Jesuit university.

“After studying the provisions of House Bill 5043 in light of the realities of Filipino women, poor families, and our youth, we, 66 individual faculty of the Ateneo de Manila University, speaking for ourselves and not for the university, have come to conclude that the Philippines urgently needs a national policy on reproductive health and population development, as provided by HB 5043,” the declaration read.

The declaration emphasized that the faculty members grappled with their conscience and agreed to support the measure.

“We hope our expression of support can help enrich and broaden the discussions and debates on the issue of reproductive health and population development, by presenting an alternative view supportive of House Bill 5043 coming from Catholic academics and educators,” the teachers said.

“A consistent, integrated, and comprehensive population framework guarantees budgetary support from the national government for reproductive health initiatives, and ensures their sustainability across local government units regardless of changes in national and local leadership. While curbing our rapid population growth rate of 2.04 percent will not, by itself, solve poverty in our country, addressing the population problem is crucial to overall economic growth and poverty reduction, along with asset redistribution, employment and livelihood opportunities, combating corruption, improving governance, and strengthening institutions,” the Ateneo mentors added.

“Those who oppose the RH Bill have denounced it as ‘pro-abortion,’ ‘anti-life,’ ‘anti-women,’ ‘anti-poor,’ and ‘immoral.’ However, our reason, informed by our faith, has led us to believe and say otherwise,” the statement read in reference to the opposition by the hierarchy of the Catholic church in the country.

“The RH Bill is pro-life and pro-women. HB 5043 categorically rejects abortion, which it deems a ‘crime,’ in consonance with the 1987 Constitution. What it, in fact, wants to do is prevent abortions by offering couples an array of ‘medically-safe, legal, affordable and quality’ family planning methods, from which they can choose the one that will work best for them. In so doing, the RH Bill seeks to avert unwanted and mistimed pregnancies, which cause mostly poor and married women despairing over yet another pregnancy to seek an induced abortion. We are alarmed that an estimated 473,400 Filipino women went for an abortion in 2000, and that some 79,000 of them wound up in hospitals for abortion complications. We consider it our guilt and our shame that so many of our women should be driven to such dire straits as to make abortion a family planning method, for want of information on and access to an effective means to prevent an unplanned pregnancy,” the declaration said.

The signatories to the declaration were: Ricardo G. Abad (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Joy G. Aceron (Department of Political Science); Raymond B. Aguas (Department of Theology); Liane Peña Alampay (Department of Psychology); Fernando T. Aldaba (Department of Economics); Raul Socrates C. Banzuela (Program for Development Studies); Remmon E. Barbaza (Department of Philosophy); Germelino M. Bautista (Department of Economics); Edsel L. Beja, Jr. (Department of Economics);

Rofel G. Brion (Department of Interdisciplinary Studies); Ma. Cecilia C. Bulos (Department of Psychology); Liberty L. Chee (Department of Modern Languages); Sharon Ann C. Co (Department of Psychology); Antonio Esteban G. Conejos (Department of English); Manuel D. Cuenca, Jr., M.D. (Department of Psychology); Gary C. Devilles (Kagawaran ng Filipino); Aleta C. Domdom (Department of Economics); Atty. Alexander C. Dy (Ateneo Law School); Manuel B. Dy, Jr. (Department of Philosophy); Elizabeth Uy Eviota (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Ana Marie O. Fernandez (Department of English); Joseph H. Francia (Department of Economics); Jamil Paolo S. Francisco (Department of Economics);

Geoffrey A. Guevara (Department of Philosophy); Marita Castro Guevara (Department of Interdisciplinary Studies); Roberto O. Guevara (Department of Theology); Ma. Regina M. Hechanova (Department of Psychology); Anne Marie A. Karaos (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Michael J. Liberatore (Department of Theology); Liza L. Lim (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Ma. Emma Concepcion D. Liwag (Department of Psychology); Ada Javellana Loredo (Department of English); Jozon A. Lorenzana (Department of Communication); J. Ma. Arcadio Malbarosa (Department of Philosophy); Pamela Joy M. Mariano (Department of Philosophy); Ma. Isabel Pefianco Martin (Department of English); Marcia Czarina Corazon M. Medina (Department of Sociology-Anthropology);

Ma. Isabel E. Melgar (Department of Psychology); Luisito G. Montalbo (Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health); Cristina Jayme Montiel (Department of Psychology); Aaron Rom O. Moralina (Department of History); Jocelyn M. Mayoralga-Nolasco (Department of Psychology); Mira Alexis P. Ofreneo (Department of Psychology); Glenda C. Oris (Kagawaran ng Filipino); Josephine P. Perez (Department of Psychology); Raul Pertierra (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Caroliza T. Peteros (Program for Development Studies); Alicia T. Pingol (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Emma E. Porio (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Mary Racelis (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Ma. Margarita A. Ramos (Department of Psychology);

Mariel Vincent A. Rapisura (Program for Development Studies); Danton Remoto (Department of English); Agustin Martin G. Rodriguez (Department of Philosophy); Alma Maria O. Salvador (Department of Political Science); Atty. Maria Cleofe Gettie C. Sandoval (Leaders for Health Program), and; Joselito T. Sescon (Department of Economics). Anton Luis C. Sevilla (Department of Philosophy); Alma Valerie C. Soriano (Department of English); Sherilyn T. Siy (Department of Psychology); Mary C. Thomas (Department of English); Jose Ma. Edito K. Tirol (Department of History); Philip Arnold P. Tuaño (Department of Economics); Eileen F. Tupaz (Department of Philosophy); John Carlo P. Uy (Department of Philosophy), and; Ma. Eufemia C. Yap, M.D. (Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health). – GMANews.TV…upport-RH-bill

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ateneo professors support RH Bill 5043

November 27, 2008 Leave a comment

the Reproductive Health Bill 5043 is a hot political topic and will probably be up for debate in congress in the coming weeks. the catholic church and its allies are in full swing in getting the bill not to pass in congress. it has become so controversial that in my view the catholic church and its allies have behave ver un-catholic like.

we will be starting this discission here.


ateneo professors support Reproductive Health Bill 5043

Dear friends,

Greetings of peace.

Please find attached the position paper entitled “Catholics Can Support the RH Bill in Good Conscience” by 14 individual faculty of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), on the Reproductive Health Bill (HB 5043).

The authors of this paper come from six different departments of the ADMU: Economics, Interdisiplinary Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology-Anthropology, and Theology.

We would like to stress that the views of the 14 faculty, as expressed in the position paper, are solely theirs and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective departments nor other Ateneo faculty. Neither do they represent the official position of the Ateneo de Manila University nor the Society of Jesus.

A brief summary of the entire position paper, as well as the stand of the authors on the RH Bill, can be found in the final section of the main paper, entitled “A Call of Conscience: Catholics in Support of the RH Bill.”

We hope, however, that you will be able to read the entire paper, as it provides research-based empirical evidence, upon which we built our position on this issue.

Thank you very much, and we hope that you can help us disseminate to the public our paper’s findings and our stand on the RH Bill.


Marita Castro Guevara (Department of Interdisciplinary Studies)
Raymond B. Aguas (Department of Theology)
Liane Peña Alampay (Department of Psychology)
Fernando T. Aldaba (Department of Economics)
Remmon E. Barbaza (Department of Philosophy)
Manuel B. Dy, Jr. (Department of Philosophy)
Elizabeth Uy Eviota (Department of Sociology-Anthropology)
Roberto O. Guevara (Department of Theology)
Anne Marie A. Karaos (Department of Sociology-Anthropology)
Michael J. Liberatore (Department of Theology)
Liza L. Lim (Department of Sociology-Anthropology)
Cristina Jayme Montiel (Department of Psychology)
Mary Racelis (Department of Sociology-Anthropology)
Agustin Martin G. Rodriguez (Department of Philosophy)

15 October 2008

Get full text of paper:…ve_Health.html

winning memo #1 : to admin presidentiables – stop no-el at all cost

November 26, 2008 Leave a comment

we will start to separately release confidential memos to both admin and opposition presiientiables. these will be simple topics, the most important kind of memos only : (a) winning memos and (b) losing memos.

these are unsolicited memos we will send to them for them to win or to lose the election, it is their choice.

here is the first winning memo for the admin presdientiables.

to admin presidentiables,

at all cost, stop the no-el (no election) plan that the admin or admin congressmen seem to be secretly but openly hatching in congress and elsewhere.

there’s a simple reason behind that – if no-el succeeds, you can’t win because there is no contest.

it is actually wise to start your presidentiable campaign now, like 3 months ago. and that will mean you will need to spend money behind these efforts. i am sure you know that a presidential election is a national election and that means you need to put up an organization on a national basis. that cost a lot of time, effort and money. and to have a good, workable and effective one by election time, you need to start the work now. it’s not easy and things like that it can’t be done quickly. it really takes a lot of time.

now, if you start that now and spend all that time and money, all of it will be wasted when come 2010 there will be no election. so at all cost, your strategy no.1 is to stop the no-el move.

how the US presidential election was won : obama’s winning marketing strategies and mccain’s losing marketing strategies

November 26, 2008 Leave a comment

we’re starting to migrate posts from WAWAM! into this blog all topics related to the recently concluded US presidentiable elections.

we’re starting with the 2 most important topics:

click the links above or the titles at the top of this page.

mr. palengke goes labandera – senator mar roxas’ Tide Detergent endorsement ad part 2

November 25, 2008 Leave a comment

first posted in WAWAM! on june 22, 2008 :


senator mar roxas in this tide detergent commercial did not mention the tide brand name even once. he also did not touch the product and and in fact his only interaction with tide was when he pointed to the price discount on the pack.

is it a tide detergent tv commercial? hell, yeah! is it a product endorsement tv ad by the nationally elected senator? hell, yeah!

there is no mistaking – mr. palengke appeared in the tide commercial and is endorsing the product. why else would you display such huge bags of tide, standing up with the tide logo clearly seen? i don’t think you will ever see any store in the palengke where they display tide that way and certainly not in front of the store where it contains nothing but giant tide packs. the way tide was displayed and the shelf itself is simply not done in the palengkes.

this is not tide’s brandsell advertising. in the world of p&g advertising, this is considered as a tactical value advertising. it’s meant to sell tide’s large packs and promote big purchases among consumers in the palengke.

what? wait a minute. mr. palengke in a palengke promoting big pack purchases? something is very wrong about that!

first of all, detergent purchase habits says most consumers buy small packs for lower cash outlay. also, the palengke is where most DE and some lower C socioeco users go to for their daily needs, and most of them go to the palengkes very often because they do no have the money to buy in bulk, thus the consumer practice is small price but more frequent purchases.

and the above is where we move in to a new topic – this is not just a product endorsement ad, it is actually a political campaign ad.

promoting large priced purchases for bulk detergent products is simply alien to the palengke goers. it’s consumers who go to supermarkets who do that, but hardly is that legitimate purchasing habit for those who shop in palengkes. very few palengke goers can afford large pack purchases, in fact it is in the palengke where you can buy literally a spoonful of anything, placed in small plastic bags. you can actually buy condiments and cooking needs in small plastic bags good for one cooking. for an advertising purist, you can argue this commercial is off strategy.

the fact that the mr. palengke, senator mar roxas commercial is situated in a palengke means only one thing – it’s a political ad.

tide-detergent1but p&g is not foolish. they will not intentionally and knowingly air an off strategy commercial. being off strategy in p&g is a mortal sin that will get you fired the next minute you say it. i am certain they have done extensive consumer research on this tv commercial – from the choice of the talent to a full blown advertising pre-airing test and i bet they found that while this commercial is meant to be tactical, it has powerful brandsell characteristics.

is it a WAWAM!? it’s not entirely a WAWAM! for tide detergent. mr. palengke has excellent credentials and a huge following. it’s also not a WAWAM! for senator mr. roxas. he is getting national tv exposure highly consistent with his positioning as the mr. palengke. and for free! the media money behind it is being paid for by p&g.

again, is it a WAWAM!?

yes, it’s a WAWAM! for the filipino people and it’s soul. we can rationalize it all we want. we can take it down to technicalities like no brand name was said, but the fact remains, like judas, several pieces of silver worth millions of pesos in talent fee was exchanged for integrity, pride, honesty and honor in a nationally elected public office.

mr. palengke goes labandera – senator mar roxas’ Tide Detergent endorsement ad part 1

November 25, 2008 1 comment

first posted in WAWAM! on june 14, 2008 and june 17, 2008 :


here is one of those tv ads – is this a product endorsement ad

 or a political ad?

this is what senator mar roxas has to say on this tide tv spot:

Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, who once pushed the detergent brand Tide, denied doing any product endorsements: “But I didn’t endorse. I didn’t say that the public should buy a product, nor did I hold any product. And I did not say that it was better than the others. It’s a public service announcement saying that all product sellers should be true to consumers.”


let’s get this out of the way first before a discussion on the merits of senator roxas’ tide tv commercial.

senator mar roxas

senator mar roxas

the above statement is an empty rationalization of the endorsement ad senator roxas did for tide detergent. it’s lawyer speak that’s building a wall of semantics to have some good things around it to have some things to defend something bad.

of course the tv commercial is an endorsement ad. he doesn’t have to hold the product, he doesn’t even have to say anything, it’s enough for his face to be in the commercial and that automatically makes it an endorsement tv ad of tide detergent.

aside from that, the fact that he got several million pesos as talent fee obviously makes it an endorsement ad.

will tide detergent, a leading detergent brand pay him millions to appear in that commercial for public service? who is he kidding?

tide detergent is one of the most competitive detergent brands in the market. it is manufactured by procter & gamble, the inventor of the “brand management” system and one of the savviest marketers in the world. they will NOT get mar roxas to appear in their tv commercial for reasons other than selling cases of tide detergent.

 not only did they pay senator mar roxas a handsome talent fee, they are spending hundreds of millions of pesos to air the tv commercial. there is nothing that tide detergent nor procter & gamble does that is not about selling more cases of its products.

convicted criminal Joseph Erap Estrada – next president of the philippines? next steps for erap to win the election

November 24, 2008 6 comments

consumer research can win the election for erap or for his opponent


convicted criminal erap estrada's mugshot right before he entered jail


these are election polls and not yet the election, but it is quite difficult to understand how a convicted criminal, guilty to the charge of economic plunder can still make it to the top 3 in the election poll. one would think anyone convicted of any crime is enough for the people to withdraw their support or preference. but this is much more that just any crime, it is economic plunder which essentially means erap was involved in large scale corruption, worth hundreds of millions, stealing for his own personal benefit hundreds of millions of pesos from the government and in effect money that could have been spent for the use and benefit for the people.

how can the repondents say they will vote for a person like that?

do they not know erap is a convicted criminal? they do not believe in the conviction? they do not know that erap stole money from the government meant for the people for his own benefit? 

are the people choosing him to be president so that erap can do it again? or do the people hate arroyo so much that they are choosing arroyo’s biggest enemy?

i have to admit, such inconsistencies or perplexing questions rarely exist in marketing and advertising. preference or non-preference towards a brand or even a product attribute is much much more direct in consumer marketing than in philippine politics.

but in politics as well as  in marketing & advertising, it is these types of issues that are the most interesting, the most challenging and i would say the most rewarding. if this kinds of questions come up in consumer marketing and advertising, the obvious action is to conduct an extensive consumer research — mostly focus group discussions (FGD) in key cities in the country.

the answers to these types of questions cannot be guessed or apply any sort of intelligent guessing and much less gut feeling. getting to answers this way without the benefit of consumer research is a sure formula for disaster.

more importantly, it cannot be just any FGD. the design should be more complex and more in-depth than the usual. the design cannot rely on straigh questions and answers. and it cannot be just a one-off effort, this will need a multi-stage FGD design.

it is a most difficult FGD and will involve a much more complex FGD design, but the rewards will be astronimical. if designed right, the indsights and learnings that will be extracted from these FGDs can be the core strategy for winning the presidential election in 2010.

and that goes both for erap and his opponents who want to be well equipped if erap runs for president. it is obvious the kinds of benefits erap will gain in running these consumer research studies. it may not be too obvious for erap’s opponents, but it will give them an excellent insight into the minds of the voters and will open to them windows to defeat erap in the 2010 elections.

senator escudero’s circulan tv spot – undeserving of the good senator

November 24, 2008 Comments off

 first posted in WAWAM! on july 24, 2008 (source :


i don’t know about you, but after seeing senator escudero and his wife in this circulan tv spot, i vowed NEVER to buy circulan!

i am happy that escudero is a senator and he is not an actor. i am also glad the wife is his wife and not an actress. senator escudero do not have any talent in acting. escudero came out as very stiff, not at all engaging. at some point in the ad, i felt escudero was about to growl like a tiger and spring out from the tv to attack me. he looked real stern and menacing.

the wife was supposed to provide the foil, the tenderness in the ad, but she looked too flirty and yes flighty, nearly out of character for a senator’s wife.

the wife’s acting besides, the copy points were nowhere near anything respectable. all it said was that instead of drinking several medication, just drink circulan and you will be fine. the ad suffers from not having a consumer insight and a weak positioning. after watching the ad a few times, i am still not sure what the benefit one is supposed to get from circulan.

the punchline at the end, said by the senator’s wife, almost made me throw up. i’m not sure if it’s the copy lines or the way the wife delivered it or the way senator escudero reacted to it. i think it’s all of the above.

the intent for that last line is to be endearing or cute at the least, but the way she delivered it and the accompanying acting was too flirty. and more importantly, why in the world did she make fun of it? that was supposed to be a tie up to the stature of the senator. because she made light of it, so now, we’re left with not knowing if we should believe her or not. and if it was joke or if it was serious.

it’s obviously nothing more than just a political ad for the senator. i do hope they will no longer air this tv spot, it will ruin his chances of getting elected or re-elected to any public office, not to mention turn off potential buyers of circulan.

nothing in this is the fault of the senator or his wife. (she is his wife, right? she was not identified in the ad.)

this is mostly the storyboard’s fault and  some of it is the director’s fault.

the senator escudero should have been given a much better material. the copy writing was not good, the positioning nowhere and there was no creative concept. i don’t think a lot of time was spent writing this ad. there is really no commercial to speak of. i feel the storyboard was not worth filming into a commercial.

the director of the commercial also felt like he wasn’t there. the staging looked like it was a home video. there were a lot of scenes where the director should have shouted cut and re-take the shot. it felt like the whole ad was shot with only one take.

the senator and his wife are not actors and it should have been the director’s job to teach them or direct them to appear like they are. but the director did not lift a finger in this ad. he allowed the senator and his wife to show their inexperience in acting  in ads. both talents did not look good in the ad.

senator escudero is a very smart and honorable man. he is one of the most promising young senators in the country. it was a shame that circulan allowed this kind of commercial to be filmed for the senator. i am also shocked that senator escudero or his staff accepted the offer to shoot the storyboard they were given. they should have rejected the storyboard outright. the storyboard had no intelligence and no class, the exact opposite of what i think senator escudero is.

for making me want to throw up, this tv spot is a WAWAM!


is erap estrada back and poised to be the next president of the country?

November 23, 2008 Leave a comment

(click chart image for bigger view)

think about it – will the philippines have a convicted criminal as the next president of the philippines? if that happens, will the international community be able to respect the president erap and the country?

erap estrada has been convicted of “economic plunder” by the philippine courts. a plunder conviction came with it a life sentence in jail and being convicted more than once for economic plunder, erap would have needed to die and live again to fully serve his jail sentence.

but that was not to be. president gloria macapagal arroyo geve erap a presidential pardon for his crimes and was set free. arroyo seemed to have a very soft heart for erap. months before the conviction, arroyo with lightning speed abolished the death penalty in the country. economic plunder was one crime that qualified for a death penatly. arroyo did not only save erap once, she did so twice.

and now we have the latest survey results for the presidentiables where we see erap among the top three – vice president de castro at 18%, convicted criminal estrada at 17% and senator and ex-senate president manny villar at 17%.

erap’s performance in the recent polls is remarkable considering that almost exactly one year ago, the same poll showed erap was not even mentioned or at least got less than 0.5%.

is erap back?

while erap’s ratings now are truly phenomenal, it is still too early to tell. election polls like these are the most volatile – the rankings can have dramatic changes over time. the closer to the actual election, the firmer the poll results. the fact is respondents or voters make up their minds closest to the actual election time. it’s very possible respondents who gave their answers in this survey, more than a year from the actual election, may not have taken their answers seriously and did not really give it much thought.

an equally important factor is that among other things, the political and economic situation for sure will be very different one year from now. these factors certainly play a significant role in voters choices for president.

distant as it may seem, you have to think about this —- can you accept that the next president of the country will be a convicted criminal?


source of survey: pulse asia at

villar ouster as senate president by the opposition – a major tactical blunder

November 22, 2008 Leave a comment

news have it hat the opposition and in fact in this PDI article, it says erap estrada engineered the ouster of senator manny villar as senate president. the reason given is that villar is leading among the opposition presidentiables and they wanted to remove him from the senate presidency to remove an advantage enjoyed by villar. they think villar being senate president now helps his candidacy even more. villar is the leading opposition presidentiable in the recent polls that have been conducted.

WAWAM! thinks removing villar as senate president to reduce his strength as a presidentiable is a major tactical blunder committed by the opposition, assuming the reports are true.


it’s a major tactical blunder as the opposition has effectively removed one of their strongest weapon against the adminstration candidates, specially vice president noli de castro who is actually leading the polls (de castro is #1, villar #2 and estrada #3 in ranking).  opposition presidentiables have to remember that they have two groups of competitors — the admin presidentiables and the other opposition presidentiables. any presidentiable need to look at those two groups as real competition. but of the two, the admin presidentiables are more formidable and harder to beat than their opposition presidentiables. the incumbent, in this case de castro, always has an edge in elections.

villar as second in the polls mean he has the strength to weaken the top ranking presidentiable who is from the admin side. the other opposition presidentiables should have allowed villar to be where he is so that he can strongly fight the leading admin presidentiable and weaken the  position of the leading candidate. the longer villar stays as second, the better he will be able to weaken the top ranking presidentiable. villar being second will naturally have his eye on the leading presidentiable.

the actual election is still many months from now, in may 2010 – the rankings will definitely change. and allowing villar to weaken the top ranking admin presidentiable will be good for the opposition in general as it will mean the admin will have a much weaker candidate as we get close to the actual election in 2010. in other words, the other opposition presidentiables should have allowed villar to do their dirty work for them.

in-fighting now among the opposition presidentiables is not good for any of them. they are in effect throwing mud at each other, weakening each other and places them in a disadvantage come election time. instead of in-fighting, they should all band together and weaken the admin candidates. and when it’s closer to the election and the admin candidates are already weak, then they can decide who among them will run. anyone they choose down the stretch will have a much better chance of winning.




Estrada hand in coup seen

But deposed leader denies ousting Villar

By Juliet Labog-Javellana, Leila Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:51:00 11/19/2008

MANILA, Philippines—Joseph “Erap” Estrada helped oust Manuel Villar as Senate president because he wants the latter out of the way of the opposition ticket in the 2010 presidential election.

This was disclosed to the Philippine Daily Inquirer by an administration senator.

Estrada denied any hand in the coup that saw Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, an ally of both President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her deposed predecessor, taking the plum post from Villar.

“Erap sees that there are many candidates from the opposition. He wants Manny Villar out of the way because [the latter’s] being Senate president gives him a competitive edge,” said the senator who asked not to be named because of the sensitive nature of the subject.

The senator said Estrada, who was convicted of plunder and quickly pardoned by Ms Arroyo, played his hand through his son, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, as well as senators harboring presidential or vice presidential ambitions.

“This is an opposition plot, and Erap is the master manipulator who played on their greed. I don’t think there was money involved here; it was just preying on their ambitions,” the senator said.

According to the senator, this was why Jinggoy Estrada, a close associate of Villar who had picked him to be Senate president pro tempore, joined the coup.

“Jinggoy will not move without any instruction from his father,” the senator said.


how to win the 2010 philippine elections : philippine marketing and philippine advertising 101

November 22, 2008 3 comments

this blog will look at the philippine election from a marketing and advertising perspective. winning an election is really no different from doing marketing and advertising for mass consumer products like detergent products, toothpaste and computer products. the same principles, the same strategies and tactics, consumer research and marketing mix are applied. candidates who do the best marketing and advertising will win the election.

this blog is a spin off from WAWAM! ( where a large amount of posts have been posted on philippine political ads and the recent 2008 US presidential campaign. 

note: “presidentiables” are candidates who are running for the office of the president or a presidential candidate. it was probably coined by a desk editor of a newspaper to have a single word for it to take less space in newspaper headlines.

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