They said a short time ago that the “gloves are now off” in the epic battle between the three “co-equal” branches of the Philippine government. Not quite. Seems like the gloves are coming off only now seeing that MalacaÃ±ang have started to dispatch their elite troops into the PR jungle, and this is my nod to the Noted One, Manuel L Quezon III (MLQ3), and his return to the National “Debate”.
MLQ3 ain’t called the Noted One for nothin’. He was Mr Political Blogger. The go-to man over much of the first decade of the 21st Century — until a gig with the public service deep within the bowels of the “Communications” team of the Cabinet of current President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III muzzled his political voice.
Of course MLQ3 wasn’t really just a grunt within the “bowels” of Noynoy’s rather bloated Communications group. He is a senior Cabinet official. But that fact only punctuates the tragedy of the last 500-odd days of public relations ineptitude exhibited by MalacaÃ±ang which, considering the presence of the Noted One in their midst, showcased one communications and PR snafu after another. Most notably the presidential Comms team displayed an astounding clumsiness with dealing with the social media mob, which is bizarre considering MLQ3, an experienced Net jockey and a long-respected member of that community, was among their leaders.
So it is quite revealing to see MLQ3 rejoining the chatter now. His opening salvo on Twitter (unless I am missing an earlier barrage) is quite a poetic one (albeit apparently a retweet)…
RT @darwinmariano: RT @vtlazatin: Impeachment isn’t a nuclear bomb that destroys institutions. It’s a scalpel used to remove a tumor.
A mere retweet, yes, but one of the sort that comes not as a surprise from a senior Cabinet official of the Second Aquino Administration.
I don’t mean to speculate (hey, I’m still Pinoy at heart), but it seems that in the dispatch of the Noted One into the fray by the forces of Yellowness, we are seeing a visible upping of the PR ante by MalacaÃ±ang. It further highlights the true nature of this whole circus — it is the Mother of all trials-by-media and a rallying of popular support as the main driver of its legitimacy.
Of course, and seeing one of the first of MLQ3’s many subsequent tweets, we all know where he ultimately stands. That’s because this isn’t the MLQ3 in the 00’s form of his prime as a relatively independent communicator. This time his ability to deliver insightful commentary is encumbered by a real boss with a real political agenda.
That’s not to say he will not contribute mightily to the long overdue uplift of the quality of the national “debate” which, not to put too fine a point to it, has been getting more and more idiotic by the week. He certainly will, perhaps moving from the preferred networking platform of the ADD Generation where he is limited to just 140 characters per spiel and onto writing proper articles on his seminal blog Quezon.ph. But he will at best be a thoroughbred horse running fast but harnessed and reined.
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