Does the government of President Noynoy Aquino govern? Or does it MERELY spin?


In a rare stroke of balance, “social news network” site Rappler published the scholarly work of eminent sociologist Nicole Curato, “a post-doctoral research fellow at the Center for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the Australian National University” according to the short bio included at the foot of her article The President as spin doctor.

president_noynoy_aquinoThe article, according to the “Mood Meter” of Rappler, “makes people annoyed”. This is evident in the comment section of that article where a good cross-section of Rappler readership aired their two-cent protests over the perceived “bias” in Ms Curato’s article. So why exactly are Rapplerites annoyed? Well, perhaps because Curato lays out rather revealing aspects of the way the government of President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III presumes to “govern” the Filipino people. The underlying question that is raised by the revealing insights in Curato’s article is this:

Is President BS Aquino III governing in the real sense? Or is he just spinning?

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An easy answer to that is to refer to the massive public relations fallout in the aftermath of President BS Aquino’s most recent laughable gaffe — the quaint cover-my-ass speech he delivered on prime-time national TV to defend the mysterious Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) that many people are convinced he used to fund the bribing of “senator-judges” in the 2012 impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona. The timing of the public address only served to highlight its poignant daftness

The Oct. 30 speech – broadcast too late for the early evening news – was part of the Palace attempt at damage control as the furor over DAP and PDAF was seen to have dragged down P-Noy’s ratings.

It came on the heels of the noticeable takeover by Sonny Coloma as main Palace spokesman. The hiss from the snake pit is that the Palace communications team was being blamed for failing to counter the counterattack by those accused of PDAF misuse.

The principal casualty of that counter-attack, also called Jinggoy’s revenge, is P-Noy – his DAP, contingency funds and performance ratings.

While a President who will not seek re-election can afford not to engage in popularity games, a high rating makes it easier, in the country’s political milieu, for a chief executive to bend even opponents to his will and push his legislative agenda.

This incident serves to validate Curato’s thesis that BS Aquino is progressively being reduced to spinning rather than governing in two ways:

One, the original resource bloat in the “Communication” function of BS Aquino’s Cabinet (three Secretary-level officials and several deputies) puts a spotlight on just how “important” spin is to this administration; and,

Two, that President BS Aquino would fire three top “communication” lieutenants from his Cabinet following a PR catastrophe by itself indicates that much of what gives the President the shits nowadays has to do with the effectiveness (or rather the ineffectiveness) of that massively-funded spin.

Indeed, Coloma, BS Aquino’s new spinmeister, may be new to the game but applies the same pathetic approach

On Tuesday, the spokesman denied that President Benigno Aquino III’s men in the Palace were in a panic and trying to manage the crisis over the misuse of pork barrel and other discretionary funds that has threatened to engulf the administration.

He also dismissed reports that the pork barrel scandal and the controversy over the President’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) have taken their toll on Mr. Aquino’s approval rating.

To prove his point, the spokesman again trotted out the discredited survey by a Palace-friendly pollster that claimed the President’s approval rating was at a high 79 percent in September, a laughable outcome after the pork barrel scandal had broken out, and after tens of thousands of Filipinos flocked to Luneta to demand that Mr. Aquino abolish pork barrel. In a classic case of cherry picking, the Palace spokesman neglected to mention a 15-point drop in the President’s approval rating in August reported by a different survey company.

Focus placed on a masive effort to spin rather than to govern coherently are making it difficult for BS Aquino’s political allies to remain consistent with their principles. Party-List Representative Walden Bello of the staunchly Aquino loyalist group Akbayan chooses his words carefully in a recent open letter published on the Inquirer in response to the childish way President BS Aquino has so far been managing the DAP imbroglio…

[…] the President must realize that not all those who are expressing their concern on the DAP are diverting the issue away from the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) plunderers. Even though there is a need to remind the public of the important and pressing tasks of the antipork campaign, it is wrong to dismiss the DAP, more so the executive’s fiscal powers, as non-issues in the overall reform process. Of all people, President Aquino knows too well the dire consequences of the unregulated fiscal powers of the executive having filed the Budget Impoundment Control bill when he was still a senator during Gloria Arroyo’s pillage of the people’s fund.

Quite noteworthy that the mouthpieces of a commie organisation like Akbayan would be so diplomatic in the manner with which they would call out the striking communication gaffes of a sitting President of a Republic they are genetically predisposed to overthrow. That’s the trouble with being in bed with the powers-that-be, Comrade Bello. Being a sellout causes ageing “revolutionaries” to lose their old characteristically firey Red rhetoric.

Tragedy. As Curato noted, welcome to “Spin Central”…

From the country’s top cheerleader, the President is now forced to be a spin doctor.

The government of President BS Aquino has slid from a routine but benign use of acceptable persuasion techniques to downright belligerent use of sly propaganda tactics. Curato cited the hallmarks of these approaches, (1) the use of polarising bad-versus-good rhetoric to divide the landscape to monopolise a coveted moral high ground, (2) use of simplification techniques such as the reduction of complex issues into emotionally seductive soundbites, and (3) repetitive messages packaged in different forms — Curato observes, “[…] it is not surprising that the President failed to say something new last Wednesday [when he went live on TV to defend the DAP].”

When a government halfway through its term is already spending more time on spinning and damage control than on governing and anticipating adversity (rather than to just reacting to it), its subjects should start preparing for the worst. There will likely be nothing new — in the way of promised reforms, promised development, and promised order — delivered over the remaining three years of President BS Aquino’s failed presidency. That preparation should begin with his supporters stepping back from their beholdenness to the Prayerful One and start extricating themselves from the illusion of righteousness the Aquino-Cojuangco clan had imprisoned their brains within.

The comments section of Curato’s Rappler piece provides a good cross-section of the unintelligent sentiments of the Yellow Mob to behold. Not surprising that such a scholarly piece of work would raise howls amongst BS Aquino’s supporters. They after all invested their vote in the most unqualified presidential candidate back in 2010. As such, it is asking too much of them to apply a bit of basic comprehension when regarding the work of a qualified professional.

30 Replies to “Does the government of President Noynoy Aquino govern? Or does it MERELY spin?”

  1. The less the achievements, the more the spin.
    The less the popularity, the more the propaganda
    The less the integrity, the more the lies

  2. at the united nations aquino said the philippines would meet the millenium developmnent goal of 16.6% poverty level ( currently 28%) by 2015.
    outright lie.
    the international community is fed up with lie after lie.

    1. Stood in front of APEC 2011 and said we are ready to export rice.
      outright lie.

      Came back from China and said he had 13 billion usd of investment.
      outright lie.

      Another classic, copied this from the Inquirer Dec 29th 2011

      New export product

      He said another possible revenue source for the Philippines was an “aquatic product exported by a country in North America [that] sells for quite an expensive amount.”
      “I am told now that we have the same thing. It’s a very simple canning process and we have the resource. It’s really just a question of doing the processing aspect, inculcating certain behavioral attitudes in the people in that area,” President Aquino said.
      “It’s a new export product that I’m very keen to start working [on],” he said, but would not reveal what it was.

      2 years on it has never been mentioned since and no one has a clue what this secret aquatic product is? Input anyone..thanks

  3. Well, the truth that many are annoyed by the article means only one thing, that many, myself included, still believe and trust Noy.

    1. TROLL

      Let me guess, you want us to just accept your pathetic president’s mediocrity?
      Sheeple like YOU are the reason why our country isn’t moving forward.
      Accept the fact that your propaganda will never convince us of your president’s non-existent greatness.
      The truth is that your president was elected by a minority so don’t tell us na linampaso niya ang ibang candidato nung 2010.

    2. Di lang ako maka-move on kung bakit 3 taon nang nakalipas e wala pa rin talagang nagbabago. Kamusta na pala ang Tarlac? :>

    3. Almost 4 years na ang pangulo mo at wala parin siyang natutupad sa mga pangako niyang pagbabago sa ating bansa.
      Iyan ba talaga ang ibig mong sabihin na “magaling” na pangulo???

    4. By the way, nasaan na pala ang 2000 containers na nawawala? Nahanap na ba ng pangulo mo yung mga nawala UNDER his administration?

    5. Hirap sa mga kagaya mong hindi nag-iisip e. Tinatrato niyong parang boxing ang election. Ayan tuloy, mag-aapat na taon na, wala pa ring nangyayari sa mga pangako niya. Sigurado ko hindi ka na sasagot kasi ubos na yung ibinayad mo sa internet cafe. Huwag ka na sumagot, ituloy mo na lang ang paghahanap ng trabaho sa internet.

      1. Hindi lang siguro makasagot kasi walang maisip na isasagot sa atin. Expected na yan sa mga malacananang idiots ni aquino.

  4. benign0: WE BELIEVE IN NOYNOY. Ngek! Tama yung mga nagcomment dun sa comments section ng Rappler. Hindi po ho spin doctor si Noynoy sa media but Noynoy is a spin doctor PHD in Noynoy spinned the Philippines from corruption at nagbagong buhay kaming mga Piipino at daig natin ang mga karatig bayan sa Asya. I think like ruttgart in the comments: ” the president is a spin doctor indeed..he managed to spin this damned and corrupted country around and opened it up for the world to see and invest’s funny how people like the good professor curato can easily spin an article like this and make it look like the president is the root of all these evil when in fact it is the current president that has given this country a ray of hope, a chance to curb corruption..”

    Maniwala ka sa kanya pareng benign0 kasi magaling mag-ingleshing si ruttgart. LOL!

    As if kaya niyang i-solve lahat ng mga problema ng Pilipinas sa loob ng tatlong taon.

    1. Fact: Hindi mo talaga na-gets ung article. You’re just here to TROLL on this blog.

      Also, Rappler is another Yellow media product.

      Your comment is nothing more than SPAM. 😛

    2. And also, Noynoy and his minions like you are totally wrong about corruption. It’s more than just stealing money. Noynoy also did bribery.

      And you’re totally BLIND about it. 😀

    3. You certainly don’t think at all because until now you don’t realize that you’re being duped by Aquino.
      Ginagago ka na nga sa harapan mo, hindi mo parin mahalata.
      Kawawa ka talagang nilalang,
      Sarap talaga maging uto-uto no?


  5. If you did not accomplish anything in your Presidency. You will surely use people, who will make you look good. Crooks like Aquino, will parade themselves on pedestal,to the people, as person of integrity.
    This is the reason our country is now the economic basket case of Asia. We voted people, who cannot accomplish.
    We even voted a mediocre and mentally retarded person, as our President. So now, he is easily manipulated by people around him, with hidden agendas.

  6. The government of Mr. Aquino certainly doesn’t govern but it only keeps on spinning.
    Their reliance on Moronic Malacanang Trolls that fruitlessly try to attack sites like this one certainly proves it.
    They are only delaying the inevitable fall of their precious president.

    1. You’ve missed the point of the article altogether. Please read it again and try to understand it.

      “…anyone who disagrees with curato is unintelligent?”

      Let me ask you: Are you assuming that Nicole Curato (or any dissenting voice for that matter) is “wrong” simply because she does not agree with your view about the Aquino administration? The notion that your opinion is the only one that matters is arrogant beyond belief.

      1. im saying curato is full of generalizations and based on her criteria, any attempt at explanation can just be dismissed as “spin”. its a big charge to say an administration is just spinning not governing, one short blog post is surely not enough

        my problem is more with this article author saying all differing opinions are “unintelligent sentiments of the Yellow Mob”


          Did you come across this line?

          “The comments section of Curato’s Rappler piece provides a good cross-section of the unintelligent sentiments of the Yellow Mob to behold.”

          There was NO CLAIM that “all differing opinions are ‘unintelligent sentiments of the Yellow Mob’.” If you take time to read the comments posted to the RAPPLER article, you will find a good number of them are just that — apologies on behalf of Pres. BS Aquino and his policies which have been perceived to be either lies or failures. They reek of sentiment and EDSA/People Power nostalgia. Is Dr. Curato’s argument a “big charge?” Perhaps. Still, there were no facts in the responses to disprove Dr. Curato’s thesis. Instead, those who posted comments, almost invariably professed their utter faith in BS Aquino. (I noticed you didn’t refute Dr. Curato’s arguments either.) The characterisation of the comments as being “unintelligent sentiments” is thus appropriate.

        2. “its a big charge to say an administration is just spinning not governing, one short blog post is surely not enough”

          It is my understanding that regardless of what is stated in Dr. Curato’s RAPPLER article, you refuse to believe, or even attempt to comprehend the piece SIMPLY BECAUSE IT IS TOO SHORT. What qualifies as an appropriate analysis? Fifty pages? A hundred? Perhaps a book in three volumes with accompanying graphs and surveys? Surely that reflects more on your biases and generalisations than Dr. Curato’s writing.

  7. Di ako bomoto nang 2010 dahil alam ko na mananlo c PNoy. Nangako ng pagbabago pero nilakihan ang nanakawin ng mga Lawmakers… PDAF dingdagan pa galing sa DAP… puro kasinungalingan lang ang pinaggagawa… inuuto lang ang taumbayan

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