BY PET MELLIZA/The Beekeeper
The busiest propaganda bureaus hereabouts belong to the camps of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patgrick Mabilog and his challenger Rommel Ynion.
Aside from tapping friendly reporters and buying radio and cable TV blocktimes, both unreel scenarios that catches public attention.
Ynion has Manuel “Boy” Mejorada whose opinion pieces land in The News Today and various social media sites. He also hosts a blocktime simulcast in radio and cable TV.
To sell himself and members of his slate for the May 2013 local elections, Ynion further kicks off activities – gimmicks if we may call it – like the curtain raiser involving tankers delivering drinking water free to barangays unreached by MIWD pipes.
Ynion became a household name that prompted Mabilog to adopt the former’s water distribution – after persuading the city council to place Iloilo City in a state of calamity for reasons more hilarious than legal. There was no natural or human-made calamity to warrant the declaration pursuant to Republic Act 10121.
Mabilog maintains a coterie of media spinners to groom him in the tri-media. He maintains a stable of press people to write for him, and anchor his various radio and cable TV block times.
At the frontline of his media war efforts are Jeffrey Celiz and Boboy Sombero. Others who are active media practitioners stay backstage.
Incidentally, November 30, the Kalipunan ng Damayan ng Mahihirap (Kadamay) – Panay-Guimaras, held a torch parade to denounce the “darkness” engulfing the urban poor.
The administration of mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is too busy in beautification-cum-tourism projects and forgets his poor constituents, common victims of development projects, rues Mau Abellon, Kadamay-Panay-Guimaras chair.
The torch rally, timed with the death anniversary of national hero Andres Bonifacio, converged at UP junction and culminated at Iloilo River Esplanade, centerpiece of the beautification project funded by the lobby of Sen. Franklin Drilon, ally of Mabilog.
The Andres Bonifacio commemoration must have stung Mabilog that in no time, he Jeffrey Celiz was heard on air growling at Abellon. Celiz grumbled that the city government did its job of providing displaced urban poor families decent relocation sites. Kadamay demanded too much.
If I were Mabilog, I would advise Celiz to think first before talking. That radio encounter must have alienated the urban poor and their network of organizations that when Rep. Teddy Casino (Bayan Muna Party List) came to meet with ex-colleagues in the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), and the League of Filipino Students (LFS), they fetched him from the airport using Ynion’s bulletproof pick-up replete with Casino – Ynion streamers. They also advised the solon to stay away from Mabilog’s spokesman or his votes will diminish.
They followed it up in December 10, protest for International Human Rights Day where they drove Ynion’s multi-cab in their treet demonstration that advertised the smiling faces of Casino and Ynion.
Kadamay reports that some 10,000 families have been, or about to be, dislocated this year to give way to development projects.
The city provided them 40 – 60 square meter homelots at the cost of P450 per square meter, payable in 10 years.
Abellon notes that the cost is about the same as the current prevailing price of properties in the vicinity.
Relocating communities means throwing them far from the places where they earn for their subsistence.
“Why can’t government distribute free relocation lots for poor families displaced by its development program? It (government) spends hundreds of millions for beautification and infrastructure like the Esplanade that benefits real estate speculators and big businessmen,” bewails Abellon. “Real estate developers and big business benefit from these beautification and infrastructure but are not charged with the costs of these projects.”
Mabilog should consider the social cost suffered by dislocated families as ground to compensate them with free relocation sites, she adds.
Mabilog’s propagandists are fond of writing epitaphs or few liners instead of full length pieces and they master that craft in cyberspace social medium.
Mabilog’s partisians use aliases and intrude into the social medium accounts of others, especially, critics, to post insulting and taunting jargon-loaded commentaries.
Wish they learn from Mejorada who writes full length opinions and posts them in his domain for others to read.
Posting four to five lines of unflattering comments in others’ social medium accounts only proves their mediocrity.
Block them as I already did and they lost their sting.