Is the Ako Mismo! campaign a proxy for Sen. Richard Gordon’s Bagumbayan-Volunteers for a New Philippines?
Probably not. And there is no real reason to think that it is. Unless you don’t consider that it probably totally is.
Sure, people were quick to make the connection between the Smart and PLDT-sponsored campaign and Smart and PLDT’s big boss Manny V. Pangilinan, who already has the influential blessing of Pampanga Vice Gov. Yeng Guiao to run for president in 2010.
Apparently, PLDT-Smart’s big boss “is not interested in the least in becoming the country’s chief executive.” The campaign isn’t even theirs, and an ad agency has stepped up to say that it’s part of their corporate social responsibility.
Which leaves us with a massive network of idealists and cool kids that could be exploited by a presidential aspirant lacking old-school political machinery and high marks on popularity surveys. But who?
Based on nothing at all, the Ako Mismo! campaign could very well be a front for Sen. Gordon’s party.
Consider, for example, the color scheme. Sure, red is a pretty popular color, and it’s probably just a coincidence.
But in a country where symbols are more important than the actual message, no advertising agency working on a campaign of a political nature could have overlooked the fact that red is Gordon’s color.
Also consider that one of the faces of the Ako Mismo! campaign is Journey vocalist Arnel Pineda who is a card-carrying member of Bagumbayan.
Ako Mismo!’s advocacy even fits in with one of Gordon’s recurring themes, that changing the country begins with changing ourselves. Then again, this may just be because that goes without saying, and is vague enough to be catchy.
Pangilinan may not be interested in becoming president in 2010, but that doesn’t mean he’s not necessarily interested in the presidency. With his slim chances of winning, he may have decided to back a (slightly) more winnable candidate instead.
“But Gordon has been pushing for a bill to tax telecoms P0.50 per text message sent to fund reforms in our education system! He would never get in bed with PLDT!,” you might say. But a cursory Internet search will show that he pretty much forgot about that in November last year. Funding a slick ad campaign is probably cheaper than losing half your income to build school buildings.
On the other hand, the campaign could just as likely be an overly-optimistic move by the Department of National Defense to trick potential troublemakers into revealing their dastardly plans.