Anti-Media Social: Our Lady of Pangasinan

Here’s a nice reversal on things.

Sectoral group Bayan Muna filed a plunder case against Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Thursday over the failed ZTE National Broadband Network deal. Reporters scrambled to cover it and got the story.

Here is a sidebar to the whole thing:

While this was going on, politician sent out a text message to reporters on different beats. His subtle message? “XXX can be asked for comments on the sixth plunder complaint against ex-PGMA.” While some politicians would have been content with releasing a written statement to the press, this one wanted to be interviewed even though nobody was asking.

Our baby mouse tells us that journalists who took the bait and called him up to ask questions were then told (politely) to wait because the politician was busy.

Although he is new in politics and cannot be expected to know how to deal with the press yet, he will gave to learn quickly or never have to deal with the press again.

A clue: Like his once prominent father, this politician can be referred to by his initials, one of which is J. His father used to be influential but the family’s fortunes have taken a turn since a falling out with Malacanang.

This Pageant is Decadent and Depraved

Pic in no way related

A dispatch from Calatagan, Batangas reports that a certain beauty pageant is now what “That’s Entertainment!” and talent shows of its ilk were in the 1980s and 1990s: a hunting ground for politicians looking for starlets.

Not that Indolent Indio is in any way a credible source of information, but our baby mouse tells us that many candidates have politicians as backers and sponsors.

Said patronage can get weird sometimes. Like in the case of the mayor of the Municipality of Birdland (obviously not the actual name of the municipality, but it would have been awesome if so) who backs one candidate and wants her to win.

But Birdland already had an official candidate and she didn’t want to give way to the mayor’s bet. So the mayor has his candidate run to represent the neighboring Municipality of Macondo.

With that, municipal support for Miss Birdland dried up and she wasn’t even allowed to use the municipality’s van to get around. It is not a huge leap to think that that support went to Miss Macondo, actually a resident of Birdland.

The questionable wisdom in using municipal funds to pay for candidate aside (a win, could, after all, up the municipality’s prestige), using those funds to pay for a candidate from another town is downright treacherous.

Pageants have also apparently evolved much from the stage mommies (and families)
we saw in “Little Miss Sunshine” and, well, the actual Little Miss Philippines.

Our baby mouse says candidates have managers and handlers now, and they have machinery in place to help ensure a win. Envelopes for reporters and bloggers covering the event, say. He said this will help justify a rigged win.

The managers are particularly worried about one candidate, the favorite of a local politician where the pageant’s finals will be held. They say will likely win because her backer agreed to provide a venue for the finals.

The existence of pageants in a country that claims respect for women is debatable but the backdoor deals and back stories suggest that they are more than just about who is the smartest and prettiest.

If we are picking beauties who will represent the Philippines in international pageants, then the apple should go to the fairest, not to who paid the most.