A WEEK ago, this administration’s (mis) communicators dished out a flurry of faux pas. They now appear to be the comedy piñata that keeps on giving and I, a certified self-confessed online heckler, am enjoying every bit of it.
So, the comedy week started with an intra-office memo written by Presidential Communication Operations Office assistant secretary Margaux Uson, which she then posted on her Facebook page.
Now, I’ve always believed in content over form. Uson’s letter has neither of those. It had bad grammar, spelling included. Worse, the content and message of the memo were uninformed (read: ignorant).
Uson wanted to “reclassify” online news organization Rappler as a “social media” so the news outfit would be under her purview.
It is clearly written and guaranteed in our 1987 Constitution that government shall not abridge the people’s freedom of expression and by axiomatic extension, the people’s right to a free press.
I say Rappler is doing its watchdog role and this administration cannot stand it.
A few minutes after Uson posted her memo, UP communications professor Danilo Arao posted the memo with his corrections. Let’s just say, for humanitarian reasons, that the memo looked like a Christmas tree — it was adorned with a liberal amount of red ink.
As if to explain her erroneous memo, Uson compared Rappler to bloggers Mindavote. Her premise is that because of Rappler, like Mindavote, has no print and broadcast outputs is not a news media but a social media. For her information, social media are websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. Rappler, like most newsrooms, have field reporters and they do not publish unvetted information.
Sure, they’ve had some “kuryente” stories before but it retracts and issues an erratum right after. Now, how many Facebook users or Youtubers have you seen issue an erratum for erroneous or libelous posts?
The next office to entertain us with their impeccable command of the English language was the Asean 2017 National Organizing Committee.
A tarpaulin to supposedly welcome Southeast Asian delegates misspelled the name of its own country! The tarp reads: “Asean 50 Philippines: Welcome to the Philppines! Asean delegates.”
The NOC has since ordered the removal of the embarrassing tarps.
In a statement, lawyer Michel Kristian Ablan, assistant secretary for PCOO’s policy and legislative affairs, said the tarps “did not conform to the approved final artwork.”
He then passed the buck to Department of Interior and Local Government-National Capital Region.
“The DILG NCR already issued a statement (that) clarified that it was issued by them, it was posted by them, and they already took them down and that they are replacing those posters with (the) correct spelling of the country Philippines,” Ablan added.
As I was scanning my Facebook newsfeed the morning after, I saw that, as usual, the apologists and fanatics of this administration did not get the point about the erroneous Asean tarps.
- Online trolls were quick to quip that the dilawans will surely use this latest faux pas and pin it on Digong Dada. If you look closely at the humorous reposting of the photo of the tarps, nobody is blaming their lord and savior. All of us merely pointed out how embarrassing the tarp is considering it has misspelled the name of our own country.
- The Asean tarps were bought and paid for with taxpayers’ money. Our money. For the information of these online trolls, the budget allotted for #Asean50 is about P15 BILLION (all caps mine).
- Some trolls also pointing out the supposed “crab mentality” of those who critiqued the tarps. Do yourselves a favor and Google what that idiom really means so you’ll not appear stupid. Well, you are but that’s not the point.
- Trolls rebut that those who pointed out the mistake are nitpicking and are “nagmamagaling.” Again, and I cannot stress this enough, for P15 billion, you can’t even hire a decent proofreader?
- When you use the copout: “Well, that’s my opinion. Respect it.” We are not discussing opinions here. It’s spelling-grammar.
Yes, you have the right to your opinion. That’s freedom of expression. But respecting and appreciating your opinion is not part of that freedom. I’m well within my rights to express to tell you your opinion is ludicrous.