27 March, 2006

philippine recap and press corp dress codes

AsiaPundit is well out of his depth when it comes to Philippine politics, but Connie Veneracion at Global Voices has a useful summary of the issues - and the complexities - of the situation since the lifting of Proclamation 1017.

For those those who believe that a mere change in leadership will solve the country’s problems–the turmoil will end when Gloria Arroyo leaves Malacañang, voluntarily or by force. Luis Teodoro writes about a proposal by Senator Edgardo Angara who thinks there is a legal way of calling for snap elections. The Black and White Movement staged another “mass action” on Friday, March 24th, which the police forces did not even monitor–it was a picture taking event. Caffeine Sparks laments that the group’s latest slogan, Patalsikin na! Now na!, is “so…text message-y, as if it were almost a joke.” Interestingly enough, it is rather reminiscent of the burgis (bourgeois) practice of mixing Tagalog and English made (in)famous by colegialas in the 1970s.

For those who view the Philippines’ problems as mere manifestations of a deeper social and cultural malaise, there is no quick solution. Newbie blogger Arnel Endrinal points to 10 problems that have not been solved through the past five administrations, including the current one. Class interests make it difficult to draw up any program that will be acceptable to all–if the majority really cares about solutions at all. As Luis Teodoro sums it up–the middle class and the poor are equally self-centered. The middle class is too concerned with maintaining its lifestyle; the poor is “too focused on survival to care.”

The tension between the government and the media has not abated. Danny Arao writes about an urgent motion filed by the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), a human rights lawyers’ group, for a speedy resolution of a petition filed earlier this month that stems from a pronouncement by National Telecommunications Commission head Ronald Solis to the effect that government can legally impose guidelines on broadcast news media.

Also of interest, Jove Francisco speculates on whether the casual dress of the Philippine presidential press corps says something about the press, or about Arroyo.:

State Of Emergency 024Journalists assigned to the palace wearing jeans, trendy shirts and non-leather footwear is now common sight around Malacanang, specifically inside the Kalayaan Hall Press Working Area (PWA).

I’m one of those reporters who wear MAONG at least once or twice a week. (Ahem, ang palusot ko, lagi naming may formal wear ako sa crew cab ng team ko, just in case!) (Saka lagi naming sinusundan si PGMA sa mga rugged areas)

Now, why is this trend happening samantalang two administrations ago, taboo yan?

The answer came out during the meeting this afternoon.

Most reporters covering the presidential beat do not bother to “dress for respect” anymore because most of the main palace activities of the president are “restricted” in nature naman.

If not for “photo-opp only”, “in house coverage only”.

And there’s more: as time goes by the media’s access to President Arroyo has turned from minimum to nil. She hates ambush interviews. She tapes her declarations inside the blue room, closed door. She holds live round table broadcasts inside the blue room, but the reporters are now relegated to “usis”. Parang mga tao sa harap ng buffet table tapos biglang aalisin ang inaabangang pagkain. She leaves right after her broadcast, di siya pwede kausapin. Unlike before, the MPC can’t go inside the main palace ng basta basta to stake out for cabinet officials under the huge trees there. Soon, we will be transferred to the New Executive Building.

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by @ 1:56 pm. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Philippines

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