By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
Running for elective public office in the Philippines is not a cake walk. For one, a bet needs a media platform to air the things he had done, his advocacy, and other things he deems that could boost his political stocks
Take for instance, a popular AM (Amplitude Modulation) radio station in my province. A source told me that a 30 minutes daily prime time program cost a wannabe P32,000!
So it means the aspirant pays P96,000 thrice a week program or P384,000 a month just to promote what is good about him and what is not good about his adversary - of course through his PR men in the booth.
The aspirant’s rival, I heard, used to pay half-a-million pesos in his three months 30 minutes a day except Saturday and Sunday program. It was cheaper since the program was broadcast at early dawn.
A staff of an FM (Frequency Modulation) Station masquerading as AM station told me that a candidate can get a non-prime time program of 30 minutes at his station at P40, 000 a month, the problem however there are only a dearth of political bugs who dare to listen there as FM is for music and not the political stuffs it announcers there dishes.
It only shows that AM station is serious business while FM stations with all its music and clowning of its D.J or disk jocks are, well, not so serious business in terms of earning revenues.
That’s why, I observed, that during media gatherings like the Christmas media's night those who swagger most (as they rubbed elbows with politicians) were those at the AM while those at the FM bands stayed at the sideline drinking silently their San Miguel Lights beer while they watch and wonder why congressmen, board members, and mayors joined media men Atong Remogat and Harold Barcelona in a guffaw while some of them even fished out from their pockets big bills for their friends at the AM bands and in the print.
“Vice President (Jejomar) Binay probably paid your station more than P100, 000 in his one hour afternoon interview at your station?” I posed to an announcer of Bombo Radyo when the controversial vice president dropped by lately at the office of Dagupan City’s Vice Mayor Brian Lim when he attended the birthday bash, of his Man Friday in the North, Binmaley, Pangasinan Mayor Sam Rosario.
The announcer just nodded his head to me in agreement.
Patrons gravitate to this radio station because of the survey that it crows that made her tops the Nielsen Media Research. The Research does not only declare it as No.1 but, son of a gun, even zealously compared how its rivals including DZRH-Manila eat the dust in the race of snaring listeners who I surmised came from the 35 years old and above age’s category.
How about the younger generation? Salamabit, these politically apathetic folks kill their time listening to music of FM stations or videos at YouTube or watch porn at some online sites or scour their FaceBook than getting relevant news from “talk radio” – Americans’ slang of AM band.
One of Bombo Radyo's comparative advantages in the dog-eat- dog’s world of broadcasting, I observe, is its almost non-partisanship on the squabbles and intramurals of local players while most of its rivals announcers, who are poorly paid, become apologists and mouthpiece of politicians who could whisk some “dough” to motivate them in advancing the endeavour of their patrons.
When Senatorial bet Joey de Venecia ran in the 2010 election, former Speaker Joe de Venecia told me that the former pays P200 to P300 thousand per 30 “seconder” advertisement at either TV giant ABS-CBN or GMA-7. If my memory serves me right, Joey for the few weeks dash, in his race to be included in the Top 12 of either Social Weather Station or Pulse Asia polls, had been airing three to four ads a day to get the attention of the voters around the country.
Hmmm? P250,000 multiplies by three times a day multiplies by 30 days equal a staggering of P22,5000, 000 a month!
Indeed running for public office is not a walk in the park. That’s why presidential wannabe Rod Duterte has been telling all and sundry in the country that he will run for the country’s top post, where he could reform this pathetic country through his Dirty Harry’s governance, if some folks cheap- in P10 to P15 billion as campaign chest in his 2016 election’s foray. So my dear Procopio, my gofer, the name of the game in Philippines’ political hustling is “Wherewithal!”
Just woke up my father thru phone and told him the following: "You open HBO and watch war movie "Flags of our Fathers". Although I saw it for several times before, the Clint Eastwood (yes Virginia, the same guy who directs “American Sniper”) directed movie, the flick is about a story of the U.S Marines who fought to death the Japanese in Iwo Jima.
I added that the U.S commander told the young Marines there that they were fighting Japanese soldiers who dug- in to die at the island near Guam and the Marianas Islands. "It was a sacred ground for them, they are there to die and not to surrender”.
Thousands of Americans died on that skirmishes in caves that were effectively fought with flame throwers. That deadly war produced the iconic photo of war correspondent’s Joe Rosenthal of the Marines gallantly raising the Stars and Stripes at the highest peak there called Mt. Suribachi.
Six years after Iwo Jima, my father and former president Fidel V. Ramos fought the North Koreans and Communist Chinese in South Korea under the command of military genius 5- Star General Douglas MacArthur whose HQ was in Japan.
In Iwo Jima, 25,665 U.S and Japanese soldiers died. War and death are sometimes necessary to preserve our way of life, ideal, and belief. To those Doves of War who want the Philippine government adopts lock, stock, and barrel the controversial seemingly onerous Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) despite the MILF coddling one of world’s most wanted criminals Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and the troops of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) so we can avoid war in Mindanao, the Wars in World War 1, World War 2, U.S Civil War, the dysfunctional Barrieto families, er, Falklands, others are the best arguments against them.
If the U.S soldiers fought to death the suicidal Japanese so the Japs could not used the Island as air base for their combat planes in intercepting long-range B-29 Super Fortress bombers, haven for their naval units in dire need of any support available, place to stage air attacks on the Mariana Islands, and instead provide as a staging area for the U.S Operation Downfall – the planned invasion of the Japanese mother land, cut the distance of B-29 raids to Japan, and as a base for P-51 Mustang fighters to escort and protect the B-29 bombers, our government in case war breaks with the MILF would use its resources, although meagre, to ward off the threats in the areas of the BBL as venue of international terrorists like Marwan and the BIFF where these forces, and the billions of monies and resources the MILF gets from the national government and the land there that they will use against us someday.
Many wonder why some senior members of the police officials, who are alumnus of the Philippine National Police Academy, assigned at the regional police office could not become a provincial director (PD). Instead, those that are recommended by the national and regional police hierarchy, composed mostly of graduates of the Philippine Military Academy, are those junior officers that are alumni of the long gray line at Fort del Pilar, Baguio City – my place of birth.
“Bakit si X hindi puwedeng maging PD e siya ang mas senior dito sa PRO (Police Regional Office)? Member siya ng PNPA 1986 while iyong si B ang gusto nila e member lang iyan ng PMA 1992?” I posed to a PNPA alumnus years ago.
Was it because of the tayo-tayo or clique system of the PMA prevails on the selection of this prestigious and lucrative post?
(Why lucrative? You can accessed my previous article “Showboating of Wealth at PMA's Alumni Rites” at (http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com/2011/02/showboating-of-wealth-at-pma-alumni.html).
My friend just nodded. But when I asked the same poser to a chief of police, a superintendent (Lieutenant Colonel in the military) who is a graduate of the PNPA, he told me that even one is a senior officer and an alumnus of the PNPA he could still be sidelined as bet for the PD because of his poor service records.
Some PMYers jest if not with derision those alumni of the PNPA as vocational course graduate because before year 2004 all its graduate in Silang, Cavite were taking two-years on top of their 72 units in college before they were commissioned as Inspector (Lieutenant in the military) in the police force. Before a cadet at the PMA gets his commission as second lieutenant he has to hurdle first the regimental and Spartan liked tough four-year study at the Academy in Baguio City.
Are PMA graduates really close knit?
The other day I met Pangasinan Provincial Director Senior Superintendent Biay (PMA 86) and Nick Alarcio (PMA ’85), brigade commander of the 70ths Army Battalion in Binmaley, during the visit of Vice President Jojo Binay at the office of Dagupan City’s Vice Mayor Brian Lim.
In the huddle, I asked the two officer and gentlemen who sport their respective snappy uniforms if they both knew each other not only as a plebe (1st year) and yearling (2nd year) but as Pangasinenses (Biay hailed from Mangaldan, Alarcio came from Manaoag) during their cadetship at the PMA.
“Of course, yes,” Biay quipped.
“Hind lang kilala, magkasama pa kami in four years sa Academy!,” Alarcio, who is destined to be a general anytime from now, boasted.
There your answer ladies and gentlemen who until could not comprehend why PMYers are a closed knit tribe who got all the icings while the PNPyers got only the ice.
(Oh by the way, I doff my hat to my friend Senior Supt. Harry Fama (PNPA ’90) yes Virginia and Virgilio, PNPA and not PMA, a Dagupeno, and the administrator of the tens of thousands members’ Police Digest at FaceBook , for getting the acting provincial directorship of Camarines Norte). Fama used to be the chiefs of police of some towns in Pangasinan then later plucked as top boss of the Criminal Investigation Detection Group in the Bicol Region).
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at firstname.lastname@example.org)