Monday, June 2, 2008

Senators as Product Endorsers: Early campaign strategy?

Last May 12, I posted in our blog, the issue of our senators acting as product endorsers. I wrote about it because I saw Loren Legarda’s face occupying a whole page on that Sunday’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. She was endorsing Lucida DS, a food supplement-cum whitening (tablet or pill, I’m not sure). I then recalled that there were other senators appearing in commercials – Chiz Escudero for Circulan 41 – nasa dugo lang iyan!; Ping Lacson for Facial care for men (before this, he endorsed a brandy); Pia Cayetano for Downey, fabri-care; Mar Roxas for Tide; and Manny Villar for his “advocacy campaign” to protect the OFWs. I failed to mention Richard Gordon appearing on Safeguard’s laban sa limang banta commercial; and Kiko Pangilinan for Lucky Me pancit canton with Ate Shawie.

Now, this has become a big issue. We saw Miriam lambasting her colleagues in her colorful English-Ilonggo accent. She also wrote Comelec Chairman Jose Melo asking him to stop these senators and other presidential wannabes from appearing in commercials as this constitutes electioneering even if the 2010 polls is still a good 24 months away. Once in a while I agree with Brenda’s position, although her tantrums are also suspect. (Pwede rin naman sya sa commercial, iyong tipong mga before and after).

Legarda has several huge, huge billboards along EDSA, obstructing our view of the skyline. I saw one near Guadalupe bridge and another near Quezon Blvd MRT Station. As a senator, she should be in the forefront of a campaign to dismantle oversized billboards right along the busiest highway in Metro Manila because of the dangers they pose to motorists and pedistrians. She should not wait for another accident to happen. And why endorse a whitening (tablet/pill?). What kind of values is she promoting? Why can’t she instead, help put some sense on the pinays (and some pinoys, as well) to accept the color of their skin? Ang pagpapaputi ba ang dapat pagkagastusan ngayon? Ano ba ang masama sa kulay ng pinoy? Now that Korina Sanchez has reported that tests made on the product she’s endorsing revealed that the amount of whitening content claimed is not true, what does this make of her? If true, Loren becomes a party to the deceit. Her other commercial is on her advocacy for the environment. Ilang kahoy ba ang pinutol para sa one full page ng dyaryo para sa mukha nya?

My bias shows. I don’t really like Loren. I had a short-lived admiration for her during the Erap impeachment when she appeared to be doing her homework. But when she jumped to the other side just so she can run as Vice President, that was the end of it. Recently, she was shown doing a beso-beso with GMA. She said it was a natural act of courtesy. It’s called “Ethica”, according to her. Is that the right term?

As to the others, they know that it’s part of the campaign strategy and their getting paid for it (except for Manny Villar). Unlike Prospero Pichay who spent a fortune for political ads but still lost. Dapat nag-endorse na lang siya ng Ligo. Masarap ang sardinas na may pichay!

(Note: the three pictures above were taken from other blogsites, whose names I failed to get. Nevertheless, I would like to thank them.)

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