SPECKS OF LIFE: Media savvy

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” – ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

Calm, cool and collected, PBBM faced his “grillers” from members of the mainstream broadcast media recently and revealed his savvy, a facet of his persona that many of his detractors would not have believed.

The inquirers zeroed in on the frequent presidential travels, the agri sector and the rising costs of commodities, the China state visit and he meeting with Xi Jin Ping, the irritating issues at the West Philippine Sea involving Pinoy fishermen and their “near” collision with Chinese coast guards shooing them away, the Maharlika wealth fund, and some other.

The ‘dialogue’ would have been far more “colorful” had the time been extended because I thought there were still follow up questions that needed to be raised and clarified.

Judging from the manner he premised his response, PBBM did not attempt to hide – or was not hiding – something from the journalists as sometimes – even White House spokespersons do – interviewees are wont to evade.
(Expect a possible meeting with the print journalists to balance the media interview so that none is considered a favorite or friendlier with the powers that be. Don’t you think so?)

Of course, viewers would have preferred Jessica Soho’s (GMA7) presence because Karen Davila of ABS CBN was there.
Soho’s absence is very intriguing as she is known to be a feisty anti-Marcos observer since way back.
Was she not invited or she preferred that somebody else be sent in her stead?

Anyway, the proceedings went casually fluid and smooth as the Chief Executive explained in layman’s language his responses.

There was a vacuum that I noticed as the broadcasters were given pre-assigned numbers so that the order of asking questions is not muddled.

Only a pair of questions were granted to each interviewer although a few managed to make more than one follow up question.

The chap who asked about Zandro Marcos’ being a member of the RP delegation that flew to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland was quite a damper.

The young third generation Marcos, being the author of the Maharlika Wealth Fund in the House of Representatives which PBBM proudly presented to the august audience and to prominent businessmen there, was tasked by the President to elaborate on the concept.

But the thing that floored me was the query if the young Marcos was being prepared by the President and his family to follow his political footsteps and someday run for the presidency when the time is ripe.
That question was sophomoric.

No, the Chief Executive softly uttered, although he seemed to have been taken aback and then he recovered.

In so many words, PBBM responded that all politicians journey where their political directions bring them. A politician prepares himself for the tough task ahead and if he carefully plots his way intelligently, he will reach his political destination.

Meaning, it is up to the young Marcos to chart his own political fate.

But for the sake of argument, that already is a given. Why pursue it?

This is especially true for scions of old but prominent political clans and families that have produced presidents – like the Macapagals, the Aquinos, the Marcoses and presumably, the Dutertes.

(Unfortunately, the Osmenas, the Roxases, the Magsaysays have yet to produce one from their ranks.)
PBBM said this year his foreign travels will be limited except for summits that require his executive attendance like the APEC and the ASEAN.

He said as a “new kid on the block,” it was necessary for him to introduce himself and get to know the “right” people whom he can personally call and dialogue with.

He brings along a retinue of Cabinet members and their staff to
ensure that the necessary paperwork and documents for presentation are available when they meet and engage foreign counterparts.

“What is important is the R-O-I ( return on investment) that will be realized as the exchange value for the expenses,” PBBM told his interviewers at the Palace.

Definitely, no President of any country would waste his time and taxpayers’ money traveling to a foreign country without bringing back positive results of his sales pitching.

The R-O-I may not exactly come soonest but as the president’s men begin to review and make follow ups of their engagements and meetings, something concrete and solid results will emerge.

Our country may not be like Singapore as of now but our potentials – unlike our neighbors – are huge and unlimited. (Email feedback to fredlumba@yahoo.com.) GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!

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