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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Response to Sass Rogando Sasot: Duterte has supporters who are not blind beholden emos

So Sass Rogando Sasot posted a reaction on her FB page to defend Andanar:
Regarding the GRP Short article on Andanar being suspected as a “mole.” Ang premise nila eh si Andanar eh walang ginagawa to protect the “international image” of the president. FYI, in order for you to counter the PR of those who would like to bring down Duterte, you need to spend A LOT OF MONEY for international PR. Mahal po ang international PR. Si Duterte po ang ayaw gumastos for international PR. Yup, Duterte is not like PNoy’s admin who spent a filthy amount of tax payer’s money for international PR.

I think someone on Get Real Post already pointed out before that Sasot is book-smart but lacks common sense. We see proof of that once again here.

Does regularly monitoring and editing Duterte’s Wikipedia page to give foreigners more balanced info cost a lot of money? No, it doesn’t. It’s certainly cheaper than what Andanar is wasting every month printing a useless local monthly tabloid that reaches only a few thousand Pinoys.

In the age of social media, international PR can be done at very little cost. Look at Donald Trump. The entire mainstream media in the US is against him, but he slaps them down quite effectively just using his Twitter account. He uses Twitter to communicate directly with his target audience and expose the disinformation of the mainstream media. He calls out specific news outlets and reporters directly on Twitter if they report wrong info. His tweet-storms are carefully calculated to keep the enemy confused as to what he would do next.

A similar Duterte Twitter/FB account for international audiences should be studied. There’s enough international curiosity about Duterte right now that will get him a lot of followers. It will be a mix of haters and admirers for sure, but it doesn’t matter. Just build a following. Learn from Trump’s strategy. Keep the messages authentic and provocative, straight from the man himself (but strategically vetted of course). That’s how Trump keeps the world hanging on to his every word.

Sasot seems so concerned about taxpayers’ money, but doesn’t it bother her how much Andanar is spending on his junkets with no tangible benefits whatsoever to protecting the image of the current Philippine government? Yes, Andanar is doing a lot. But he’s doing a lot of the WRONG THINGS.

It’s also quite intellectually dishonest of Sasot to make the GRP comment sound like it didn’t consider Duterte’s own instructions for his people not to defend him. Contrary to her slant, the core message was: “Maybe Duterte gave instructions to Andanar not to use government resources to defend him. But Andanar needs to make Duterte understand that defending him = defending the Philippines. Duterte represents the Philippines. The more damaged his reputation gets, the harder it is to market the Philippines. I deal with a lot of foreign businessmen and I’m fucking tired of having to spend more than half of meetings just trying to explain that what they read about Duterte and state-sanctioned killings in the Philippines isn’t true.”

Sasot did not even provide a link to the GRP article so her readers could judge for themselves if the points raised were valid. It seems she just wanted to defend Andanar, full stop.

Sasot needs to understand that many people in GRP support Duterte as much as she does. But we are not blind emos. Many of us are a lot more experienced than her when it comes to managing businesses and negotiating with foreign investors. We know what we’re talking about, we see what’s happening to the deals we’re trying to work out. And we’re getting worried. We’re pointing out the lapses and weaknesses of Duterte’s men because it’s necessary, so they can be corrected.

If Andanar wants to redeem himself, he can start by fixing Duterte’s Wikipedia page and keeping an eye on it. Read it. It’s a fucking mess. Even Leila de Lima looks like a hero on that page.

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