By Herbert Vego
IS it to draw public attention away from bigger scandals in the government?
An “overkill” is how I see the media hype heaped on “sexy dancing” performed by female entertainers at the command conference of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) at the Diamond Hotel in Manila recently.
Everybody knows that sexier scenes unfold daily on TV shows for general patronage! They are among intermission numbers intended to break the monotony of formal events.
I would not be surprised if the hype is a diversionary trick aimed at drowning the embarrassment suffered by the Department of Tourism (DOT), which showed video images of foreign tourist spots during the launching of its “Love the Philippines” slogan.
No person in his right mind would believe the DOT’s “never mind” excuse while alleging that the DBB advertising agency had not been paid the partial amount of P49 million for the promotion package overvalued at P250 million.
The diversion to sexy dancing could have been an “inside job” aimed at humiliating NBI director Medardo De Lemos because there are subordinates who salivate to succeed him.
De Lemos, an Antiqueño, hit the mandatory retirement age of 65 on June 8, 2023, but was extended by Pres. Marcos as requested in a letter by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla. Therefore, unless revoked, his co-terminus tenure would last till Pres. Marcos’ last day in office.
Thus, it is ironic that Remulla – whose office has jurisdiction over the NBI — was quoted in the media as having called the incident “shameful”.
We would not be surprised if it’s De Lemos who would soon be summoned to a Congressional inquiry instead of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, who happens to be a daughter of Governor Gwen Garcia of the vote-rich province of Cebu. Lagot kayo kay Gwen sa 2025 pag nagkamali kayo.
By now, Frasco must have started her two-week vacation leave somewhere abroad together with her husband, Deputy Speaker Rep. Vincent Franco Frasco (5th District, Cebu).
Doubtless, pecuniary motive still stands out behind the DOT’s habit of changing slogans with each change of President. Haven’t “Wow Philippines” and “It’s more fun in the Philippines” done well?
Why not focus instead on reforms aimed at keeping tourists safe and comfortable? Their word of mouth would either attract or repel other tourists.
It is not unusual to hear foreign tourists complain of having been “robbed” by dishonest taxi drivers upon reaching their destinations.
A GRATEFUL ‘RETURNEE’ WRITES
JESSELLE GLUMALID, one of the 20 MORE Power customers in the second batch of recipients of bill-deposit refunds, expressed words of gratitude to the power-distribution utility through her “Jessel Jessel” Facebook page. Here are a few excerpts translated from her Ilonggo post:
“I had dreamed of receiving a big check, but I had no luck experienced by those who had won in singing and dancing competitions. Not even in raffles. But my dream eventually came true when I received a big check. I wonder how to consume it all.”
On an FB page of hers, she was receiving a giant replica of her check from MORE Power President Roel Z. Castro in last Friday’s refund occasion at the company office. The undisclosed amount was the equivalent of the bill deposit that she had made for connecting with the distribution utility.
The “deposit returnees” refers to customers who have religiously paid their monthly bills for 36 straight months. Their refunds ranged from P2,500 to P8,000, depending on the one-month bill deposits they had made upon applying for the line.
Old customers, alas, have not been refunded by the previous distribution utility, which is therefore guilty of violating the Magna Carta for Residential Consumers, which requires refund of bill deposits of consumers who have paid on time for 36 straight months without experiencing disconnection.