Executive Assistant Emerito Magdangal, a Malacanang employee under Press Undersecretary Robert Rivera has shown the nation and the world the proper protocol and procedure now being observed by Malacanang on handling written notices addressed to the President – by ripping it to shreds.
The newly formed Citizen’s Congress for Truth and Accountability (CCTA) had submitted to Malacanang a notice for GMA to appear before a Peoples Court. Everybody knows that such act was only a symbolic gesture. Of course, GMA will not budge at any and all attempts that question her credibility. She wouldn’t even want her Cabinet members to attend any Congressional hearings, much less to appear before a Peoples Court that will put her on trial.
After receiving the two-page notice of appearance and a copy of a complaint against GMA, Magdangal walked away and started tearing the documents in full view of the media and proudly saying “Kalokohan ito [This is nonsense].” He added later on that the documents have “no legal basis and was not important and will merely clutter our files.And because it is nonsense, it is but proper to trash it.”
I had once worked as Executive Assistant in a Government Commission under the Office of the President. We properly received all letters addressed to our principal regardless of its relevance. We logged it and put it in the files for proper documentation. I don’t remember assuming the task of interpreting the legality of any document addressed to our office nor was it our task to determine the clutter in our files and putting them in the trash.
Perhaps for Magdangal, and Malacanang, what he did was a heroic gesture exemplary of a good civil servant. But to many who have seen the video footage of Magdangal smiling and happily tearing the documents can easily discern that it was a display of arrogance, an indecent and improper demeanour of a civil servant and the height of utter fanaticism.
The intent of the CCTA in serving their notice might only be a symbolic gesture, but Magdangal has put real meaning to that symbolic gesture by receiving it and then ripping it apart.
In the battle of propaganda whose gain would it be?