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The Outstanding Gaffes of the Year

December 21st, 2008

Got this article from philstar.com, and I find it worth posting:

The 2008 TOGY Awards

MS.COM By Yoly Villanueva-Ong

As a three-month-old column dedicated to communicating better in life, Ms.Com meets the yearend by launching the 2008 TOGY Awards (The Outstanding Gaffes of the Year Awards). This is the communications version of the late Richard Blackwell’s notorious   “10 Worst Dressed List.”  Choosing the nastiest, most insensitive, patently untruthful, idiotic public declarations and sound bytes turned out to be a very tough job. You see, determining the year’s 10 worst statements was the ironic counterpart of Diogenes’s search for one honest man. He didn’t find any, while Ms.Com found too many. So, instead of the T in TOGY standing for “ten,” it now stands for definite article “the.”

Understandably, the mother lode of blunders comes from government officials who are constantly basking in the glare of the limelight. They provide natural fodder for media scrutiny and public derision, or if you want to be kinder, “audience entertainment.” One would think that this administration, with a long history of “kuryente,” would insist on making media training compulsory for Cabinet members. Or at least be more discriminating in selecting only those without fatal foot–in-mouth disease, the e-“bola” strain or mad cow syndrome. After all, they are supposed to represent, here and abroad, the cream of the crop, not the screaming crap of the Arroyo government. It’s pure speculation that the President deliberately surrounds herself with clowns whose every utterance is a debacle waiting to happen, so that her own communications deficiencies will be dwarfed in comparison.

Since the search was limited only to this year, some past lapses from the highest office of the land don’t qualify, even if we remember them word for word. At least she learned to keep her mouth shut this year, and leave the punch lines for the President’s men.

Drum roll, please. Ladies and gentlemen, in no particular disorder, the dishonor roll of the 2008 TOGY Awards!

1) Sec. Anthony Golez cheekily said, “Unlikely,” when asked about the possibility of the Bangkok airport siege and street protests happening in Manila, but quickly backpedalled when the Thai Embassy took exception to the allusion that they were politically immature. You be the judge: “ Because our people have reached a high degree of political maturity, whereby our people respect the due process and the rule of law.”

2) Congressman Pablo Garcia Sr. of Cebu, with sacrilegious devotion at the third impeachment hearing: “More than 2,000 years ago, our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified because of an opinion survey. Pontius Pilate presented our Lord to the crowd and said, ‘Whom would you prefer, Barabbas or Christ to crucify?’ Our Lord Jesus Christ lost in the survey. Is that how we are going to judge our President, because of an opinion survey?”

3) Secretary Jesus Dureza in shameless suckup: “Bless the President so she will have the forbearance, good health, and tolerance to lead this nation up to 2010 and perhaps, who knows, even beyond.”

4) Albay Governor Joey Salceda in a moment of complete candor: “She may be a b*tch, but she’s the luckiest b*tch around.”

5) Secretary Romulo Neri of the SSS, as intimated to Jun Lozada on various occasions at least 20 times, before hiding behind the skirt of executive privilege: “Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is evil … she is the center of corruption.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” ” She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.” “She is evil.”

6) Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, reacting with shock and anger at the Hultmans’ reaction of shock and anger, when Claudio Teehankee Jr., the convicted murderer of their daughter Maureen, was granted executive clemency by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo without their knowledge: “I don’t think we have to fly to Sweden just to notify them. And they know, based on this document, that this was going to happen. They’re hypocrites.”

7) Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, when asked what he thought of some convicted high-profile murderers having special quarters with luxurious appointments in the New Bilibid Prison, separate from convicted common murderers: “It is a difficult situation to mix them up with other inmates. Inmates tend to kill each other.”

8.) Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, fuming about the libel case and administrative complaints for grave misconduct and oppression filed against him by SPO1 Rex delos Reyes, a be-medalled policeman from Iloilo, who claimed to have been a victim of intense harassment ever since he was seen with Gonzalez’s arch-enemy: “It’s his privilege to file charges but he should make sure the case is meritorious, otherwise he should wait for my counterattack.”

9) Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, justifying why the University of the Philippines’ budgets were being cut: “UP produces dissenters and naked runners. These same protesters are ungrateful, wasting taxpayers’ money with no sense of duty to the state and little concept of national interest.”

10) Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez on Susan Roces’s call for President Arroyo to step down for stealing the 2004 presidential elections: “She is a griping widow … but too beautiful to be sent to jail.”

11) Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez on whether President Cory Aquino should be monitored for her renewed call for President Arroyo to resign: “I think there is no need to monitor Cory Aquino because she’s also busy monitoring her own daughter.”

12) Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez on Julia Campbell, murdered Peace Corps volunteer, on taking a walk by herself on the Ifugao mountain: “She was a little irresponsible … and a bit careless … she could have courted trouble.”

13) Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez on the Subic rape case of “Nicole” declaring that he wanted to downgrade the charges against three out of the four accused but didn’t so as to: “appease the mob on this imagined rape.”

14) Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez disagreeing that the P10,000 offer he made to 18 Iloilo baranggay captains if they could deliver a 12-0 sweep for Team Unity was a bribe and a violation of the Election Code: “It’s not a bribe, but a prize.

“As far as I’m concerned, I haven’t done anything wrong … I can afford to keep my promise because that’s just equal to one harvest from my wife’s poultry farm … there’s probably some nut out there who would file a case against me. There are many nuts in this country. More than coconuts, there are other nuts.”

15) Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita absolving Sec. Gonzalez from any campaign wrongdoing: “It’s up to him if he has resources. I don’t see why we should fault him for that. That is an exercise of political leadership on the part of Secretary Gonzalez.”

Since it’s a clean sweep for Secretary Raul Gonzalez, who won practically 50 percent of the entire 2008 TOGY awards, he is automatically elevated to the Chamber of Horrors and conferred the dis-honoris causa. Secretary Eduardo Ermita deserves a dishonorable mention for spinning a patent Election Code violation as an act of political leadership. It is mind-boggling that our leaders delude themselves into believing that we, the unfortunate recipients of their tall tales, actually swallow them hook, line and sinker. So who’s the bigger fool?

What’s the prize for our TOGY winners? A windfall! Twenty years’ supply of anti-gaffe duct tape to seal their mouths shut; a gift certificate for free speech coaching; gender-sensitivity training; a media relations workshop; a drastic vocal makeover to straighten out the tongue; a lifetime of free visits to a psychiatrist of their choice to unbend the mind; a spiritual retreat to awaken an amoral conscience; and the grand prize … a superhero gadget that can erase the memory banks of all those who have heard and witnessed their gaffes.

Of course the last prize is a joke only. Just like them.

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  1. December 24th, 2008 at 08:48 | #1

    happy holidays po, kuya sam! :)

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