VP Binay’s rumor mill
For quite a while now we have been receiving spam messages from mobile numbers we don’t recognize that seem to be coming from the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
We think it’s from the Binay camp because the messages either applaud the Vice President’s various programs or defend him against his detractors. Expectedly, when we try to call or text the numbers that sent the messages, nobody answers.
For instance, on February 23, we received this message from mobile 0918-3690931:
“BINAY SUCCEEDS…The mission of VP Binay to China to plead for the 3 Filipinos to be executed was a successful. VP Binay was able to convince the Supreme People’s Court of China to postpone the execution including 72 other Pinoys on death row have received TWO YEAR reprieves. The experienced, street smart VP Binay demonstrated that he knows how to go about discharging any assignment given to him. Pres. Aquino should utilize him more for the resolution of difficult problems. Congratulations, Mr. Vice President.”
We know of course that this came as a result of the Chinese government’s order on Friday, February 18 for a stay of execution for the three Filipinos convicted of drug trafficking.
This was not the last we heard from Binay’s busy texters. On February 26, we received another message from mobile number 0908-7445761. The message said:
“VP Binay left for Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and UAE last Friday night, Feb. 25 until March 5, to represent P-Noy in talks with the leaders of those country and dialogues with our OFWs. At the same time he will monitor devts of our OFWs in Libya, Egypt and other Middle East countries. Good luck VP and We wish you all the success in the new assignment given to you by P-Noy. Mabuhay an ating OFWs.”
We know how that effort ended. Binay was not able to go to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia because he was not given a visa. His office had no choice but to issue a statement saying, ”Vice President Binay regrets the cancellation of his visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He was looking forward to meeting with overseas Filipino workers (OFW).”
But invisible defenders went beyond that. They looked for somebody to blame for the snafu. Thus, on Tuesday, March 2, we received the following text message, this time from mobile number 0921-3291473:
“It is unfortunate that VP Binay’s effort to talk to Saudi govt about condition of our ofws has been sabotaged by the ill-informed report of Akbayan Cong. Walden Bello. Akala ko ba kakampi kayo ni Pnoy? Bkit nyo sinisira ang relasyon ng Pinas at saudi at nilalagay sa alanganin ang hanapbuhay ng mga kababayan natin sa saudi.” (I thought you were friends of Pnoy. Why are you ruining the relations between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia and placing the the jobs of our countrymen and countrywomen in danger.)
Not one to take matters sitting down, Bello responded, not via mobile text blast, but through popular social networking site Facebook:
“I am sure the source of this text is not the Vice President, who is an honorable man. It is nonsense to claim that the report of the Mission to Saudi Arabia of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs on the condition of OFWs in that country was the reason that Vice President Binay did not get an audience with the King of Saudi Arabia.”
Bello added, “one good thing that this text has done is spread the word about our report, which documents the endemic rape, sexual abuse, and maltreatment of Filipino domestic workers in Saudi and urges the Philippine government to conclude a bilateral labor agreement with the Saudi government to protect our workers.”
In his note, Bello posted a link to the report: The Conditions of Overseas Filipino Workers in Saudi Arabia.
As a parting shot to his accusers, Bello said, “Happy reading. And I hope the authors of the textblast take the time to read the report.”
We know of course that spam messages from politicos are nothing new. They are usually common during the election season. But it is years yet till the next elections.
Whoever is sending those messages must have a lot of money to spend. After all, mobile text messages are not free.
Editor’s note: Joey Salgado, public information officer of the Office of the Vice President, sent this text message in reaction to the item above. “The OVP is not in any way involved in the reported text blasting of Vice President’s activities nor does it approve of such practice.”
TAGS: Jejomar Binay, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), walden bello