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November 16, 2008


All public figures, popular and most often, controversial, are always expected to remain secure in their persons. Such is the primary reason why you see them with a retinue of ubiquitous, usually burly security personnel, guarding their flanks and parting traffic and onlookers as if they were Moses.

This is true for the rich and famous, politicians and entertainment personalities alike, what with the proliferation of Pinoy paparazzi, legitimate and ‘hao-siao’ news media, wackos, and the genuine threats: KFR’s or kidnap for ransom gangs.

The pet peeve of ordinary mortals motoring in our streets are those flasher-equipped security vehicles with sirens wailing bullying their way through traffic with the tips of their h igh-powered automatic rifles jutting out menacingly from half-open windows.

Specially-trained bodyguards follow VIP security protocols, particularly the use of code names when referring to their subjects in secure radio communications conversations.

Among the most common are alpha-numeric tags like the familiar ‘Code 1’ or nicknames like ‘TANGO-LIMA’ or other combinations.

An old colleague of mine, satirist Leslie C. Bocobo who calls himself a pseudo-pundit and blogs over at recently posted this whimsical entry:

“I think it was some members of the US Secret Service who were responsible for inventing the acronyms POTUS to mean ‘President Of The United States,’ and FLOTUS, ‘First Lady Of The United States.’ May I suggest then for the Presidential Security Group (PSG) to coin the acronym POTA for their current boss to mean ‘President Of The Archipelago.’ So, if Barack Obama is the incoming POTUS, then what do you think, will they approve it? – that our current chief-executive is the POTA?”

Pilyo (naughty) this Leslie character, isn’t he?

All in good humor I believe, but surely a barometer of the national temper as reflected in the recently released survey of the respected polling firm Pulse Asia.

That report says, in part:

“In October 2008, amidst unresolved political and economic issues facing her administration, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo continues to struggle with rather low levels of public approval (27%) and public trust (24%). In contrast, much disapproval (46%) and distrust (51%) persist among Filipinos for President Arroyo. These negative sentiments dominate in all geographic areas and socio-economic categories within the country. Metro Manila respondents appear to be most critical of the president (65 % expressing disapproval as well as distrust ) while those from Luzon excluding Metro Manila post significantly lower levels of disaffection (42% disapproval and 46% distrust).”

(Note: I am quoting Mr. Leslie Bocobo with his permission.)

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