Senators: New Breed of Product Endorsers?

The reporters and news anchors of ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs cannot endorse a product. If they do, they must pack up their things and find their luck to other media organizations where news archors and news reporters appear as endorsers during commercial breaks of a primetime news. ABS-CBN reporters and news anchor have option to shift to showbiz career if they really wish to endorse products. They have another exciting options though – run for public office, senator preferably, and presto, they can start-up another career as senator-product endorser. They can immediately join the new breed of product endorsers.

In ABS-CBN, it is clearly stipulated on their policies that News and Public affairs men must not endorse products because the network protects and preserves the integrity of News and Current Affairs. This might be the among the reason why CNN, BBC, NBC at Fox News highly respect ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs men.

In the Philippine Senate, no senators are barred from endorsing a product. There are no policies that prevent a senator to endorse whatever products – wine, bath soap, detergent, toothpaste, bathroom tissue, herbal food supplements.

I insist the Philippine Senate don’t need to impose such policies because senators are supposed to have sound judgment, high ethical standards, and unbiased on certain products and services.

Isn’t endorsing a brand of detergent a form of bias towards a single detergent manufacturer?

Or should I say that unlike ABS-CBN, the Philippine Senate do not need to protect its integrity as an institution because the word ‘integrity’ has long been lost?

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago recently lambasted the new breed of product endorsers – the Philippine Senators – insisting that appearing on advertisements already qualify as early political campaign. I don’t like to join the legal game of Sen. Santiago.

I see the senator-product endorsers as lame, and insecure political leaders who try to position themselves to the public eye in preparation to 2010. That’s my version of Santiago’s ‘early political campaign’ rants.

Rationalizing thier acts, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, one of senator-product endorsers, defended that he personally believed the product he endorse . The other senator-product endorsers said the same with Sen. Manuel Roxas claim that his endorsement is part of his advocacy to consuming public. Most of senator-product endorsers claimed that the do so voluntarily and without monetary returns.

The senator-product endorsers even accuse Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago of sour-graping, of being merely jealous for not being asked to endorse. That’s childish. Or maybe true.

Among the senators who have appeared in ads endorsing products or promoting their personal advocacies are:

  • Senate President Manuel Villar (a local toothpaste and his assistance to distressed Filipino migrant workers)
  • Senator Loren Legarda (face-whitening food supplement and her tree-planting campaign)
  • Senator Panfilo Lacson (Facial Care Center)
  • Senator Francis Pangilinan (instant noodles)
  • Senator Mar Roxas (detergent)
  • Senator Francis Escudero (food supplement)
  • Senator Richard Gordon (bath soap)
  • Senator Pia Cayetano (fabric softener)

The classic defense is the legality of thier endorsement. No one can argue on that. The ‘good’ senators – Senate President Manuel Villar, Senator Loren Legarda, Senator Panfilo Lacson, Senator Francis Pangilinan, Senator Mar Roxas, Senator Francis Escudero, Senator Richard Gordon, Senator Pia Cayetano – have all the legal rights to endorse a product. but as senators, they have moral and ethical obligations to the Filipino people. And because morals and ethics are quite relative, we will waste much time in discussion.

I personally dislike seeing some Philippines Senators in the 14th Congress posing as product endorsers. If given a chance, I will strip them the privilege to represent us and legislate for our nation. That’s too harsh though. But I insist, I have the power to do that – with my one vote. And my power can be exercised in 2010.

After 2010, I don’t like to see the President to appear on TV ads endorsing herbal supplements or bathroom tissue, nor instant coffee or beauty soap. There is already expressed and unexpressed intention of Senator Manuel Villar, Senator Loren Legarda, Senator Panfilo Lacson,  and Senator Mar Roxas to run as president in 2010.

I hope Senate President Manuel Villar, Senator Loren Legarda, Senator Panfilo Lacson, Senator Francis Pangilinan, Senator Mar Roxas, Senator Francis Escudero, Senator Richard Gordon, and others think many times that endorsing a product is showing bias to a certain product or company. Having bias may hurt the integrity of legislation and the Senate as an institution.

What the senator-product endorsers need is GOOD TASTE because thier ads are done in BAD TASTE. The chamber is not a venue of carnivals as the Temple not a venue for vices!

Read also:
What happen to some Philippine Senators?
Senate inquiry on sex video scandal: Out of direction, out of focus
Arrest Jamby and Pia
Walk for Truth

Blog authored by batang buotan: (Link opens in new window)


The whole nation has been relieved upon hearing that the abductors finally released ABS-CBN reporter Ces Drilon and her companions in exchange of “livelihood package”.

With deep humility, Ces Drilon apologized for causing ‘headache’ to ABS-CBN. Media reports said that Drilon also apologized to her children, mother, brother, sister, and to Encarnacion’s children, saying she felt “so irresponsible”.

Indeed her abduction by few men identified themselves as Abu Sayyaf was an extra-painful not only to ABS-CBN, family, and friends but also to the good people in Sulu, the goverment authorities, and the nation as a whole.

I agree with Drilon’s word that she had been so ‘irresponsible’ for putting her life and the life of her companion at risk. More than what she thought, she also endangered the life of the negotiators and the lives of the people of Sulu.

However, I do not blame Ces Drilon for going to Sulu for a journalistic assignment which instead of resulting to common good, became a national disaster. I am certain if I shoot my stern look to the Military for failing to secure the “special coverage” of Drilon and her team. Should I curse the government for its repeated commitment to crush the Abu bandits yet repeatedly failed to do so? I could not. Doing such will make me insane.

I point my finger to her abductor. Wherever they come from, those bandits always pose as threat. They are like frustrated actors waiting for a cue to upstage the ‘famous’ and take the lead role mainly to get their dubious desire. And there we are, negotiating, pleading, compromising, appealing so that no life will be lost.

We are trapped into this vicious cycle. This already happened many times – bandits abduct, set deadline, terrorize the nation with their threat to behead their captives. During these times, we bargain, we compromise, we give in. Life is more important than the rule of law, after all.

Have we forgotten the Burnham and the other innocent victims of Abu bandits? How much have we wasted in an effort to crush them? How many opportunities have we lost?

Albert Einstein has reminded us that ‘the world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.’

And he added that ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’ is called insanity.

Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!

Firefox 3 is coming to town

New Firefox Web browser to be released Tuesday!

A new version of the Firefox Web browser is scheduled for release Tuesday with improvements in security, speed and design. Read More…

Download Firefox 3 on Tuesday and help set a new world record.

Download Day - English

Enjoy the following benefits:

Exciting Feature

Firefox 3 sets the innovation bar very high with exciting new features, including one-click bookmarking, the smart location bar and lightning fast performance.


Firefox 3 includes phishing and malware protection, plus our new instant site ID info.


With features like built-in spell checking, session restore and full zoom, Firefox 3 makes it possible to work faster and more efficiently on the Web.


Your taste and needs set you apart from the rest. With Firefox 3 you can choose from over 5,000 add-ons that help you customize your browsing experience.

Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!

Special Events

Free Ces Drilon and I will prove you false!

Bandits strike again! Reports say that “Abu Sayyaf bandits have kidnapped ABS-CBN reporter Ces Drilon and her two assistants in Sulu, demanding P20 million for their freedom”. Drilon reported went to Sulu “to cover a special event”. Huh? I wonder how special would that be.

First time lasts longer than last time

At last! Senator Lito Lapid finally got his first bill passed. The bill will be known as the Legal Assistance Act of 2008. Who said that Lapid mysteriously disappear from the Senate floor after the singing of the national anthem? Who has heard him during debates? To the good Senator: may the first time never be the last.

Special and unleaded

Gasoline to rise by P7.50 more per liter this month. Not surprising.

Specially weak

Philippine Peso to fall further and cross the 47 level this year due to a weak economic growth and rising inflation, DBS Bank of Singapore foresee.

Have a special week!

Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!