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)