Phantom of the offer | Inquirer Business

Phantom of the offer

/ 09:57 PM September 14, 2012

One of our close relations, a business-minded but rather sociable aunt, admitted recently over dinner that she was supporting former DILG undersecretary Rico Puno, in what she termed as the obvious media demolition job against him.

There, from her simple declaration, one could easily intuit that, indeed, the business community, or even the public, was following all the brouhaha in the Aquino (Part II) administration over media reports on Puno’s actuation right after the tragic death of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.

We all know that Puno is already an intriguing figure among the top government men of today. Our leader Benigno Simeon (aka BS) personally handpicked Puno, who happened to be a close friend of the president. It was clear from the start that Puno did not really belong to any of the numerous political groups around BS, and we all know that there were quite a few of them going their own merry ways in this administration.


In short, in the main body politic of the administration, Puno was really a complete outsider.


According to the latest media reports, as of yesterday Puno was already literally “out,” as he resigned his position in the Aquino (Part II) administration, a resignation that his friend BS accepted.

And so the question now arises: Will the so-called conspiracy theories, which started to go around when a television network used the word “ransack” to describe what Puno and the police did in the offices of the late Robredo, continue to get more and more absurd?

It was even speculated that Robredo was investigating Puno before the tragic plane crash, somehow starting off the grind of the rumor mill that Puno could had something to do with the fatal accident—again, an “accident,” as pronounced by the air crash investigators.

Thus the insinuation in media was that, one, Puno wanted Robredo dead and, two, this sneaky Puno wanted to snatch the purported “documents” in Robredo’s offices and condo unit, apparently because they would incriminate Puno, to destroy them or shred them or chew them to bits.

You could say that the storyline in the media demolition job against Puno, really, was just too simplistic and too contrived as to become believable.

Really now, how hard would be for somebody, who was powerful enough to start the media demolition job against Puno, in the first place, to reproduce those purported “documents,” if they really existed, assuming that Puno chewed them to pieces.


From what I learned in all my more than 30 years as a news reporter, when a top official like Puno wanted to “ransack” a place, he would be stupid or crazy—or both—to do it himself. An official like him surely had dozens of men to do dirty jobs for him, especially something as evil as “ransacking” a dead man’s office or home.

Now let us say that Puno could be the hands-on type who would not order his people to do the dirty jobs for him, but would “ransack” other people’s places himself.

But according to the same media reports, the really stupid or really crazy Puno brought with him a whole team of police officials and personnel to “ransack” the offices and condo of Robredo.

Worse, one of the police officers even called the lawyer of Robredo. Why? Perhaps the policeman wanted to ask the lawyer’s permission to “ransack” those places?

It turned out, based on reports in other media outfits, Puno and another DILG undersecretary, not to mention the chief of the Philippine National Police, actually talked about the “ransacking” which, as it happened, was an order direct from our leader BS.

Normally, one would keep a ransacking operation top secret. And this stupid Puno even blabbered his vile scheme to the chief of police?

But really now, what was so serious, or even so significant, in Puno’s reported attempt to secure the offices and the condo unit of the late Robredo—so significant that the whole country, including a number of high profile senators, seemed to have been caught in the media jumble?

One even wondered aloud in media why the wife of the late Robredo had to call the justice secretary for help in securing the offices and condo of her husband. Bingo. She did not trust this Puno guy!

Well, after all those “ransacking” reports in media, the poor grieving Robredo widow would be hard-pressed to find anybody to protect her husband’s properties.

Thus, there could be a million reasons why she asked the justice secretary, such as she knew the secretary personally, or the secretary was the obvious choice, or the secretary’s telephone number was the first one that the widow saw in her directory. A million reasons!

The justice secretary, talking to media, reported subsequently that everything in the offices and condo of Robredo was in order.

Anyway, among the guys down here in my barangay, when somebody in the family dies, somebody else has to take care of everything that the deceased leaves behind.

I thought it was a natural reaction from somebody, anybody, in the DILG to take care of Robredo’s possession. I thought our leader BS did right when he ordered his close friend Puno to do it. Who else could have offered the obvious choice—a phantom?

* * *

OUR mobile telephone company, Globe Telecom, recently admitted to the public that it suffered a technical glitch in its system—again.

Aha. A mere glitch then was the reason why subscribers complained, and some rather vehemently, at least based on their postings in the Internet, about delayed text messages, dropped calls and slow Internet connections.

In those few days of the technical glitch, Globe Telecom subscribers thus were flooding the company with complaints, not to mention the many postings on the Internet. Clearly Globe Telecom had to acknowledge the problem, assuring its customers at the same time that it was doing everything to fix the glitch.

The company even announced that it would give its subscribers a rebate. From what I gathered, the rebate would amount to P20 per subscriber. Wow!

I am not sure that Globe Telecom gets the point of the complaints from its loyal subscribers like myself. We miss the old reliable Globe Telecom way back in the 1990s, and we want the same efficiency back today.

Based on media reports, Globe Telecom went on to blame its main competitor, Smart Communications, for the numerous complaints aired by Globe Telecom subscribers. As if all those complaints were invented by competition.

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Really, it is useless for Globe Telecom to pass the buck.

TAGS: Business, conrado r. banal iii, featured column, Jesse Robredo

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