December 14, 2017, 8:25 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07286 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.2371 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03532 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34185 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02619 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03532 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03968 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.64127 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0329 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00748 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.73174 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0268 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13611 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06556 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27679 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20509 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 397.22221 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03964 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02545 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01965 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 13.01091 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13129 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 59.76786 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.15079 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.85774 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43159 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.50853 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12539 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95833 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.2829 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26354 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35337 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53936 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01684 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04169 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01486 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01487 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08926 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93552 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 178.63095 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14558 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.02202 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1549 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46552 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12694 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24167 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.29563 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 269.1865 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07009 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27806 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.49306 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 705.13886 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06944 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.47282 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01405 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.25091 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04067 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.38333 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.98016 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.15476 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.85714 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.5879 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00599 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01627 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.64028 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 164.68253 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.98016 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.0371 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.48373 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26984 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06049 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01231 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02708 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18758 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34038 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.03175 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.00397 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.25754 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15954 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.97619 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.67083 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30893 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.20853 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37825 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08082 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26978 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.06349 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60937 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16524 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0454 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02854 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00763 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06416 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06375 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.16171 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07086 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.49603 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07223 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07805 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.16704 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.57698 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0744 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15376 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26488 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13228 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16689 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02681 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01487 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4406 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 151.38888 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.05159 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 412.7976 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17361 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.21786 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26978 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64663 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0499 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04555 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07593 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13154 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59567 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.30555 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53914 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.66666 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57401 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 160.53571 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19792 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 450.57538 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11786 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05142 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 11.04186 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05357 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 11.51528 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99881 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.95933 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26986 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.96627 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.18056 Zimbabwe dollar

The Mocha-Martin merry-go-round

If you’ve ever been taken around circles or ridden on a carousel then you must be familiar with the feeling. Remember the organ music artificially piped playing over and over as fiberglass horses mimic galloping in slow motion and the make-believe ponies with the wildest eyes and gaping mouths ride up and down candy-striped poles. 

Immerse in the fantasy. Remember the dazzling lights bouncing off mirrors, bending the spectrum and distorting images as the carousel spins to children’s music under a tasseled canopy resembling a gigantic circus tent. 

It’s part of the circus. Elsewhere, magicians play with smoke and mirrors, circus strong men lift oversized weights, and clowns and jokers prance around, grandstand and elicit laughs. Nothing is real and the carousel ride is surreal. The optics and audio-visuals are, however, awesome and the roundabout tour, mystical and magical.

Store this at the back of the mind’s eye as we awaken and discuss a similar circus. Let’s confront the reality communicated behind these pages.
Communication is critical given the diversity of issues converging and the simplistic if not crudely colloquial responses from the Malacanang press office that alarmingly ring hollow of an understanding of causes, effects and solutions. 

A series of comedic episodes involving a recently appointed assistant secretary under a veteran media practitioner might provide gossip fodder but the profound implications on the credibility of the government cannot be dismissed as simple instances of comic relief. Daily, values tank, lives are lost and economic development endangered.

Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson’s notably aggressive and almost fanatical defense of the president’s behavior is constantly overshadowed by avoidable faux pas that the media pounce on simply because she is, at times, short on circumspection albeit copiously cavalier of the language and material she employs to get her rather zealous messages across. While par for the course on social media -- coincidentally her specific charge at the Palace -- from the perspective of disciplined discourse these introduce extraneous variables that distort the truth. 

For instance, while seeking support for our troops in the south Uson accompanied her plea with a photograph of Honduran soldiers in prayer. While the optics were merely representative and the posting was on an unofficial medium, the disconnects, however slight, generated a viral feeding frenzy.

Uson is assistant secretary at the Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO). Hers is not one-off. Other official agencies had likewise used disconnected material. The Philippine News Agency (PNA), supervised by PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar in discussing urban warfare, used a photograph from the Vietnam conflict to represent fighting in Lanao del Sur. They later corrected the mistake.

Earlier, PNA reported an official of the Department of the Interior claimed a number of nations believed that there were no extrajudicial executions in the Philippines. No such claim was made.

Secretary Andanar has likewise been entangled in a communications controversy. Media reacted rather violently when he suggested reporters might have been involved in a pay-off in relation to a press conference on the extrajudicial killings issue.

Communication’s criticality is more so heightened with the declaration of martial law encompassing over a third of the Philippines from a confined conflict erupting on a 99.6 percent Muslim city covering merely 0.08 percent of the total area under martial law. Note that martial law covers even Bislig on Mindanao’s eastern seaboard where, statutorily, either invasion or rebellion should likewise be raging. While religion and geography pale in comparison with security aspects that compel drastic declarations, the criticality of truthful communications attains more importance at this time than at any other.

The reasons are legion given misconceptions on martial law and the deep albeit justified nightmares drummed into our subconscious from past horrors and profound fears inflicted under a despot.

Note that Rodrigo R. Duterte, in justifying martial law, cited the beheading of a police official during a checkpoint in Marawi. (Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 24, 2017). Never mind that the man resurfaced later, his head intact. If that is the quality of intel communicated to the person empowered to declare martial law, then we’re in trouble.

Officials attribute communications lapses to a propensity for hyperbole and the deliberate use of popular prose and colorful colloquialism, spinning presidential communication as a matter of style, which in turn is a matter of choice. In a previous administration we were even fed that ludicrous yarn of alternative truths.

It’s unfortunate that Duterte’s communications officials were vetted under controversial standards. For Uson, it was personal payback using taxpayers money. For the foreign-educated, experienced and highly qualified Andanar, it might have been, ironically, a simple matter of his being in the room at the right time.

Truth is neither a question of style nor a matter of choice. There are no alternative truths. A half truth is a lie. The verbal depravity constantly inflicted on us cauterizes the public, numbing, dulling, and relegating official lies as simple matters of syntax and style. 

It is time we get off this merry-go-round. The circus clowns, the magicians and the jokers have had their laugh.
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