October 22, 2017, 9:39 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07128 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.18168 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0346 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33849 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02474 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03455 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03882 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.59705 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03208 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00732 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.78397 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01941 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02639 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13315 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06146 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01941 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26213 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20042 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 388.58696 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03878 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02429 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01906 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.12442 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1285 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 56.61879 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.99029 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01941 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.81172 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42217 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.44992 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12229 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.91751 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21396 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25699 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34161 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52232 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01642 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03984 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01474 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01481 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08518 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.91421 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 174.2236 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14253 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.96933 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15143 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45421 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12329 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.19002 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.04988 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 262.46118 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06762 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26145 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.63199 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 665.74146 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03707 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.46487 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01373 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19732 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.00019 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.33191 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 78.26087 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.11083 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.46894 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.96991 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00585 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01592 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.49204 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 160.69488 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.21972 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.98137 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.29173 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26378 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05918 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01204 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02652 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18258 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33463 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.00621 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.37811 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 47.47671 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15597 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.84045 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65703 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30221 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.90062 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36633 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08199 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26335 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.8323 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58773 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15441 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0099 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02778 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00746 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01941 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06268 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06206 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03901 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06957 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 109.45264 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07337 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0755 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.11374 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.1349 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07279 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15088 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26054 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12926 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15816 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0264 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01475 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43102 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 147.90373 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.81134 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 402.56018 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16984 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.99573 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26335 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64344 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04808 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04338 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07108 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12963 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58637 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.42003 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51417 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 70.78804 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01941 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5722 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 155.95885 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1936 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 440.93556 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02426 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04922 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.76747 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05241 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.69488 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.94759 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.85151 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26339 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 100.72787 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.02446 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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