Update: There is now an online Petition for resignation of Sec. Coloma, and the renewal of honesty and decency in the Presidential Communication Team. You can sign the petition using this link, share it to your friends and network. Let us help President Aquino in keeping his government clean and worthy of our support.
Only the official representative of an organization, business, celebrity, or band may create a Facebook Page ((Facebook FAQ on Fan Pages. Source)).
By his own account of what has transpired ((PNoy, you just lost one die-hard supporter by Ben Totanes. Source.)), the Communications Group wanted to create a new and separate Facebook Page for Noynoy Aquino the President, instead of taking over the page created by Ben Totanes, which he generously offered on one condition, that the “openness” of the page – positive and negative comments about P-Noy and his administration were admitted – be maintained. After all, it was the right thing to do if P-Noy really wanted to have a democratic feedback mechanism.
However, the manner in which the Communications Group went about in sorting this out is what has drawn flak and the ire of others especially Ben Totanes and other volunteers like my self.
In a matter of just days, the official Facebook Fan Page for P-Noy’s “Likes” sky-rocketed to the level of the original Fan page. From 100,000 to roughly 1.5 million in just six days!
Transparency means honesty
And by starting from scratch, it means that the number of its fans or “Likes” will start from nothing and must grow organically over time. But that was not what had happened. The official P-Noy Fan page was created Aug 16, 2010. From then up until the BSAIII Fan page was deleted, it had roughly over 100,000 “Likes”. Now, it has 1.5 million fans or “Likes”.
Something fishy went on. Ben Totanes found out that the Communications Group had something to do with it:
Batay sa aking mga narinig galing sa ibang kaibigan na naging kasama namin sa kampanya at may alam sa nangyayari sa Malacanang, ang BSAIII ay ini-utos ipasara ng Communications team ni P-Noy, at karamihan ng member nito, ini request sa Facebook na ipa-lipat sa “Official” Facebook Page ng wala nilang pahintulot.
So that’s why the BSAIII Facebook page was deleted and 1.4 million of its fans magically transferred to the new “official” P-Noy Facebook page.
Doesn’t it remind you of ‘Hello, Garci‘? Recall that GMA won over FPJ by just over a million votes through the vote padding and shaving (dagdag-bawas) orchestrated by former Comelec Commissioner Garcillano during the 2004 national elections.
This time around, the Communications Group with the help of the Facebook team, stole 1.4 million “Likes” from the BSAIII Fan page.
What happened to freedom of choice?
The 1.4 million fans should not have been transferred from the BSAIII Fan Page to the newly created Official P-Noy Facebook Fan Page without the consent of not Ben Totanes et al, but of the 1.4 million fans themselves. My self included.
It is for the simple reason that they were the ones who “liked” the original BSAIII Fan Page because during that time, they were in support of Noynoy Aquino and his campaign for the Presidency. However, there are those who may have lost their willingness to support him ever since he took office and became P-Noy, in other words they now “unlike” him or what he has been doing since becoming President.
“Liking” the BSAIII Fan page then and the new Official PNoy Fan Page now are two different things. The whole point is about about free choice. With what the Communications Team has done, though they are denying it ((Second Statement on the Official Facebook Fan Page of President Benigno S. Aquino III. Source.)), is they have robbed the supporters of their free choice.
With the new Official P-Noy Fan Page now amongst the pages that I “like” they have forced upon me something that I do not. The move was tactless, disrespectful and coming from a government agency, it is a brazen display and abuse of power no matter how light this issue is.
I was a volunteer during the campaign, so I understand how Ben Totanes feels; betrayed, taken advantage of and now being sidelined by those who surround the President.
Ayaw ko nang maging boluntir para kay P-Noy, bastusan lang pala ang mangyayari.