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  1. Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Interesting read that came out in Inquirer today...Buti na lang nandyan yung student council natin instead of the midnight cabinet sa malacanang.

    The real loser, winner in ad boycott

    Think July-November 1999, when the Philippine Daily Inquirer faced its gravest crisis ever—an advertising boycott spearheaded by no less than President Joseph Estrada, who raged at the newspaper’s stories of graft involving him, his relatives and his cronies.

    “Galit ang Presidente sa inyo … Paluluhurin niya kayo (The President is mad at the Inquirer … He’ll bring you to your knees),” a businessman close to Estrada told PDI president and CEO Sandy Prieto-Romualdez as the Inquirer teetered on the brink.

    It was unthinkable then that 13 years after the Marcos dictatorship was toppled in the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, another Philippine leader would have the gall to make what Ellis would have considered a patently irrational demand on a newspaper: Be kind to me or else.

    And that was how, in the post-Edsa era, President Estrada became the most serious menace to the country’s press freedom.

    ‘Unwitting godfather’

    Before he tried to squash the Inquirer, Estrada first pounced on the much smaller Manila Times. In April of that fateful year, he bullied the newspaper (circulation: 10,000) into issuing a front-page apology in connection with its banner story that he had served as an “unwitting ninong” (godfather) to an allegedly anomalous $450-million power contract.

    The newspaper quickly caved in—thanks to the President’s P101-million libel suit against the newspaper and the BIR’s P2-billion tax assessment on the Manila Times owner, tycoon John Gokongwei. Except for the editor in chief, most of the key editors resigned in protest over the apology.

    To cap his victory, Estrada stood as godfather at the wedding of Gokongwei’s daughter in May. Two months later, the tycoon sold his newspaper to Mark Jimenez, an eccentric Estrada crony wanted by US authorities for making illegal campaign contributions and evading taxes.

    Intoxicated by his success with Manila Times, Estrada pushed his luck and went all-out for the Inquirer, the No. 1 broadsheet with a circulation of 200,000. He reckoned the power of the presidency, coupled with his high popularity rating, would again trump the power of the press.
    What Estrada calculated would be a one-on-one brawl with the Inquirer had begun to spill into the streets, stirring widespread unrest.

    On Aug. 20, the PDI owners and 350 employees marched with 20,000 other demonstrators from various sectors in a rally for democracy on Ayala Avenue. The Inquirer contingent received the loudest applause during the protest against Charter change, cronyism and threats to press freedom.

    The quick fight that Estrada had anticipated was turning into a protracted, costly standoff. As the Inquirer’s ad revenues dipped, Estrada’s popularity rating also plunged.

    From a high of 67 percent in March, the President’s net satisfaction rating tumbled to 28 percent in October, according to Pulse Asia.

    Even before his popularity rating slumped to an all-time low of 5 percent in December, the President decided to cut his losses and sued for peace. He sent word he was willing to sit down with Inquirer editors.

    Inside the lion’s den

    With trepidation, Sandy Romualdez, Letty Magsanoc and five other editors met with the President over dinner at the house of his son, then San Juan Mayor Jinggoy Estrada, in the last week of November. The meeting at Greenhills subdivision was arranged by Raymond Burgos, an Inquirer reporter who had joined the Estrada administration and became the publisher of the sequestered Journal group.

    The President brought with him Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon Jr., Finance Secretary Jose Pardo, Press Secretary Reyes and Burgos. Flanked by Siazon and Burgos, Estrada sat at the center of the table across Letty Magsanoc. I sat on her left and Pardo on her right.

    After the waiters from Le Soufflé had cleared the table at the cabana, the editor in chief gently kicked my foot. She wanted the meeting to get on to the main item on the agenda.

    “Mr. President, before we decided to come here, there were some editors who felt nothing would come out of this meeting. But others said: Why don’t we listen to what the President will say?” I said in Filipino. “Mr. President, we’re here to listen. What do you have against the Inquirer?”

    An uneasy quiet fell on the cabana. “Is this a no-holds-barred meeting?” Estrada asked, glancing at Pardo, who nodded.
    Last edited by Monseratto; December 19th, 2010 at 10:16 AM.

  2. Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Just read it also. Some tidbits of Erap's failed presidency.

  3. Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Lumabas na yung pagka-Bobo ni Erap

  4. Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Kaya galit yan sa INQ, one time kasi, si Erap nasa front page, close up shot... sa mukha nya, may bangaw sa pisngi! Ha-ha!

    Ang reaction nya? Dami naman daw shots na kinuha, bakit yung pang may bangaw ang na-front page.

Erap vs Inquirer