Anti-Epal Campaign Against Joel Villanueva Only; No Dirty Politics for Ad Industry

I have read the the appeal of businessmen to spare them from politics. I am referring to this story, Advertising execs cry foul over ‘dirty’ politics, published online by The Daily Tribune.

Just for today, I promise not to drag the names of these businessmen – so I would not mention their names here.

I would like to clarify that the anti-epal campaign does not target the businessmen nor any business industry. The targets are the politicians who used their position to shamelessly promote their names and faces and those who have intention to run for an elective position – like Joel Villanueva.

In the report, the businessmen confessed that Sec. Joel Villanueva was informed about their “project” – putting up “outdoor ads along North Luzon Toll Highway and the South Superhighway”.

Here, I quote:

We sought Mr. Villanueva for an audience and it was during that meeting that we presented and sought permission covering our proposal to put up these billboards in our private spots, using private funds for an advocacy that runs consistent with the belief of our private corporation.

There could have been no problem if those ads just exclude the face of Joel Villanueva and Noynoy Aquino. They can better communicate their advocacy without the faces of Joel Villanueva and Noynoy Aquino. I share the same line of thoughts with blogger Noemi Lardizabal-Dado. As she noted in her Twitter account (‏@momblogger):

Nothing wrong with promoting TESDA but TESDA is not Joel Villanueva [Villanueva] is not TESDA. Why put his face?

BlogWatch.Ph (@blogwatchdotph) shares similar thoughts:

If it’s promoting TESDA’s skill-building, why are they promoting a person?

Following the same logic, should they put the faces of DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro to encourage children to study or to show support to basic education? Why are they not doing that? The reason is simple. Luistro will not run for senator and they cannot get favor from him while Villanueva, if lucky enough and get a seat in the Senate, could give them some favors.

I suggest the billboards should instead contain pictures of trainees, machines used in trainings, or quotations about blue collar jobs. There are thousands of ways. Having the face of Joel Villanueva in billboards just discourage the youth. That man is not a very good model for the Filipino youth.

Why cry foul about the billboards of Joel Villanueva? It is because it is an epal act; it is because Sec. Villanueva already discussed his intention to run for Senator.

So who would believe that Sec. Villanueva is promoting TESDA? I would say, the TESDA Director is not promoting the agency but used TESDA in promoting himself! That’s deception!

Why there are many entities willing to spend millions just to put up those billboards of Joel Villanueva? It is because Joel Villanueva will run for senator and if he wins, the donations will be translated into favors. Would that make sense?

Sec. Joel Villanueva continue to be peotic as if he does not know the connection among his intention to run (ambition to become Senator), the donations, his shameless promotion of himself, deception, and of being epal.

Clearly, a man who dwells on his political ambition would forget that yesterday, he cried foul over the same stuff he is doing today.

TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva and the Anti-Epal Bill of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago

How I wish the “anti-epal” bill of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is now enacted. I want to see Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva to go to jail.

The former anti-graft (CIBAC) champion is now top on the list of appointed officials who are using their office and public funds to advance their personal interest. It’s not a secret that Joel Villanueva is grooming himself to become senator as evidenced by his billboards financed by TESDA funds.

Senate Bill No. 1967, known as the anti-epal bill is formally titled as “An Act Prohibiting Public Offers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project”.

The bill imposes a jail term of between six months and one year on a public official who would have his or her name or image printed on a “signage announcing a proposed or ongoing public works project.” If the bill has already been enacted, most likely, TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva would spend between 6 months to a year in jail. Amen.

Joel Villanueva, by using millions of TESDA money for self-promotion is a violation of the “anti-epal” principles. It is a form of corruption. It is very disgusting how Joel Villanueva use the hard-earned taxpayer’s money to fuel his ambition to become senator.

Do you want to see the epal billboards and tarps of Joel Villanueva? Check the post of Mom Blogger and see the shameless self promotion of Joel Villanueva.

In the words of Alvin Capino in Manila Standard Today,

Villanueva’s self-promotion campaign using Tesda funds includes not only traditional billboards (anyone who passes through NLEX cannot miss Tesda’s billboard featuring a huge photograph of Villanueva) but an expensive electronic billboard on Edsa as well.

There are even buses where Villanueva’s photos are prominently featured as part of the Tesda ad. We saw Villanueva’s Tesda “epal” bus ad in the back of a JAM transit when we went to Laguna last week and we wondered how much Tesda spent to put up those ads and how much the agency is paying monthly for those bus ads.

There are also TV commercials of Tesda again promoting Villanueva. It would not be surprising if there are radio and print ads that give Villanueva credit for Tesda’s accomplishments.

What gives people a bad taste in the mouth at seeing the expenditure of millions of Tesda funds to promote Villanueva is the fact that Villanueva is running for a Senate seat. He is not only engaged in what appears to be early campaigning but he is using public funds for it.

Santiago is right when she points out that public officials must not claim credit for projects funded by taxpayers’ money stressing that the practice is not only unnecessary and highly unethical.

But for a young ambitious man, would Joel Villanueva still remember his words about ethics, accountability, and about corruption?

It is very disgusting that in his website, he is described as leader with strong moral character. But what morals are they talking about when public funds are being used to print and promote his name and face? Where are the christian values of Joel Villanueva?

I think Joel Villanueva should not be given a chance to become Senator. Otherwise, our children would remember him as one of those who use their positions for personal interest.