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Aquino opts for ‘good news’ diplomacy

President tries to send a positive message to halt poll slide

Aquino opts for ‘good news’ diplomacy
President Benigno Aquino III shakes hands with outgoing Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Edward Joseph Adams on Wednesday (Photo: Malacanang Photo Bureau) reporters, Manila

May 5, 2011

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The presidential palace is launching a website containing only "good news" in a bid to halt President Benigno Aquino's recent slide in the polls. Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda blamed negative media coverage for the 18-percent decline of Aquino's satisfaction rating. Bishop Deogracias Iniguez of Kalookan yesterday, however, said the president's stand on the reproductive health  bill was partly responsible. Pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS), however, suggests neither are right and the major declines in Aquino’s ratings are in the areas of foreign relations, corruption and high prices. "We will come up with another website primarily to explain the good news. We’re just finalizing the website," Lacierda said. "That is really his concern. Each administration wants to convey to the public what it has been doing for them," he said. Lacierda said the president had directed all cabinet officials to submit their "good news" to the Communications Group for publication and that his team was "trying to work up a system that would expedite" this. The website will be separate from the Official Gazette of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office and thePresidential Communications and Operations Office. Lacierda said a closer look at the survey results would show an increase in the Aquino administration's approval rating in terms of honesty, corruption, and reconciliation with rebels. "So it’s a mixed bag of moderate and good but we continue to address these concerns. Right now, our focus is to really address economic concerns and that’s what we’re doing right now because we view this primarily as concern for the increases in oil and the attendant consequences of the price increase in oil," he said. PM14105

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