POSTSCRIPT / June 19, 2016 / Sunday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Opinion Columnist

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Noy not a new kid on the Twitter block

THERE is supposed to be a new kid on the Twitter block going by the name of Benigno Aquino III, describing himself as “Incorruptible. Smoker. Liberal. Clean. Patriot. Nationalist. Single.”

As of 10 a.m. yesterday, his account ‏@pnoy_aquinoiii had posted 54 tweets, followed 208, and was followed by 40. The numbers are unusually small for a President wading into the tricky Twitter waters. People would want to engage him or get an insight into his mind less than two weeks before he bows out of office.

We were intrigued why the President would bother to follow this columnist in his Twitter account. But we followed him back.

My first tweet was a careful “Good morning, Mr. President. Welcome to the fast and furious world of Twitter!” He sort of corrected me: “Good evening!” I replied: “Sorry for the minor time difference. Where I am, it’s morning.”

There are other uncanny details. First, although the makeup of his banner is neat, it uses prominently the Inquirer flag – a no-no if one wants to attract other journalists of competing media.

We noticed also that his name does not have the usual “S” middle initial (for “Simeon”). Then he claims that he joined Twitter only this June – rather late for someone who should be up-to-date in his media positioning.

His scanty tweets, some of which are “palaban,” can be passed off as those of a Noynoy Aquino fed up with his being savaged by media in the twilight of his term.

The quick and simple solution to our gathering doubts about the authenticity of the supposed Twitter account of President Aquino was to ask Malacañang directly.

Texting Press Secretary Sonny Coloma, we got this prompt reply: “The official Twitter account has always been @noynoyaquino. The Twitter account @pnoy_aquinoiii is a fake account. The President started tweeting in 2010 through his campaign social media team a few weeks after he declared he was running for president. His Twitter and Facebook accounts were maintained after he became president in 2010.”

• Sample tweets of fake Noy account

HERE are sample tweets of the fake Noynoy Aquino account. We crossed out the names of some twitters who were unkindly used to carry out the fraud. (Right after the aquino tweet, we have italicized and enclosed in parentheses the tweet that he was supposedly retweeting or replying to.)

@pnoy_aquinoiii: Tie a yellow ribbon ‘round the old oak tree. It’s been six long years, do you still want me?

@pnoy_aquinoiii: Support @RRD_Davao the way you gave me support as long as nasa tama. (@ANCALERTS: PNoy bares cordial talk with Duterte)

@pnoy_aquinoiii: My choice is the people’s choice too.(@inquirerdotnet: Solon lauds Leni’s choice of ‘humble’ inauguration before barangay captain.)

@pnoy_aquinoiii: Yun naman pala. Salamat. (@commrguanzon: The law does not prohibit extension. COMELEC extended SOCE in 2010. 2013 too. All political parties & candidates benefit from extension.)

@pnoy_aquinoiii: My appointee is brilliant. High five!(@MeilouSirena: Fact: Law provides for deadline. 30 days after election. Fact: Law allows late filing. Does not actually prohibit it.)

@pnoy_aquinoiii: Ang sigurado ako, hindi ko ninakawan ang taong bayan at hindi ako nagtraydor sa aking mandato.

‏ @pnoy_aquinoiii: I can’t wait to go back to our house at Times. Two more weeks.

@pnoy_aquinoiii: Hija, iba ang opinion sa outright lies, innuendo at falsehoods. We have freedom of speech kaya ka nabebengga.(@ilxxxlk: I simply do not understand why anti-Martial Law activists, those who supposedly value “freedom of speech,” want us to stop writing our opinion)

‏@pnoy_aquinoiii: It’s a start. K to12 is the way forward.(@News5AKSYON: Mahigit isang milyong estudyante, nakapag-enroll na sa Senior High School ayon sa DepEd.)

@pnoy_aquinoiii: Can’t take the heat? Can’t tolerate anyone who opposes your view? Ang lungkot mo naman. Sabi mo nga, get real. (@ilxxxlk: You are blocked from following @ilxxxlk and viewing @ilxxxlk’s tweets)

‏@pnoy_aquinoiii: I never oppressed the media. All I asked for was fairness. We made errors but we did some fine jobs as well.(@ABSCBNNews: PNoy: It was never personal with media)

@pnoy_aquinoiii: What about you, charlatan? You’re subtracting from the sum of human intelligence with your work output.(@bexxx0: The COMELEC has proven that even the Philippines’ highest & most credentialed officials have a poor grasp of the real essence of democracy.)

@pnoy_aquinoiii: Sa atin ang West Philippine Sea. Patuloy nating ipagtanggol ang kung ano ang atin. (@inquirerdotnet: Aquino on China: We’ve done what we can.)

@pnoy_aquinoiii: Totoo pero hindi kaya sa ngayon ang hinihinging umento para sa lahat ng nurse. Malilintikan ang budget natin.(@dzrhnews: Nolasco: Ang suweldo ng mga nurse sa pampublikong ospital ay karaniwang P12,000-P15,000 habang P9,000 to P12,000 ang sa pribadong ospital)

@pnoy_aquinoiii: Kung hindi pumalpak ang execution mo sa trabahong ipingkatiwala sa’yo, wala ka sana sa puntong yan.(@ABSCBNNews: Napeñas: “Hindi tayo darating sa puntong ito kung (Pres. Aquino) owned up his actions and his responsibility.”)

‏@pnoy_aquinoiii: Thanks for perfectly describing yourself. Correction: you don’t have a small mind. You have no mind at all.(@bexxx0: Some morons can’t even tell whether their tweets focus on ideas or on people. That’s even worse than having a small mind.)

@pnoy_aquinoiii: Who do you think you are? You’re nothing but a charlatan who thinks too highly of yourself. Iniwan mo nga bansa mo. (@bexxx0: No Filipino now can lecture anyone — not even themselves — about being a society of Laws.)

@pnoy_aquinoiii: You’re welcome. (@bworldph: Foreign portfolio investments turned around to a net inflow in May following “orderly” national elections)

@pnoy_aquinoiii: MAKABAYAN is too busy posing as agents of change. You’re silent on Binay’s cases & you’re allied with Marcos in ‘10. (@toxxxxuz: PNoy is too busy posing as guardian of democracy. But Noynoying about the police from doing mass arrests and LGU parades of suspects.)

@pnoy_aquinoiii: You blocked the president? Who can’t handle criticisms then? Hanggang kalye na lang ba talaga kayo?(@toxxxxuz: You are blocked from following @toxxxxuz and viewing @toxxxxuz’s Tweets)

@pnoy_aquinoiii: No emergency powers can solve this mess. I tell you. I did my best naman. (@dzIQ990: Mga pasahero sa NAIA T3 naglakad na lang dahil walang galawan ang traffic papasok.)

(First published in the Philippine STAR of June 19, 2016)

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