Sunday, June 3, 2007

Undersecretray Robet T. Rivera

I remember when Ernie Jazul once asked me about how media can play a role to neutralize the boiling political situation in the country at the height of the Garci tape scandal. The situation is a stalemate and might lead to anarchy. The opposition have not attained the required number of votes for the articles of impeachment to reach the Senate. While the ultra-left were busy organizing series of protests to pressure another revolt, the ultra-right is espousing for a military junta. On the political scene, however, the legitimate successor in case of an abnormal transition of power, the Vice-President, remains loyal to the president while the Senate President stood behind the opposition. I told, Ernie: maybe former President Fidel V. Ramos has a better formula.

After sometime, it was in Pilipinas Ngayon Na’s show of Usec. Rivera that FVR first appeared to lay-out his proposal to amend the Constitution into a federal/parliamentary system and submit to the people directly the issue of whether the term of office of the President be shortened. This shifted public opinion and neutralizes the pressures from the center, the right and the left of our society that nearly erupted into chaos and anarchy. After I took pictures, His Excellency Fidel V. Ramos and I posed. He told me that Gen. Orlando Soriano, our administrator at NIA where I once served as Senior Executive Assistant is already well after suffering from mild sickness. The rest is history.

Year passed by, I dropped by at the studio to personally hand over my gift to him on Mother's Day in one of the taping of Pilipinas Ngayon Na - a charcoal painted picture of his mother. I saw how happy he was. He then told me: Why don’t you drop-by on later date to take pictures? Tere, the production manager of the show told me the date. I thought it was just a taping, the way I used to whenever I have nothing to do after office from work every Thursday afternoon. Comes that day, I was surprised! It was the FAMAS Awards Night!

I learned later that an internal dispute happened in one of the oldest award giving body in the film industry, the FAMAS. FAMAS cannot provide a budget for the awarding because of an injunction issued by the court witholding its funds in the meantime that the issue as to who are the rightful elected officers of the body is pending litigation. No T.V. Channel wanted to air its awarding ceremony because of an impending case and due to financial problem. Usec. Rivera, again, came to the rescue. The heat brought about by the political turmoil was still fresh even among those in the film industry, but in Usec. Rivera’s show actors, actresses, filmmakers, producers came in as one . . . as Filipino. The first time that the award giving body held its awarding in a government channel.

Today, Pilipinas Ngayon Na will be celebrating its 2nd year at NBN-4 comes June 10, 2007. It has been on the air in IBC-Channel 13 where it started. Usec. Rivera used to tell us whenever I am being commissioned to do lay-out designs for his show: Who else will promote us except ourselves? But deep in his heart, I know that Robert is not doing these things for himself, but for the country and the Filipino people.


Herewith is the 54th FAMAS Awards Night at Pilipinas Ngayon Na!