WAS it a PR (public relations) blunder or campaign propaganda fiasco?
The camp of former President Fidel V. Ramos is set to deny that he threw his support behind administration vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo.
A highly-placed source inside the former leader’s group claimed that a photo circulated on social media by Robredo’s media handlers and carried by at least one major daily (not The Manila Times) was part of the former Camarines lawmaker’s “PR spin.”
“While FVR and Congressman Leni were meeting, her enterprising PR person already had a ready media release and just waited for the usual photo opportunity with the former President. Soon after the photo opportunity of FVR and Cong. Leni, her media handler immediately released it to the mainstream media,” said the source, who is one of Ramos’ senior aides.
The press release sent by Robredo’s PR group claimed that Ramos had endorsed the lawmaker’s candidacy. It was accompanied by a photo of the former president raising the hand of Robredo.
“In the meeting, Ramos shared his campaign experience in 1992 and offered Robredo some advice on how to woo voters as she visits different parts of the country starting tomorrow,” said the statement sent by Robredo’s media group.
The meeting between the two was held at Ramos’ RPDEV office in Makati City (Metro Manila) on Monday, the eve of the campaign kickoff.
“As a senior statesman and former president, FVR is sought and consulted for his wisdom and experience. Other presidential and vice presidential candidates in the past and among the present crop of aspirants have paid him a courtesy call to include Senators Grace Poe and (Francis) Chiz Escudero who already visited him twice for a wide array of consultation,” the source said.
A disclaimer will be issued by RPDEV soon, he added.
“There was no formal endorsement and FVR usually do photo ops for all candidates who pay him a visit. It was business as usual at RPDEV and the Liberal Party candidate was actually the latest aspirant to pay FVR a visit,” the source pointed out.
Robredo placed third in the last pre-election survey by Pulse Asia from a list of six vice presidential candidates.