Smartmatic chairman: Cory’s close-in media adviser


A bit of information that was not mentioned in the bio-data of Smartmatic Chairman Mark Malloch Brown, as posted on the company’s website, was that he was the close media adviser and speech writer of the late Corazon Aquino. He was then disguised as a foreign correspondent in the “snap” elections that led to the 1986 People Power Revolution in the Philippines.

He may even have played a very crucial role in Cory Aquino’s ascent to power in 1986, according to an authoritative book on that episode.

Sources among Aquino’s subsequent Cabinet claimed that Malloch Brown had developed a close relationship with Cory and his family, including his brothers-in-law.

A company spokesman denied that Malloch Brown paid a courtesy call to President Aquino 3rd in July this year. The spokesman, though, did not disclose whom Malloch Brown met with in his trip.

At the end of that month, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista announced that Smartmatic, with its local affiliate Total Information Management (TIM) Corp., was awarded the P1.7-billion contract for the supply of 23,000 new precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines for use in the 2016 elections. Last Thursday, the firm was also awarded a P558 million contract to provide Comelec with election results transmission services.

The transmission contract was a negotiated one as the Comelec declared the past two biddings as failed ones, claiming the losing bidders had submitted incomplete eligibility requirements.

Book that narrates how US firm “handled” Cory’s campaign that led to EDSA I. Right, it’s main operative, Malloch Brown, now Smartmatic chairman.

Book that narrates how US firm “handled” Cory’s campaign that led to EDSA I. Right, it’s main operative, Malloch Brown, now Smartmatic chairman.

Benigno S. Aquino 3rd is the first President of the Republic whose votes were counted through an automated system, invented, manufactured, and undertaken by Smartmatic. There have been persistent claims by computer experts, principally by Philippine information technology pioneer Gus Lagman that the system has been and will be subject to manipulation.

Malloch Brown carries the title “Lord” as he was appointed to the House of Lords in 2007. Among the high posts he had occupied were UN deputy secretary general and chief of staff under Kofi Anan, UN Development Program administrator and minister of state in the British Foreign Office under former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

He started his career nearly at the bottom of the rung, though, as political correspondent of The Economist from 1977 to 1979. His bio-data (which he obviously drafted), posted on a Yale University website when he was a professor there read:

“Before joining the World Bank, he was the lead international partner from 1986 to 1994 at a strategic communications management firm, the Sawyer-Miller Group, where he worked with corporations, governments and political candidates. He ultimately became co-owner of this fast-growing firm with three other partners. He advised Corazon Aquino of the Philippines when she successfully ran against Ferdinand Marcos.”

The Washington-based Sawyer-Miller was the lead PR group hired by Cory Aquino’s camp when she ran against Marcos in 1985. A book by James Harding, “Alpha Dogs: The Americans Who Turned Political Spin into a Global Business” narrated in detail how much of Cory’s media campaign and propaganda were handled by that PR group.

A facsimile of Sawyer Miller’s registration under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act.

A facsimile of Sawyer Miller’s registration under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act.

A source at that time claimed that Sawyer Miller was picked as the lead PR agency for its timely recommendation that the opposition group adopt the “Yellow Ribbon” and a popular Western song about the homecoming of a convict released from prison “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree” for its campaign branding.

Among the book’s narratives on Malloch Brown and his role in Cory’s campaign:

“Back in 1985, Malloch Brown was still an unkempt reporter with next to no experience on the campaign trail. He had worked for the United Nations and was now working for The Economist, having established a small offshoot of the magazine that focused on poverty.”

“(Hacienda Luisita golf course designer Trent) Jones introduced the man from Sawyer Miller; (Corazon) Aquino politely reminded him that she would have no Americans on her campaign. “That’s why I’ve brought you a Brit,” Jones, said smiling. Cory and her supporters wanted a campaign by the people for the people, not one stage-managed by US professionals. Malloch Brown’s credentials allowed them, more or less, to maintain that truth. (With a worldly smile, Malloch Brown looked back years later and said, “I was probably a little guilty of not [offering]complete clarity.)”

“Malloch Brown first went to work on redressing the damage Cory Aquino inflicted upon herself in her interview with The New York Times (and convinced her to reverse her statements that she would negotiate with the communists and that she would work for the removal of the US bases.)”

The book described Malloch Brown’s propaganda strategy that Cory adopted, the demonization of Marcos, a tactic her son, Benigno 3rd, continues to use three decades later:

“Malloch Brown was living on the fringes of the press corps, picking up the scuttlebutt. He came to see the campaign in binary terms, knocking Marcos down and building Cory up… Twenty years later, Malloch Brown sat in his office on the thirty-eighth floor of the United Nations building and said that Cory had to be pushed to go negative, but that the decision to get more aggressive, dirtier, had been quite deliberate: ‘We set out to make it about Marcos. It was very negative campaign.’ ”

“At the family’s business headquarters in downtown Manila and at the old family estate Hacienda Luisita, Malloch Brown would coach Aquino, he, the badgering interviewer; she, sticking doggedly to a simple script. As with all Sawyer Miller campaigns, the message was distilled into something with bumper-sticker simplicity: This is a fight for democracy. It’s time for change.”

“The next step was encouraging a reluctant Mrs. Aquino to attack Marcos personally. She was, after all, a convent girl. Her family, the Cojuangcos, were part of the same elite political class as the Marcos family. She was not naturally inclined toward character assassination. (Later, though, Aquino did) go negative.

“Malloch Brown and Teddy Boy Locsin, a young Filipino man who had been an aide to Ninoy Aquino and who had a long political future before him, were the factory wordsmiths. The effect was that it was an ambidextrous campaign, dirty on the one hand, holy on the other.”

The 1986 elections
We all believe that Cory won the elections, right? The Sawyer Miller book discloses how Malloch Brown made us believe that:

“On that afternoon on Election Day, Aquino and Malloch Brown decided to start work on Cory’s victory speech. ‘We knew Marcos was going to claim victory,’ Malloch Brown explained. ‘We were going to preempt him.’ She said she wanted to go out for some sushi and tempura. When she got back, she hoped her victory statement would be written. It was. She recorded it at home, just as the polls were closing. And it was released before midnight.”

“The fact is, the counting of the Filipino ballot was expected to continue for three days. Malloch Brown says: ‘We were jumping the gun very deliberately on midnight that night. Marcos, according to his aides, had gone to bed when Aquino declared victory. His plan had been to wait for a day or two before announcing that he had won, in order to give his victory greater credibility. Now the palace scrambled to get Marcos team to hold a press conference, countering Aquino’s announcement. By the time Marcos declared who won the election, it was three in the morning. Too late for the Filipino deadlines.’”

“Malloch Brown had provided the statistics for the presumptive victory statement in addition to writing it. He had put together a rudimentary exit poll, which he still insists offered an accurate snap assessment of the Filipino vote. (Respected media personality) Peter Jennings was always unconvinced of Malloch Brown’s exit polls, claiming they were ‘a little ahead of the science on this.’”

(The official Batasan Pambansa count had a Marcos winning 10.8 million to Cory’s 9.3 million. Namfrel had Cory with 7.8 million to Marcos’ 7.8 million, until it stopped its count.)

The book claimed:
“To this day, the Aquino camp generally belittles the role of Sawyer Miller. The good reason for this is that Filipinos are proud of the 1986 revolution, and understandably, resentful of suggestions that Marcos was swept from power by anything other than the undiluted will of the Filipino people.”

The book’s revelations made me wonder how we could have better understood the Marcos era, to draw from it useful lessons for nation-building, and not just totally reject everything the strongman did as bad, had there been no such PR man as Malloch Brown who convinced Cory to demonize Marcos, and is here with us again as Smartmatic chairman.

On Wednesday: ‘”Smartmatic is a riddle,” a confidential cable of a Western embassy in Venezuela concluded.


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  1. We need to stop this. Tama na ang ilang dekadang panloloko sa mga Pilipino. Dapat matapos na ang yellow ribbon.

  2. As I was telling everyone that late CORY was a dictator and not the late Pres. Marcos. THE YELLOW BRIGADE, ATOM, Malloch Brown and other legal fronts of the CPP/NPA and opposition joined together in 1986 when there was no Martial Law they WANTED TO topple Marcos but they were unsuccessful all they do is to destablize the country politically and economically. It was JPE and the RAM Boys who did it why, its because PFM will not retire the overstaying Generals in the AFP to include The Tabako (Gen. Ramos). After the successful Coup De Etat, Enrile group handed in silver platter the government to late CORY as the President who was never elected into the Office. The true DICTATOR CORY declare revolutionary government and do away with the Constitution (Marcos did not do that doing away with constitution) she then fired her VP Doy Laurel, LATER JPE and appointed constitutional commissioner to work for the constitution suited to her desire and caprice while government corporations owned by the people were given to her choice oligarchs like Meralco, and systematically enriching her friends and oligarchs who happened to flood foods to 100,000 rallyist supporters of Enrile and Ramos for them not to leave EDSA, the friends and oligarchs controls CORY who created fake/artificial nationwide brownouts, she allowed importations of generators, mothballing of bataan nuclear power plants, then allowed the creation of PSALM caused the never ending high cost of electricity. Now, the SON voted by the COMELEC THRU PCOS as the making of the ADOLF HITLER like DICTATOR follows the mother with NAZI LIKE PARTY THE LP who at all cost removed the CJ Corona, placing JPE, JINGGOY and BONG AGIMAT, he continue her mother’s legacy by unsuccessfully removing VP Binay, making her mothers friends and oligarchs to become dollar billionaires, they are now in all big time government projects, others went to putting power plants (COAL FIRED POWER PLANTS) which are unclean and polluting our air. HIGH COST OF ELECTRICITY CONTINUES, THEY ARE THE PRIORITY IN FINANCING AND GOVERNMENT GUARANTED LOANS. PAHIRAP SA BAYAN.

  3. What a REVELATION Ambassador Tiglao.
    Now we know who is CORY.
    Now we know Ninoy Aquino – FAKE HERO

    It is not Marcos who masterminded the killing of Ninoy
    but a member of the COJUANGO CLAN.

    A bad fruit did not come from a good tree.
    This explains BS Aquino’s behavior.

    WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS bulllllllllssssssshhhhhhiiiiiiiiitttttttttttt.

  4. Ernesto Aquino on

    Wag natin hayaang ma-control ang dayaang halalan. Ibagsak ang dayuhang smegmatic-kupaling Malloch Brown.

  5. Mr. Tiglao is making sense in his article this time. There must be a bigger picture that we are not aware of…

  6. we will vote for MDA-BBM for presidency and vice president, not controlled by somebody. Again, this devil chairman of Smartmatic back again to manipulate with our election in 2016 with instruction of this lunatic president Abnoy to ensure the win of their Liberal Party. No way.. We must black listed this man into our country, purely interference with our internal affairs… Mga salot sa bayan itong mga Aquino family na ito. Lumalabas na ang katotohanan ng mga kasinungalingan ng mga dilawan kulto sa pamumuno ni Abnoy at ng kanyang mga alipores na demons.
    People please feed ur mind with truths and facts.

  7. Mr. Tiglao,

    Thank you, thank you for this very informative article. Together with Mr. Tatad, I love reading your columns. My suspicion was finally confirmed about Cory’s propaganda to demonize the late Pres. Marcos. Thank God for the internet, we can read this even here in the US. Regarding Smartmatic, Hugo Chavez of Vanezuela used this to rig the elections to his favor. I wish you can expound on this in your future commentary.

  8. Mary Ann Dioneda on

    I hope you can dig more and share us light into who else are member of Malloch’s team aside from Teddy Locsin and if they are still around and active in political spinning in the country. …. and who was paying Malloch’s talent fee? ……Is it true that Ninoy planned with the handlers of Maloch team The Cory’s campaign a couple of years before he came back in 1983?

  9. Maliwanag na ba kung gano katindi ang papel ng mga dayuhan dito sa Pilipinas, nu-on at hanggang ngayon? Mga iput (baliktad ng puti, as in erap baliktad ng pare) ang nagpapatakbo ng bayan natin, hindi tayong mga Pinoy, at yan ang tunay na ugat ng problema natin. Nung panahon ni Carlos Garcia, ang sinunod niya ay ang “Filipino First” policy, ngayon dapat Filipino Only.

  10. The Truth coming out slowly. After all Marcos was not that bad. I believe Bongbong is confident to tell us that Ph is at the level of SG had his Father was given the opportunity to finish his plan for the country. The Truth will set the Marcoses free very soon.
    Sometimes we just listen to one side and play deaf to the other. Im nto a fan of McCoy but considering his achievement to the PH he was more patriotic to the country than other politicians.

  11. Looks like he’s one sneaky snake in the grass. And so it seems our goose is already cooked for the 2016 elections. No matter who we vote for it has already been decided by this smartmatic machine a foreign intervention of our sacred votes and this present govt. is a conspirator of all this! Oh well what can I tell you.

  12. pinaglalaroan lang tayo ng mga kano. until and unless we acquire real independence then our country is just like a puppet on a string. we are only dancing to the tune of uncle sam. poor pinas, it cannot move without its uncle’s go signal. i am not a leftist nor a communist but a poor pinoy with concern. we must have a real independence and just have a shadow of uncle sam’s mantle.

  13. Leodegardo Pruna on

    I hope that Teddy Boy Locsin would come out to react on this column otherwise he would be carrying through his conscience what he has been keeping all these years. On the basis of the expositions by this columnist, the Filipino people deserve to know the truth about the matter of Cory and her advisers and the works they continued to do with P-Noy. God bless the Philippines.

  14. I am now in the impression that the group of Mallock Brown, Et Al, are probably the same group that conspired/conspiring to inflict a continuing, deliberate chaos to our nation and people. I am now convinced, imperatively convinced they are concocting more troubles in the days ahead!?—-(Political or otherwise)—-I ask now our ‘Pilipino-Democratic-Loving/PINOY’s to be more vigilant and NOT to allow this Crooks to be even near our Space/Sphere/Manipulate our Political Exercise–They MUST be banned.! mvnoyMovement for Free Philippines (mfp/usa)–hindi natin sila kaibigan/at kasama!Yaan ang Tunay na salawikain at paninindigan ni Senator NiNoy Aquino, Jr.

    • Leodegardo Pruna on

      Hindi lang aalialigid dahil sa hanggang ngayon naruroon pa rin ang kanyang marka na patuloy na isinabubuhay ng kanyang anak. Ipanalangin ng sambayanan na magkaroon ng liwanag at katapusan ang mga di kanaisnais na kaganapan at katotohanan and mangibabaw at manaig sa kasamaan naipondar ng pinaglalaruan pangulo ng bansa. Pagpalain tayo ng Panginoon.

    • Manny De Guzman on

      Hindi natutulog ang multo nyan dahil sunusubaybayan ang kanyang bobong anak baka kong anong mangyari. Hindi rin mapakali yan dahil nagsisi siya kong bakit napunta ng malakanyang wala ding alam. Yon pala gawa din ng brown na ito.

  15. The truth that Marcos followers and objective observers of the 1986 elections have known for a long time is slowly but surely coming out, and that is that Corazon Aquino was a usurper of the Philippine presidency.

  16. “The book’s revelations made me wonder how we could have better understood the Marcos era, to draw from it useful lessons for nation-building, and not just totally reject everything the strongman did as bad, had there been no such PR man as Malloch Brown who convinced Cory to demonize Marcos, and is here with us again as Smartmatic chairman.”

    It’s not too late, Mr. Tiglao. Just continue writing what Marcos had done, so that the young ones and our future generation would know what he did for the Philippines.

  17. Kung ang Kongreso at mga korte ng Pilipinas ay kinokontrol ni Noynoy, ang dayain ang pa kaya ang 2016 election na ang Chairman ng Smarmatic ay si Lord Malloch Brown, isang close media adviser at speech writer noon ni Cory Aquino.

  18. The Philippine President MUST be a nationalist to the “core” (nationalism must be ingrained in his/her heart, mind, body and soul). The first and foremost in his/her agenda must be the welfare of the Filipino people. Not his/her own interest. Must be highly intelligent, with very strong character, and full of wisdom so as not to be swayed by unscrupulous individuals. We have a chance come May 2016. The prospects may not be the best or the cream of the crop. But with what we have at hand, we must intelligently choose who is really sincere in leading the Philippines to greatness and unite, as one maharlika blood, our Filipino people…

    • Manny De Guzman on

      Lakay naman, hindi na sa talino siguro ang dahilan kong bakit ang GUNGGONG na pres na ito ay napunta sa malakanyang. Malinaw na mismo ang makinang ginamit noong mga nakaraang eleksyon ang NABUKING na. Malinaw pa sa liwanag ng araw. Maraming salamat dating sekretaryo TIGLAO sa malasakit mong ginagawa. Dahil sayo aming nababatid kong bakit ang mga hunghang/hangal ang mga namumuno ngayon.