The entire governmental communications network is now operating without a head. The megalith is on the verge of collapse because of the inability of the new administration to resolve the contentious issue--who will head the Communications group, the body who will replace the Office of the Press Secretary.
The plan of this administration, according to sources, is to fuse two agencies together--the OPS and the PIA. This, as envisioned by proponents, will make it easier for government to communicate its messages effectively with the people. And with just one agency, it will save money.
Nothing wrong with the plan except that, again, according to insiders, the reason why the new administration is having a hard time enhancing their media relations is--groups within the Aquino administration are locked into what many say, a titanic battle for leadership.
The "Samar" group, composed of Maria Montelibano and Sonny Coloma are fighting for turf against the Hyatt 10/Black and White Movement composed of Manolo Quezon and Ricky Carandang. Sources have it on good authority that either one are backing down, despite repeated appeals from various sources to stop the bickering.
The Hyatt 10 reportedly resents the purported appointment of Sonny Coloma. Coloma, according to sources, is Montelibano's "alter-ego" in the Communications Group. Since she is the president's relative, Montelibano is barred from having any government position.
What's the problem with Coloma? Simple. BW members and several Hyatt 10 accuses Coloma of graft. Coloma, they say, is a veteran publicist. He knows the ins and outs of the industry. Good thing? Yes, it is. What people must know is Coloma is reportedly involved in shady deals with the media in the past.
Now, while these groups fight it out, the Escudero-Banayo media group is having a field day, positioning their forces inside the new administration. One of them already became an Assistant Secretary, while others are being primed to occupy certain board memberships and other government posts.
A long-time buddy working for the government (he's not co-terminus with Arroyo) says that government employees of both PIA and OPS are feeling insecure and scared. The entire government is being destabilized by the infighting between the two groups. They don't know who'll head the Communications group and this is causing so much stress and low morale.
During Arroyo's time, this scenario was averted when the president separated the two agencies. Arroyo placed her most trusted men in the OPS while she gave the PIA to the mercy of other groups who helped her ascend to power. Arroyo knew that these agencies will cause friction among her media groups. To avoid discord, and maintain harmony, Arroyo decided to allow each and every member of her media team to get a slice of the power pie.
Unfortunate that, in Aquino's administration, discord and disharmony prevails over genuine love for country. While they fight amongst each other, the very stability of the country remains in a very tenuous position.