Here it is:
President Aquino’s photo not the ‘real picture’
By Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
4:32 am | Thursday, July 7th, 2011
A “snapshot” doesn’t a real picture make.
This was Malacañang’s reaction to an unflattering Palace photo of President Benigno Aquino III that has gone viral on the Internet.
Palace officials came to the defense of the President over a picture of Mr. Aquino that blogger Raisa Robles said had drawn 200 criticisms ranging from the tacky interiors of his office to his desk that was strewn not with papers but with an ash tray and a pack of cigarettes.
“The general observations made by the commentators were that the office lacked presidential dignity. The ash tray and cigarette on President Aquino’s desk showed that he was violating the new No Smoking Law. And his nearly empty desk was proof of a do-nothing presidency,” Robles said in her blog “Inside Philippine Politics and Beyond.”
Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that people were “reading too much into that one singular photo.”
Commenting on the ash tray and cigarette pack, Valte said it was “no secret” that Mr. Aquino was a smoker and that if they were there, it was just like any smoker who would “keep their cigarettes in their bags or on the table.”
But Valte said the ashtray was empty. “So you can’t automatically infer that he had been smoking the time the photo was taken,” Valte said.
As to lack of papers on the presidential desk, Valte said the President makes it a point to clear his desk at the end of the day. Mr. Aquino brings home the papers he has not read, Valte said.
“So it’s not a sign that the President is not working or something like that,” she said.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that one “cannot gauge and conclude from one single photograph that the President is not working.”
“That is an unfair basis to judge the President’s working habit,” Lacierda said.