Since the last time that we had a one-on-one with Joyce Ramirez, she has treaded the chaotic world of Philippine politics and came out of it unscathed – well almost. Recently, in the high profile senate hearing about fake news, her name was dragged into the limelight triggering a barrage of Google searches looking for info about her.
They were not hard to find. Happens when your subject once headed a team that had a record 45M clout on the worldwide web and is the person responsible for starting the trend of getting Hollywood celebrities for local brands.
While her politics has always been public and we may not always agree on whom to support, I think it is high time that we keep up with the woman whose career has always been as colorful and as explosive as the personalities that she has worked with.
Q: Let’s dive in straight to PH Election 2016. On Facebook, we saw that you publicly supported and ran the campaigns of Grace Poe and Bongbong Marcos. Was there ever a conflict of interest there?
A: Not really because I was never formally contracted for both so there was no “exclusivity” clause anywhere. For them, they were just happy that I was on their side while I was happy that they gave me their trust. We had a fantastic run.
Q: Did Grace Poe ever ask that you support her running mate instead?
A: Nope which is a good thing otherwise I would have been bratty about it. I can be diva-ish at times when forced to do something I don’t like. I am moody that way.
Q: Whom did you like working with more – Grace or BBM? Why?
A: BBM! Because his wife (my friend, lawyer Liza Araneta Marcos) would always give me my favorite chichacorn from Ilocos Norte. I am very mababaw that way. But I also like Grace cos I met a lot of lifelong friends in her team led by her son Brian Poe.
Q: Was it hard to run PR for BBM given the widespread disdain for him and his family? Do you still run PR for him and the Marcoses?
A: Well you have to quantify “widespread disdain”. He wouldn’t get more than 14 MILLION votes (plus approx 2 MILLION missing) if there really was widespread disdain. To answer the question though: I don’t think it’s hard because more people actually love him than they hate him these days. It is just that the few haters are already blinded and deaf to accept the fact that the man has a vast number of loyal supporters like myself. Sorry my friend, I know you’re not a fan (haha).
Anyways, I wouldn’t want to grab credit for his PR. BBM has a full team behind him. I am just one of many who advices him. Let’s just say I am his “Dictator of Taste”.
Q: During the last few weeks of Election 2016, it was reported that Mar Roxas reached out to Grace Poe for them to work together against Duterte’s campaign. Did you ever meet up with his team?
A: Never because as you can recall: GP shut the door on his face on national TV. Man, was she fierce!
Q: Thinking Pinoy’s RJ Nieto, on his pronouncement in the Senate that you ran the #NasaanAngPangulo campaign for Mar Roxas, mentioned that his sources were Mike Acebedo Lopez and the kid behind the Senyora parody account. Can you confirm or deny that you personally knew them?
A: I knew them of course. Mike Acebedo Lopez signed an agreement with my lawyer on Dec 1, 2014 in which he offered several political accounts. Sadly, he wasn’t able to deliver much as the guy tends to be more like a tittle tattle. In fact, the reason I met him was because he gatecrashed one of my events and got mad at the security detail for blocking him. I felt sorry for the guy. He seemed to want the limelight a bit too much.
Anyways, his contract included a P10M Non-Disclosure and Non-Compete. I stopped speaking to him the day I was told he went to GP to tell her he was dumping her for Duterte. I found it rude that he would do that to her (note that it was Mike who introduced me to Grace). I am never a fan of someone who jumps ship at the last minute. A few people also offered me to move to Duterte but I already gave my word to GP that I would stick it out with her, win or lose. So I think the reason he keeps badmouthing me now (including to TP) is because I stopped speaking to him.
Senyora is Lance Julian who also signed an iron-clad confidentiality contract. I learned doing NDAs because of Hollywood. The Americans – boy do they love their NDAs. Anyways, I don’t know his beef with me because as far as he’s concerned, he was the highest paid influencer in my team. We always made sure he is paid precisely to avoid drama like this. And mind you, he charges a lot. He is nothing but a well paid troll. The kind that when he doesn’t get his way, will start damaging people. I just hope now that he is finally paying taxes. That kid has been living tax free for as long as I can remember.
Q: Since Mike Acebedo Lopez and Lance Julian (Senyora) were both named as source by Thinking Pinoy, do you plan to go after them for violating their NDA?
A: My lawyers will have to assess the damage. I never like suing people but when it comes to business, I let the legal minds handle it.
Q: Searching back on Twitter and on Facebook, in Jan 2015 we have unearthed several posts from your account about #NasaanAngPangulo. In one post in particular, you cited one of your influencer accounts that started the #NasaanAngPangulo trend. You also encouraged influencers under you, the same team where Lance Julian (Senyora) said he belonged to, to post about this hashtag.
Nieto also posted a Case Study file that was traced back to you. Do these confirm that you ran the #NasaanAngPangulo campaign? And since you said it was not for Mar Roxas, was it for any other local politician?
A: #NasaanAngPangulo was one of countless hashtags that my team helped trend over the years because (at that time in early 2015) it was a relevant topic. It was all over the the news: PNoy was missing in action when the dead bodies of all 44 soldiers arrived at Villamor. Personally, I found it even more tragic that he would abandon his own men and choose to go to a car manufacturing plant’s opening. The SAF44 gave up their lives in the service of the country and the head of state is missing? So the hashtag became a natural progression of sorts.
For the first time in my life: I felt like an activist. I had to do something and ask the question: WHERE IS THE PRESIDENT? I was actually surprised that it became a viral hit. Let me tell you now, that was unintentional. We just posed the question out to the socialverse, hey WHERE is the President? Nothing is wrong with asking a question.
As to who created the hashtag? I have read that the tittle tattle from Cebu claims it was all his idea. The truth is the hashtag was based from the organic responses online from the people at that time. No one is entitled to lay claim to an idea that belongs to the masses. Not even I would dare such travesty.
Meanwhile, the case study that RJ Nieto or Thinking Pinoy is trying to pass on as “evidence” is actually a Media Valuation Study. It details the number of media outlets that carried the story and it’s corresponding PR value. The problem with RJ is that without verifying the details with me, he goes on and invents a blatant falsehood passed on as his own “fact” saying that the PR value is equivalent to the amount of money that was paid to those media outlets detailed in the report.
That’s bollocks because the media merely reported seeing the hashtag trend and we documented the news coverage for study or feasibility purposes. The reason for the study is so that we can learn and perfect our online campaigns like how to make say a hamburger or a mobile phone brand trend. There is nothing sinister about a Media Valuation Report. That is why it’s called VALUATION (PR Value). If it was a payroll of sorts then the title of the file should have been called MEDIA HONORARIUM LIST. Of course, that is not the case. No one was paid. Not even myself.
And that is my problem with RJ. One of the DDS who is a good friend of mine warned me about going against TP. My friend said he is considered like a “god” by his legions of followers. That at the moment he is all mighty and all too powerful. Isn’t that scary? That you have this individual capable of great damage to others just because he believes he is the final word? That no one can control or censor what a blogger claims even if it’s based on a lie?
So let me say it with finality: the trend was never for any political figure. There was none at the time. It was, let me put it this way: a very successful exercise. Training. Trial. A way to express our distaste at the situation while increasing followers to our various accounts. Social media has become a very powerful tool and I was out to explore its potential. But I made a pact with myself that I would only use my know how for good and never to abuse. Unlike RJ, I tend to be much more equitable and open-minded. And that is the secret why I have always been successful even if so many have attempted to discredit me over the years.
It will be impossible for RJ to prove his allegations based on HEARSAY because I am the only one who can verify the facts (or Sec. Roxas who has already denied it). Nieto has no one who can serve as witness to point that they saw me and Sec. Roxas at work or in a meeting. He has no contract or proof of payment to show that a transaction has taken place. His followers have even invaded my privacy in attempts to uncover photos. Guess what? They will never find any because I never met Sec. Mar Roxas. I do not know him or his people except for what I hear of him in the news. I have never seen him in person, not even at a party. They are chasing the fantasy tale of a tittle tattle and it is sad that the country has been reduced to that of a showbiz government.
Sorry RJ but as much as I do not like the yellows myself, I would never abuse my own power and point at someone that I never met. Wouldn’t that make me look like a famewhore, a tittle tattle and a social climber if I invent that I worked for Mar Roxas when I never did? I just wished that RJ knew me more before he went on this futile rampage of a witch hunt. We could have been great friends and allies if he gave me the chance to explain my side.
Q: The Case Study on Nieto’s post, is it something that you present to potential clients? If yes, were Grace and BBM aware of the #NasaanAngPangulo campaign when you worked for then in the 2016 election?
A: Nope. GP got me in to join her team for the case study #PUSO2019 which was the Philippines’ FIBA bid.
A funny story with BBM: I chased him to get him, to get me. I got my friend to patch me on the phone with him and I was like “go online at 5PM I will make your TVC #TayoAngBukas trend at no. 1″. I did it without payment and he loved me for it. He was like “who is this crazy kid?” Now he thinks I am one of the characters in this novel he is reading about a digital whiz. He thinks I am hardcore. He keeps saying (every time he sees me) that the universe must love him because I am on his side. Thank God I am not a yellow.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: After my colourful stint in politics, I am back to my turf which is Entertainment PR. I still do PR for TV shows, movies and celebrities. There are a couple of projects lined up for me until forever, I think. I seem to be one of those who never runs out of work.
Cross-posted at dlist.ph