Critics question P-Noy’s work ethic after "unflattering" photo of his bare desk surfaces online

( An unflattering photo of President Noynoy Aquino sitting at an almost bare desk with only a large ashtray and a small pile of files led the online community to conclude that not only was the President violating the smoking ban, he was also not working hard enough, reports ABS-CBN News.


In her blog, Filipino journalist Raissa Robles wrote, "The general observation made by the commentators (was) that the office lacked presidential dignity. The ashtray and cigarettes on P-Noy's desk showed he was violating the new No Smoking Law. And his nearly empty desk was proof of a do-nothing presidency."


The photo has generated several negative comments online, some of which Robles posted on her blog. Facebook user Luwi Cheng wrote on the social networking site: "Here we can see the blatant dichotomy of this administration that professes to stop smoking in public and yet, the president himself is one big smoker himself as attested by the picture. Now, is that not stupidity in the highest order?" Meanwhile, another Facebook user, Patricia Ilagan, replied: "Even my desk and the desks of executives I’ve been into were/are never sooo uncluttered! I thought they said he has piles of paper on his desk to go through daily? Liars!"


Robles said that the photo was released by the Malacañang Palace, but a source told ABS-CBN News that it was supposedly part of a photo essay exclusive to their publication. Either way, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Undersecretary Manolo Quezon explained that the photo was taken last year-before the smoking ban was implemented.



Moreover, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in the report that the President clears his work station at the end of each day and takes his work to Bahay Pangarap where he resides. Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda added that people cannot infer the President's work ethic based on one photo. Robles herself defended the bare desk, saying that even US President Barack Obama had a similar picture "minus the ashtray and pack of cigarettes."


For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBN News and Raissa Robles’ blog.

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