Bzzzzz: ‘Influence peddler’ is usually fixer or broker | SunStar

Bzzzzz: ‘Influence peddler’ is usually fixer or broker

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Bzzzzz: ‘Influence peddler’ is usually fixer or broker

Friday, October 13, 2017

CAREFUL with the words one uses. People will talk about the error in some radio talk show or in a bar or coffee shop:

■ Michael Dino, presidential assistant for the Visayas, was quoted as saying, “The true influence-peddler is him (Tomas Osmeña, Cebu City mayor) because he has been trying to connect to people in the Cabinet. Why will I become an influence peddler when I already have influence?”

The influence peddler, the dictionary says, is one who uses his influence with a person in authority to obtain favor or preferential treatment for another, usually for a compensation or payment. He’s the broker or fixer although the person in authority may choose not to use a middleman in selling his influence.

If Tomas doesn’t have the influence with the President and asks a Cabinet official’s help to connect the mayor with the President, who’s the influence peddler? Not Tomas but the Cabinet official, that is, if fee or favor is traded.

Dino, as the PAV, has influence with the President and if he barters that influence by himself or through an agent, he’s also an influence peddler. The peddler is in effect the fixer or broker who (1) is himself the decision-maker or holder of authority or (2) colludes with the person in power and they are in the peddling business together. Under a proposed bill, the influence peddler doesn’t even need to have actual influence, much more be the person in power himself: the influence can be “real or imagined.”

■ Mocha Uson, asked a tough question before a Senate committee holding hearings on the fake news bill, pleaded her right against “self-discrimination.” When corrected, (she should’ve used “self-incrimination,” she was told), she meekly admitted her mistake. Still, people talk about the gaffe.

■ The Cebu City Council, as quoted in news stories, hailed the phenomenal feat of the University of Cebu in dominating the board exams as “historical.” What the City Council meant was “historic.” “Historical” pertains to history while “historic” figures in history. By the way, it was not Tomas but the City Council (which councilor, or council functionary, it’s not known) who used “historical.” A minor glitch, not “hysterical.”

Gwen on impeachment

Rep. Gwen Garcia on the decision of the House to reverse the committee ruling and approving the impeachment of Comelec chief Andres Bautista: “Don’t mess with congressmen and (congress)women ‘pag meron kang sasabihin, gawin mo.”

Shades of what then governor Gwen used to say at the Capitol: “’Ang buhat pasultihon, di sulti ang pabuhaton.”

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Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on October 13, 2017.

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