What is the PCDSPO and why is its site down?
For starters, that long-ass alphabet division stands for the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office. It’s an umbrella group that basically houses all the staff needed for the various communications needed by the Philippine president to get out information to the public; this includes everything from the ubiquitous presidential speeches, statements and letters and any kind of correspondence, media monitoring, press releases, events coordination (Presidential appearances) and the attendant logistics, archiving of all written materials (including the speeches and all those previously mentioned stuff) and accomplishment reports, as well as crisis management through official messages or “spin.”
Under the present administration—in efforts to streamline the communications bureaucracy—the PCDSPO has become just another branch of the overarcing Presidential Communications Office (PCO) whereas it was a separate entity before (formerly called the Presidential Communications Operations Office, or PCOO, under the Aquino administration) which is in charge of government-owned media entities (like NBN Channel 4) and coordination with the private media. The head of the PCO is current Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.
The PCO (or PCDSPO) website also houses the recorded digital archive of the accomplishments and status reports of the projects of all the administrations (date completed, etc). If you wanted to check on, say the full transcript of the president’s speech at a particular time and place, you could (theoretically) go to the website and download it, or copy-paste, for free.
Currently though, if you point your browser to this URL: http://pcdspo.gov.ph/, this is what you’ll see:
This is different from the http://www.gov.ph/ website which has a record of the Official Ph Gazette which releases the Administrative Orders, Memo Circulars, Proclamations, and whatnot of the day-to-day running of a democracy through the wheels of the legislative side of the bureaucracy. It’s the nuts and bolts of a government and how stuff gets passed into various officialese.
The shutdown of the PCDSPO site is suspect because plenty of revisions and tinkering might very well take place during its absence and whole records of accomplishments of previous administrations, as well as statements on historical events, official stands on policies and such might be redacted, omitted, or otherwise erased. And there goes actual history, revised or gone kaput in the oblivion of cyberspace. Think a Wikipedia article gone rogue.
Sure, you can still probably hunt down the PHYSICAL record of a speech transcript, project dossier, or any other relevant document that should be a matter of public record at the national archives, but it’ll be a bitch to do it in old school analog.
Which brings us to our conspiracy theory listicle, looking at how the present administration has made it a habit to take it upon themselves to tweak Wiki articles and gloss over important parts of recent history to settle their political debts and other sundry payments of a shady campaign nature.
What kind of historical revisions they might be making while the shutdown is in effect? Here are our wildest and grandest and most dreadful guesses.
8. The Japanese Occupation was awesome!
Hey man, did ya know they were developing secret robots until the Huk got in the way and helped boot them out in the Pacific Theater of WW2? Sucks, when you think we might have our own giant mechas nowadays made by Sarao and other Pinoy engineers on staff. Defintiely the Yamashita treasure was a cache for the development and research of the country as a Gundam base.
7. EDSA Revolution was just an elite and middle-class tantrum.
Who were these peeps at the first EDSA? These new stats commissioned through a totally unbiased and neutral survey group show that what was officially a couple of million people marching on the highway is really closer to 800, 000. The Aquinos and the Cojuangcos just hired some early Photoshop experts to doctor those photos. In truth, those were just a lot of middle class twats with nothing to do on Feb 22-25 1986. Gahd. Go to work, yellows!
6. Scarborough Shoal, Mischief Reef, et al. is now Chinese territory.
Uh, oh, that nine-dash line just got moved waaay back away from Ph shores. And recent photos from reports show that the Chinese have already installed weapons systems on the artificial islands they’ve built. So this might actually be less surprising than the rest of the stuff on this list.
5. The Ph x China x Russia Tri-Axis Alliance is made official.
President Du30 has been quite vocal about getting diplomatically jiggy with the two last two Red(ish) biggies in the world (with repeated pleadings to Putin and an already friendly bromance with Xi Jinping) so repeat after me: just the three of us, you and you, and I.