EDITORIAL - It wasnât about the act itself, but what it symbolized

EDITORIAL - It wasn’t about the act itself, but what it symbolized

(The Freeman) - May 12, 2021 - 12:00am

The hot topic right now is President’s Rodrigo Duterte’s critics calling him out for failing to carry out this campaign promise to ride a jet ski to the West Philippine Sea and plant the Philippine flag on the artificial islands built by the Chinese.

During an address televised last Monday night, President Duterte said he really didn’t mean what he said during that time.

"Panahon ng kampanya 'yan. 'Yung biro na yung, we call it bravado. 'Yung bravado ko was pure campaign joke and kung naniniwala kayo sa kabila, I would say that you are really stupid," President Duterte said.

Well, yes, we agree. Those who really believed hook, line, and sinker that he would literally do exactly just that are fools. When you consider that particular act itself, it’s not just unsafe, but also physically and logistically impossible.

However, we also venture to say that while people didn’t believe he would actually do that --ride a jet ski to the West Philippine Sea and plant the Philippine flag on the artificial islands built by the Chinese-- they still expected him to do what the act symbolized, and that was to stand up against a country that is constantly bullying us and encroaching upon our territory.

If Duterte thinks many people voted him because they thought he would really do that one particular and reckless act of bravado, he is wrong. Some votes were cast for him because of the perception that he would take a strong stand against the frequent and escalating Chinese incursions.

He should not forget that during the campaign period, our dispute with China over some areas of the West Philippine Sea was already a raging issue, many wanted it addressed.

You cannot blame the people then for coming to the conclusion that he would finally rise to the occasion upon hearing his tough words.

So now, we should not really be surprised why many people are disappointed. It really wasn’t driving the jet ski to the artificial islands, but rather what the act itself symbolized, that people hoped he would do.

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