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Opinion

Two news bits

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide - The Freeman

In the last few days, I received two pieces of news that are worth reflecting and soul searching. The first news bit came via a private message from one gentleman, a friend of mine actually, who, in subsequent texts, admitted to be a fanatic supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte. He also swore that he was a Marcos loyalist. In bad language, he sent me this message: “There are documents (paper trail) of Pinoy gang which PRRD has with his fact finders waiting order when to release”.

What do I understand from his message? I am not sure if the president’s fan has ties to the powers that be and close enough to them as to enjoy the luxury of getting loaded information not normally known to ordinary mortals. But with no contra-indication, I just had to assume that he has access to confidential files. With that assumption, I felt disturbed to hear that the president’s camp is collating a paper trail (of supposed corruption) on the late President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.

Politics can only be the reason for this devious reported effort to gather papers to malign the former president. What else! The administration has got to stop the continued soar of the Aquino fame because it carries with it the political acceptability, if not ascendancy, of the Liberal Party. When Pinoy died the eulogies revealed a much greater president than was previously known. The outpouring of sympathies, some delivered in exquisite language and others spiked with insuperable figures, gave a much greater halo to the LP leadership. My friend, the message sender, convinced me that the PRRD camp must, for political survival in the 2022 elections, stain the dilawans and only the president’s order to release whatever damning paper trail is awaited.

Malacañang planners need to rethink this gambit. The strategy has the tendency to backfire. The Australian word for this is boomerang. Let us consider that to the emotional Filipino talking ill about a dead person is inappropriate. We desecrate the honor our dead if we heap indignities upon him. His deathly silence can be more eloquent than a volume of accusations.

The other bit of news actually came in the form of a press release that Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella was to return to work after a rather extended medical leave of absence. We were gladdened to put an end to those nasty rumors about his health that affected close friends. For instance, more than a month ago, Chum Carlito Daculan sent me a text message expressing deep concern over the health of our Chum Edgar, a Tau Kappa Lambda Fraternity brother. We, like all other Cebuanos, thus met the news that the mayor was reporting back to duty with great relief.

Our fraternal jubilation, however, got stumped. We had to withhold it because Mayor Labella seemed not to be really that well as to be physically present in City Hall and to assume command of his office. This was announced by his staff. Instead of showing his face at the seat of city government, he was on a work-from-home arrangement. While the coronavirus was a good reason to stay home, that did not help doubting Thomases from continuing to spread ugly rumors. When Vice Mayor Michael Rama was quoted saying that he had not met the mayor since the latter’s first leave of absence, we could not help but ask what the score really is. What ails the mayor? Why has he become invisible? What prevents him from being accessible to his constituents?

RODRIGO DUTERTE

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