Transfers it from the Grandstand to a road beside a mall
By Raïssa Robles
The announcement was made in a meme showing a triumphant looking Bongbong with text bragging that “after almost 4 decades of silence”, the plunderer’s son was inviting everyone to his coming out bash.
“COME ONE, COME ALL,” the poster said, showing a photo of throngs of people filling up Luneta as far as the eye could see.
But it was photo fakery. The picture of the crowds have been snipped from the 1995 visit of Pope John Paul II in Manila. See my previous story.
Now, reality has set in. With hardly any fanfare, the plunderer’s son has announced that his Miting de Avance will instead be held at Nueve de Pebrero Street in Barangay Addition Hills.
Apparently, this area is now an alternative to Tondo, for a national candidate to demonstrate his concern for the urban poor. The area is also where presidential candidate Jejomar Binay held his kick-off rally last February.
But in case BBM supporters don’t know where it is, there is a note on the Miting de Avance poster saying it’s “in front of Shaw Center Mall”.
Such a comedown – from the Quirino Grandstand in Manila to a road side in Mandaluyong in front of a mall.
It’s perhaps an indication that Bongbong Marcos’ vice-presidential campaign is somewhat in disarray.
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As for leading presidential contender Rodrigo Duterte, you have to admire the man. He has this native talent for offending everyone.
Even the left-wing Kilusang Mayo Uno took him to task after Mayor Rody threatened to kill any unionist who would organize unions in economic zones or break the industrial peace. You can read about that here.
His now-missing vice-presidential running mate Alan Peter Cayetano tried to do damage control by saying that Duterte was merely asking for industrial peace in exchange for getting workers higher wages and a ban on contractualization.
But Duterte’s words were very clear in his rally in Tondo, Manila – the historic seat of the working class. There, Duterte said,
“Kayong mga KMU, medyo pigilan muna ninyo ang labor union. Ako na ang nakikiusap sa inyo. Magkasama tayo sa ideolohiya. Huwag ninyong gawin iyan kasi sisirain mo ang administrasyon ko. Kapag ginawa ninyo iyan, patayin ko kayong lahat. Ang solusyon dito patayan na. Eh pakiusapan mo, ayaw eh. We have to come into terms with each other.” (You with KMU, you should somewhat stop labor organizing. I’m the one appealing to you. We are both one in ideology. Don’t do that because that will destroy my Administration. If you do that, I will kill all of you. The solution will have to be killings. If one requests and they don’t agree. We have come into terms with each other.).
Duterte added, “Do not do it now iyung (those who are) active labor front. Kasi kapag ginawa ninyo, nasisira. (Because if you do that, it will get destroyed.) Do not do it. Give the Philippines a respite of about 10 years.”
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This is perhaps why, when Duterte held a rally in front of the Manila Post Office last Sunday to celebrate Labor Day, few people came. Noted prominent novelist Ninotchka Rosca posted on Facebook this photo of a “desultory crowd” at Duterte’s evening rally.
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You know what Duterte’s pronouncement about workers reminds me of?
The Dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Before Marcos imposed Martial Law, he claimed in his book The Democratic Revolution in the Philippines that he would launch a revolution in behalf of the poor, including the workers. That in his revolution, the plight of workers would improve.
But as soon as he imposed Martial Law, the workers were among Marcos’ first victims. Martial Law completely trampled workers’ rights.
So those who are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, beware.
Because Dictator Duterte can just as easily decree – like Marcos – that any posting about him on Facebook or Twitter that vaguely hints of any criticism can be grounds for arrest.
That is the way of the Dictator.
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One last thing, while all eyes are on Duterte, don’t forget Bongbong Marcos.
Marcos is now grafting his name to all the presidential candidates, except Mar Roxas.
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The strangest combination I heard today was a truck blaring out the names of Jejomar Binay for president and Leni Robredo as his vice-president.