By Raïssa Robles
Someone tagged me just now about a counter-rally on Wednesday morning of Bonifacio Day by supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte.
It is the very same day that those opposed to the burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos are set to stage a rally at the People Power Monument in the late afternoon.
It intrigued me because the call to join the counter-rally came from no less than Veronica “Kitty” Duterte, the youngest daughter of President Duterte. Kitty posted on her Facebook public page – “Makakapunta po ba kayo dito?” (Can you come to the rally?)
UPDATE: as of Nov. 28, 2016 5:09 PM. I stand corrected. This page is not controlled by Kitty Duterte but by her supporters. I apologize to Kitty for thinking she controlled this page. However, the tone of the posts mimic the way a young girl would post. Why use the president’s daughter to post very politically charged stuff?
UPDATE as of 11:49 pm: Some commenters on Twitter said that Duterte supporters and not Kitty Duterte run her public page. If this is true, is this being done with Kitty’s consent? Do the posts have her permission?
I had checked the contents of Kitty Duterte’s Instagram page and noted that the photos posted on this Facebook page were not the same as those on her Instagram. Some of the photos posted on the https://www.facebook.com/KittyVeronDuterteOfficial/ are quite personal. Meaning, you would have to get to her up close in her school or inside a “fitting room” of her dressmaker in order to get those kinds of photographs.
There is another Kitty Duterte Official page – https://www.facebook.com/KittyDuterteOfficial1/ – and it’s even more political. In addition, whoever is the Admin even posts – “Walang basagan ng trip. “P***eta ka.” – in connection with the testimony of Senator Leila de Lima’s ex-lover Ronnie Dayan.
From what I recall of my history, no other minor child of a Philippine president since 1946 was ever this politically involved after the parent’s assumption to the presidency. Sure, Kris Aquino campaigned for her mother Corazon. But after Cory became president, Kris did not involve herself directly with politics. Rather, she involved herself with showbiz and – as I recall at that time – with her schooling and budding romance with actor Robin Padilla.
In contrast, Kitty Duterte (who was 12 years old when her father was elected last May), has been quite active in politics through her official Facebook public page. To see, click on this link.
It’s quite refreshing to see someone involved at such a young age. Just like the students at St. Scholastica rallying against the burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The danger, however, is that unscrupulous persons may use her for their political and financial ends since it is quite clear that Kitty has the president’s ear.
I find nothing wrong, however, with a young girl expressing her political opinions. Just like the students at St. Scholastica did by rallying against the burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Having ascertained that this is a Fan Page for Kitty, I am even more disturbed that the Admins of this page are using it as if she is the one posting’ As if she had something to do with it. The danger is that unscrupulous persons may use Kitty, the president’s daughter, for their political and financial ends since it is quite clear that Kitty has the president’s ear.
I remember, while watching Duterte’s miting de avance at Rizal Park, Kitty Duterte approaching her father onstage and whispering to him to mention someone or wind up his rambling speech. While the audience laughed and thought it very cute, I thought – as a political reporter – that this signaled to everyone present in Luneta that night or watching on TV that Kitty Duterte was a power broker.
It’s a big burden to put on the shoulders of a very young girl. In the end, it’s up to her mother, Honeylet and her father, the President, to decide whether to caution her or to urge her to continue what she is doing.
Finally, I can’t help but ask this question – why is the Fan Page of Kitty Duterte the one calling out the troops and not the more known and more mature Duterte supporters?