Spare Mindanaoans’ sufferings from politics

November 07, 2019

Belated happy, happy birthday to my handsome colleague, Arnold ‘Igan’ Clavio of GMA 7/DZBB, Philippine Airlines’ one and only ‘diva’ Cielo Villaluna and public affairs office chief Connie ‘Lupe’ Bungag.  You all deserve the blessings that come your way. God bless you guys…


A lawyer, a singer and a supposed public relations woman are now being bashed by netizens for their unsavory remarks on social media, directed at the victims of the recent series of earthquakes in Mindanao.

The female singer, Leah Navarro, is a vocal critic of President Duterte. On the other hand, as reports would have it, the PR woman is associated with Vice President Leni Robredo, although she had denied this. Robredo, of course, belongs to the opposition and as such is also a known anti-Duterte.

The whole brouhaha began when former Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te tweeted, ‘What’s with all the earthquakes in Mindanao?’ to which Navarro replied: ‘Retribution?’

One doesn’t have to be a genius to know that the attack particularly the one from Navarro, was meant for Duterte, either because he hails from that part of the country or his bulk of supporters are from there.

Te had quickly apologized although in fairness, his post could not be automatically interpreted as a sideswipe against Mindanaoans. It actually was purely a question, which could also be seen as an expression of grave concern. It was Navarro’s reply that gave Te’s post a negative connotation.

The case of the supposed PR woman, a certain Yolly Ong, is worse.  In so many scathing words, she made it clear that for her, the people of Mindanao deserved what happened to them and in their province.

‘Hindi pa  ba nyo ma-gets? Gusto na kayong lamunin ng lupa.’ Even an illiterate would know that this remark is the height of insensitivity. It’s downright offensive.

As if this were not enough, she went on to say that those from Mindanao who are not pro-Duterte are the ones who deserve help and prayers. To say that the earthquakes happened ‘to jolt them to an awakening?’ She apparently needs more awakening than the Mindanaoans.

Furthermore, she said  her friends were unaffected and did not feel alluded to, as she hit back at those who reacted strongly to her statements. If none of her friends told her that what she said was wrong, then they are not real friends.  It’s either that or they are just as ignorant of sensitivities as she is.

The series of strong earthquakes that rocked Mindanao recently has claimed innocent lives, hurt scores of others and left at least 30,000 families homeless. This is not something to joke about or rejoice for, no matter how much you hate President Duterte.

With this kind of attitude, does it mean that pro-Duterte supporters should also feel happy if the said series of earthquakes instead hit Naga City, the hometown of Robredo?

The callous pronouncements have earned the ire of countless netizens, so that Te, Navarro and Ong had to take down their posts or tweets. Navarro in fact, had been declared ‘persona non grata’ in General Santos City.

I am no Duterte die-hard. I am just not for using the misery of others for purposes of politicking. If you hate Duterte that much, why not direct your attacks to him, instead of further demoralizing the victims of the earthquake? These are less-privileged fellowmen of ours who have done nothing wrong to these supposed educated individuals

It is bad enough that they cannot commiserate with our calamity-stricken brothers and sisters from Mindanao.  To add insult to injury is just unfathomable. It’s the height of callousness.

Now if the bashing continues despite having deleted their posts and having apologized, these individuals have no right to complain. You reap what you sow. For every action, there is a reaction. It’s as simple as that.


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