It was all too funny.
I was watching Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson’s response to newly appointed Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s appeal to keep an open and critical mind to journalists who are critical of the administration. I wish I could have gotten direct quotes. She said something to the effect of repelling the appeals of the now former party list Kabayan representative, lawyer, human rights advocate and law professor at the University of the Philippines, teaching constitutional law and public international law for the past 15 years. Uson was hilariously adamant in her strong negative response to Roque’s petitions for open-mindedness and redirection of hostility towards the media. Uson further raises her eyebrows by laying down counter-suggestions for Roque to lecture the journalists instead (and by implication, not her. Why? I suppose, she suggests that she knows better. Why doesn’t the President notice that some of his cabinet members have access to hallucinogens.)
This comes after Roque signified intentions to “bridge” the divide between rabid supporters of the President and the media by explaining to Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary
Mocha Uson and her followers do not see the value of critical journalism. She was quoted to have said “I am calling out to the DDS why rights of the free press are important,” in an interview on Monday, November 6, with Malacañang reporters.” (https://www.rappler.com)
For the past days, I had been struggling with my vocabulary on the definition of the “DDS”; and in the course of writing this article I have stumbled on it to be “Die hard Duterte supporters”. Whoa! Now we have a label for this sector in Filipino society. For a while, I thought DDS was some sort of drug or a new disease (or is it?).
Harry Roque calls it an offering of guidance, of tutelage, of schooling; but I see it as an initiative to set in order some semblance of propriety, of an elevation to the nobility of diplomacy across the wasteland that Malacañang public relations has become. It was sort of setting up the white flag in the middle of the platform of the town square and offering the most friendly handshake to all warring factions – a most honorable feat, I would say; and here comes the Assistant Secretary who utterly rejects and throws to the dumpster all entreaties for appreciation and potential cooperation in this oh so colorfully congenial community. (I imagine an Amorsolo masterpiece marred with purple and crimson dark cosmetics). That says it all. Someone opens his hands for peace; and some party cries out in response, “no, we want war!”. The Filipino spectator from outside the octagon of ultimate Filipino communications, could only let out a sigh of helplessness. (Sabi ka’yan, “Ma’ ‘ni.)
As for me, I was laughing my guts out. It was like someone was trying to clean the yard, and some guy/girl comes along to toss the trash all around. All along, the clean-up guy was inviting the neighbors for a party to make amends for the noisy late night videoke for the past months; and someone from his own household comes out yelling at him. Now, the neighbors are shaking their heads thinking, why don’t you guys get along first before inviting us into your little luau. This tops any late night comedy gag on TV.
On a serious note, this current display is saddening supplement in the barrage of insensitivity, ignorance and ineptitude in the institutions of the nation. Oh well…
This comes a mere few days after the Catholic church’s “Start the Healing” of the nation” rally on the People Power monument, late afternoon, last Sunday which was reportedly to have been participated by thousands. Yeah, it was a mass, it was a multi-sectoral gathering; but we’ve seen these sort for many times now, in a symbolic memorial no less. It’s more than enough to send a message. “The campaign was part of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ call to stop the spate of killings in the country.” Among those who attended the Mass and the march were Senators, former party list Representatives and even a former Presidential spokesperson. (https://newsinfo.inquirer.net ) Oh man, these are the scenes before a national revolution. Oh my, please don’t let it be.
If healing is being called, then this nation is sick. If we are sick, then what are we sick of?
This has probably become a cliché by now with the song lyrics and banners, however truth and wisdom knows no overuse and is eternally original, so here goes…
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14