Wednesday ∗ 24 Jan 2018

Asec #Mocha is correct …

There ARE many, more important, things to talk about, other than her award from the UST Alumni Association Inc. I couldn’t care less about the fact that she was given it, in fact, and it must be said that it is absolutely offensive that the photos of Asec Mocha’s past life are being reposted on social media just to point out that she is undeserving of this award. Seriously: since when did this kind of shaming, as bound to an unapologetic conservatism, cloaked in Catholic righteousness, been acceptable? 

Certainly if the goal is to point out that she is undeserving of this award, some Thomasian should sit down, study her work as government official, and point out instances in which she failed at representing whatever school values are deemed important. Social media shaming and kuyog, posting photos of the Asec as sexy starlet, is a poor excuse for valid credible criticism. It also reeks of exactly the same kind of hate that we blame the Duterte Diehard Supporters for. I’ve asked this question too often: why become the enemies we hate? Why act out our disgust in the same way that they do?

As expected though, Asec Mocha is trying very hard to sweep this under the rug, by pointing out to her followers that this is a very small group of Thomasians who are making a mountain out of a molehill — even she is willing to give back the award, but the alumni association said no and has since returned the award.


Asec Mocha is correct. Here, a list of the more important things we should be talking about, which also paints an image of the real state of the nation as of January 2018.

(1) The militarization of the provinces, the violence inflicted on activists, farmers and peasants, the displacement of the Lumad.

(2) The Bangsamoro Basic Law, a Duterte promise which the House of Representatives has pretty much sat on as they pushed for federalism instead. It’s as if to say that the only way the Bangsamoro will get its independence is if all Congressmen get that kind of independence for their provinces, too, and get their hands on more taxpayers’ money. In Tagalog, that’s called ganid.

On Tuesday, the Senate finally went back to discussing BBL. Hooray for them!

(3) The HoR railroading Charter Change to shift to federalism, led by one Pantaleon Alvarez, who just had a lavish celebration for his birthday, wearing a P20,000-peso Dolce and Gabbana shirt. Simpleng-simple ang barkada ni Duterte.

(4) Duterte right-hand man Bong Go’s alleged involvement in the acquisition of the CMS for the Navy’s frigate ships — we’re not talking about the ships, but the computers that run it. And saying that he has nothing to do with it, when there’s documentary evidence to the contrary, just doesn’t cut it anymore.  And Duterte saying Go’s a billionaire doesn’t make things better. It makes Go an even more suspicious character: why is he so rich, and where did his money come from? (The same goes for Alvarez.)

(5) The policy of this government to rid the streets of jeepneys on the premise of environmentalism but clearly just another way of ensuring that big business can swoop in and earn from public transport, bury jeepney drivers in debt, and put them at the mercy of a new set of oligarchs protected by Duterte. These oligarchs are making the policy decision of this government, and couldn’t care less about a suffering populace. Case in point: they rid the streets of jeeps and buses, without fixing the trains — so who pays for the wages lost by workers who cannot get to work on time?

(6) TRAIN and the fact that between the higher taxes and the falling peso (yesterday it was P51 pesos to the $1 dollar!), plus the rising prices of fuel, Duterte’s economic team has ensured that the first quarter of 2018 will be about a suffering populace.

Ikaw Asec Mocha, hindi ka magsa-suffer: laki ng suweldo mo eh.

(7) Dengvaxia, yes, a worthwhile subject. But do not silence the fact that while Sec. Ubial had wanted to stop the third round of vaccinations already, it was the members of Duterte’s own supermajority in Congress who insisted it must be continued. So see, Asec Mocha, Daang Matuwid might have approved dengvaxia, but Duterte’s own people in Congress allowed it to continue, even when the DOH Secretary wanted to stop it already. Your DDS-Congressmen are as much to blame for this crisis.

(8) The father and daughter Duterte’s bank accounts vis a vis their SALNs. And no, saying that this is all just tsismis, does not work anymore. When Duterte allows for police “intelligence” to be built on anonymous neighborhood tsismis about who is a drug user or pusher, and those names appear as drug suspects, if not are dead on the streets sooner than later, and when Sen. Leila de Lima can be jailed on nothing more than a series of rumors that were stringed together into a narrative, then it is government itself that makes tsismis enough to go on, if not enough to persecute.

We’re talking P100 million pesos in investments that Duterte and his daughter failed to declare in their SALNs, with detailed bank documents and histories of how the money moved. What does the President call this again? Ah, a whiff of corruption. This actually qualifies as a stench at this point.

So yes, Asec Mocha, there are many other things to talk about. But you are wrong if you think we will limit it to dengvaxia so that you can continue blaming the past administration for it. Because guess what, 18 months in, and the blame for the state of the nation now falls squarely on Duterte, his men, and his allies.

In case it’s not clear, that includes you.

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