You can’t miss it—huge tarpaulins calling for Davao mayor Sara Duterte to run for the presidency come 2022— strategically located in several cities in metropolitan areas such as Manila, Cebu, and Davao. The “Run, Sara, Run” campaign culminated with a motorcade along EDSA last February 25. The irony of it all scares the living shit out of me.
Thirty five years ago, EDSA was the venue where millions congregated all wanting to wrest free from the dictatorial grip that took down our democracy, and concomitantly, the economy. There was one lady that dominated that portion of EDSA in the middle of two camps and that was, the image of the mother of Christ, Mary.
There were no fancy cars there– only a sea of walking humanity, some of them holding flowers and rosaries, others with placards that urged the two opposing camps–Enrile-Ramos and the Marcos-Ver– to peace-ably settle their differences to avoid civil war. We know what happened afterwards– Marcos ran out of the palace and onto the willing arms of his American friends in Hawaii, while a lady in Yellow emerged from her monastery hideout to assume the reins of power.
Fast forward and instead of a throng of people commemorating that event, we saw in several newspaper headlines, photos of the Run Sara Run motorcade. No image of the Virgin being hoisted up by a Catholic. No Johnny Ramos jumping and no Enrile with a semi-automatic Israeli rifle, and definitely no mustached Honasan or a Cory with her vivid yellow t-shirt on or a Cardinal Sin dressed in immaculate white priestly robes. Of course, there was a throng of people with red-colored t-shirts and red flags but where are those people without their yellows and reds?
Nothing wrong except that what caught the eye of many are a long line of ultra expensive SUV’s and racing cars with Italian pedigree all decked with Run Sara Run tarpaulins and posters. Thirty five years back, the people walked, some of them even barefoot. Now, those who want the presidential daughter to run for the top post now occupied by his dad did a most distasteful thing— parlay how wealthy and how much richer they had become under the Duterte administration. If that is not an oustentatious display of inordinate wealth during such a pandemic, I don’t know what else.
Thirty five years ago, people came out of their houses because they were on the verge of desperation. Galunggong prices were on the up and up, pork and beef no where to be found and rice prices were skyrocketing to unimaginable levels that were becoming farther from the reach of the ordinary masses. Now, yes with that motorcade we were reminded how the gap between the rich and poor really become thanks to those Italian race cars that remind us that “money talks” and “we are rich, and you envy us” while most of us, bike and walk ourselves to work.
Seems to suggest that we are on the same situation as how Filipinos lived 35 years hence, and yes, we are suffering from the very same ridiculous mental malaise except that this time, it is not just one but many are already sick by power, yet, rich beyond measure.
Curiously though, the message that that motorcade created was that the solution lies on continuity rather than revolution. We are being made to accept the inevitability of another Duterte in Malacanan. Nothing wrong with that except that it does not make any sense– we are under miserable conditions and what these groups are suggesting is that we continue living under these lurid conditions because we deserve to be mocked rather than be direct recipients of a miraculous political event such as EDSA.
And who are behind this proposition? A quick check shows that these are members of the RAM— the group who says “our dreams shall never die” and who promised to create changes for the lives of the people.
These are the people who revel on quarantines, on permits, on inflicting harm against fellow Filipinos and on punishing those who will breach their laws while letting others go scot free if they can show proof of membership to this sick movement. These are the people who believe in the use of force to change things, not substantially, but cosmetically. They want change just to favor them and their interests and not the interests of the many.
I now realize how foolish am I for subscribing to this dream while my country suffers under their sycophantic ideology. Woe for the People! They have been misled by these sweet talkers.
The president is right–Sara should not let herself be dragged into this political and economic debacle that her father unwittingly or wittingly inflicted upon this country. Duterte did his part. Let us not fool ourselves that any one of us can solve this morass that our country is deeply mired in. It is not enough that we are satisfied just because Sara punched a sheriff in the face once several eons ago. What we must think of is that if she is entirely capable of punching several Big Boys and Big Girls once she becomes president. His father failed obviously. Is Sara ready for the Big Boys?