"When you get home from the rally, tired and perhaps soaked, you'll wake up and you'll still find it'sDuterte pa rin. He's 80% popular. He's not going down."
So goes this Facebook post from a diehard supporter of the President.
Well, dear diehard supporter, let's figure out why there were 30,000 people in Luneta who got soaked and 2,000 people in Davao and thousands more all over the country rallied on the streets last September 21.
Firstly, your "great president", our president, declared Sept 21 as a National Day of Protest. So rallies were allowed, and he even wanted to join against injustices. That's Digong, he always loved rallies, even as mayor here in Davao, rallies are always done with police observing maximum restraint. You saw that Thursday, we are thankful there was no truncheon yielding policemen, no untoward incidents, dispersals and rallyists going to jail.
If you insist that rallies cause traffic, well check out the roads every day, whether in Manila, Davao, Cebu or Cagayan de Oro, so much cars on the road and lack of traffic management causes traffic anyway.
But let's get back to your point, or is there a point at all? Or you're just jeering that those who join rallies are "bayaran", "dilawan", "hakot"; and you even claim Lumad children are clueless and exploited to join the rally.
I mean, you've been reading or watching the news? Or wait, is it just Facebook that you're relying on for your pipe dream?
Let me help explain if I can. Rallies are our rights. September 21 was a day of remembering our historical pains. And now there are signs that people, especially the youth are being snuffed out of their lives. Kian in Caloocan. Obello in Talaingod. The war on drugs and the counter-insurgency letting out erring cops and crazy paramilitaries.
You may argue that the war on drugs and the war on terror will save us. Perhaps I should ask, do you wake up feeling better that another child could be mistakenly offed as a drug user? Or the next one could be your child, or your friend's child?
Let's get one thing clear. You and I share the same frustrations with government. And candidate Digong voiced the exasperation last election about going up against a corrupt, inept system of governance. But over one year now into his presidency, what do we have? "Tanim bala" in airport is replaced by "tanim baril" on EJKs. More negativity and division through fake news. More people losing jobs and prices spiraling up. And a president fixated with authoritarianism and cussing.
All those negatives thing we exhaled out on the streets. That unity on the streets is much better than all the things you've been doing on your pipe dream online. It's better to go out, put your line with others on the streets, integrate, and appreciate that unity with other sectors is better than flocking on the comfort of your chair reading the junk of pro-Du30 trolls.
So, dear diehard supporter, guess what, I woke up feeling better. Hope you do soon. Take my advice. Log out there paminsan.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on September 23, 2017.
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