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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Velez: Of defilement, Duterte and environment

DUTERTE is not a rapist. That’s for sure.

Though he likes to kiss and flirt in sorties, interviews, and selfies, and has admitted to have girlfriends aside from a common-law wife, there is an enigma between his macho personality and his gender-sensitive politics.

Behind that machismo and gutter-language, is a mayor who helped the city made strides in gender-sensitive programs and facilities to help women and children. A story in this paper shows he initiated the creation of Balay Dangupan way back in 1994.

But that still does not excuse Duterte for his remarks, both supporters and haters would agree to that, on different levels.

But sadly, a legitimate issue of rape and protection of women has been clouded by politics. Rabid Duterte supporters are not helping by bashing all feminist groups including Gabriela, which has laid every foundation in protecting women’s social, economic and political rights. And I remind these kind of supporters that the foundation of many of Duterte’s programs on women were made through the active role of Gabriela in Davao. It’s time to simmer down the anger and take it out somewhere else, like hitting Mar and his Liberal Party for those twerking dance in a political sortie.

Beyond Duterte and his big mouth, we need to raise the women issue as an agenda, as well as fighting against the culture of machismo in this feudal culture we have.

But I would agree with their argument that it’s better to take a bad joke rather than living under a bad government.

This “Daang Matuwid” government does things worse than rape. This includes the rape of our natural resources as 500,000 hectares of Lumad and Moro lands in Mindanao is occupied by large-scale mines and 700,000 hectares for agri-business plantations.

As April 22 was Earth Day, we are reminded from the Green Vote 2016 that the environment is much an important issue in this election. Especially here in Mindanao where we see impact of El Niño affecting farms and hydro-power plants.

The group though revealed presidentiables with links to mining companies, such as “Daang Matuwid” standard bearer Mar Roxas who has declared in 2012 P120 million from shares from various large scale mining companies. Another presidentiable Jojo Binay received campaign contributions from mining companies.

Vice presidentiables such as Bongbong Marcos and Alan Peter Cayetano expressed preference to large-scale mining, while Gringo Honasan supports the formation of paramilitary groups to protect mining industries.

Among senatoriables, Martin Romualdez, a relative of the Marcoses, is the former chairman of Benguet Corporation and brother Benjamin Romualdez is the President of the Philippine Chamber of Mines. Richard Gordon is an independent director in Atlas Mining.

The group lauds Miriam Santiago for her stand on GMO regulations, and passed resolutions on climate change and investigations on killings and attacks on environmentalists and lumads.

The group however failed to mention Duterte’s track record of signing the mining ban in Davao City, the garbage segregation policy and ban on plastic and Styrofoam use.

We hope we could vote for green, and I don’t mean green jokes, or the jokes going to be on us for the next six years.

tyvelez@gmail.com
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