During the 2016 elections. Duterte has always been pictured as the champion of the South who will be our voice in national politics for the first time in many years since President Sergio Osmeña. To me as a Cebuano who also hails from the Southern part of the Philippines finds the idea quite tempting since for some time the existence of the Cebuano’s were quite moot in national affairs. In fact, it seems pretty normal for people in the North call us ”Probinsyano’s” and ”Probinsyanas” implying that southern part of the Philippines were distant in the main island of Luzon where the Philippine capital is located as well as its seat of government.
The premise of electing a Cebuano or Bisaya speaking President was to give Mindanao and perhaps the Visayas, including my home Cebu its powerful representation and possibly bring forth the unification of this long divided nation. Campaign propaganda posters convey a strong rhetoric of change portrayed Duterte’s image as a somewhat successful tough talking politician who’s been in public service for many years and developed Davao City to one of the Philippines premiere business hubs which now serves as one of the Philippines metropolitan centers of commerce. A utopia, one can only imagine where there’s no drugs, less crime and no corruption.
But these were merely hollow promises and the cycle of crminality and drugs continued all throughout the archiepielago. Of course, the government couldn’t simply dismiss the legitimate concerns of the electorate especially those who voted for him last 2016. Isn’t it normal for us to demand change which is exactly what he promised last 2016?
Duterte left for Thailand leaving Mindanao reeling from multiple powerful earthquakes
In the past few weeks, Mindanao was hit with multiple ground shattering earthquakes, leaving many homes, buildings, bridges and roads destroyed thus affecting thousands of Filipinos living in Mindanao. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. Many people complained about losing access to water as many underground pipes might have been damaged or severed.
Even the vice mayor of Makilala town in Cotabato appeals for help, saying the residents affected by the series of powerful earthquakes need tents, food, and water. Many of locals goes outside their shattered homes showing placards asking for help.
“‘Yung calamity fund ng municipality, depleted na.”
In fact, known celebrities like Angel Locsin were already seen on the ground in Mindanao buying supplies and helping with its distribution. According to an exclusive report from Sun Star Davao. The Kapamilya star ditched the old French royalty garb she came dressed in at Thursday night’s party, and immediately flew to Davao wearing a more casual combination of a polo over a black shirt and a cap.
Ordinary citizens in the area also volunteered to help each other, such as cooking food, setting up tents and distributing goods for the affected residents. Also, local government units did their best in making life a bit bearable for the 12,000 people staying in evacuation centers.
Leni Robredo also instantly mobilized her Angat Buhay partners in the vicinity to provide immediate assistance to the affected residents. Deploying hundreds of temporary shelters for the affected families in evacuation centers.
She also ensured that food and necessary supplies will be distributed immediately to the affected families
As all of these heroic efforts to support and help our countrymen of earthquakes struck Mindanao. The Mindanaoan President himself, who in the past portrayed himself as the hope and voice of Mindanao in Philippines national affairs were nowhere to be seen. According to Palace officials – he chose to leave for Thailand despite the tragedy which befell many parts of Mindanao include his hometown Davao.
Duterte is said to attend the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits. But this is also the same set of events which he chose to skip because he’s been enjoying his power-naps November last year? If he can just skip events like this because he just wants languish and slack comfortably in his tax-paid hotel room then why not skip it to fly out and attend to your people who is currently suffering from widespread starvation and have apparently been homeless due to the strong quakes which hit their homes which led to its eventual collapse.