Isabelle Duterte, granddaughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, has been receiving a lot flak lately for a photoshoot she had in Malacanang. Why, key “thought leaders” of the Philippine Opposition ask, should Duterte’s granddaughter be allowed to use Malacanang as the setting for her pictorial? Simple. Because she can.
Circuses like these are the reason why the Philippine Opposition suffer from a crisis of relevance. Because of a lack of intellectual chops to criticise the Duterte government at a level of discourse where issues of true national consequence are tackled, they are quickest when it comes to swarming around easy targets — like Isabelle Duterte.
What is the Opposition’s problem with these photos? There really is no reason other than that it offends partisan sensibilities. One particularly highlighted shot was her pose in a certain room where a certain document was signed that, today, serves as the key conceptual pillar of the Opposition’s demagoguery.
But here’s the thing. Isabelle Duterte can pose for photos anywhere in Malacanang. She can even pose right on top of the desk where former President Ferdinand Marcos signed the declaration of Martial Law in 1972. As far as she is concerned, Martial Law Crybabies can kiss her ass. Drawing from the famous line uttered by former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas in the aftermath of the Typhoon Haiyan disaster, she may as well say, “You are Aquinos, we are Dutertes. We now live in Malacanang. Next time, make sure you win the election.”
The Opposition should really ditch the Yellowtards. In much the same way that, to a hammer, everything looks like a nail, to Yellowtards, every girl in a gown looks like Imelda Marcos. That sort of intellectual cancer that afflicts the collective intellect of this discredited bloc within the Opposition seems to be at the root of why the Opposition continue to fail to propose alternative pathways that ordinary Filipinos can relate with.
Indeed, of what direct relevance is Isabelle Duterte’s debut outfit and where photos of her in it were posed to the lot of ordinary Filipinos who simply want to find decent livelihoods, live out their lives safe from crime, and pursue simple pleasures in the times between those important tasks? To the Chi-Chi Yellowtards who pontificate about the “unfairness” in Isabelle’s privilege to pose for photos in Malacanang, what is “important” does not really mean much to average Filipinos.
Leaders of the Opposition should realise that they are being led by their Yellowtard noisemakers down paths that disconnect rather than connect their parties to ordinary Filipinos’ more immediate and more down-to-earth concerns. No wonder they lost the 2016 elections and no wonder Congress remains collectively behind key initiatives of the Duterte government, like the war on drugs and extension of martial law in Mindanao — because these are things that ordinary Filipinos can relate with and, are issues that can convert votes. Mere high-horsed abstractions such as the moronic meanings Yellowtards put on the colour of Isabelle Duterte’s dress, quite simply, don’t matter as far as aspirations of true national consequence go and as far as what ordinary Filipinos deem are important in their scheme of things.
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