Party-List politicians seek audience with Anti-Squatter postergirl Bianca Gonzalez

One wonders what else Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon wants to discuss with Bianca Gonzalez in a “dialogue” he is reportedly seeking with the famous model-turned-TV-personality.

Bianca Gonzalez looking more like a true GetRealist nowadays
Bianca Gonzalez looking more like a true GetRealist nowadays
I suppose the question to Ridon is quite simple: What part of Gonzalez’s tweet that “So many people working hard to save to buy a house on prime land while paying their taxes. Why do we have to baby these informal settlers?” (translated from a tweet she fielded in early July) is subject to further interpretation? Apparently a tough question for many in the “party-list” community as “other party-list groups are seeking a meeting with Gonzales to clarify some issues about informal settlers,” according to Ridon.

Ridon adds that Gonzalez’s words “makes [them] sad because Bianca is one of the celebrities who [they] expect to understand national issues like poverty” and that this may just be a “knee-jerk reaction” on her part and thus deserves to be given “the benefit of the doubt.”

Quite a lot of “expectations”. Not surprising considering Bianca Gonzalez’s mega-celebrity affords her enormous influence when it comes to shaping public opinion. She has a 2.46 million-strong following on Twitter and her now famous tweet has been retweeted 1,807 times. She has emboldened thousands of her fans to speak their minds about squatters many of whom have likely long held their tongue for fear of being summarily labelled “anti-poor” by polite society.

One of the most eloquent of these ordinary Filipinos to speak out is a certain Allan Espinosa who, in a moving letter to the Philippine Daily Inquirer wrote…

And this is the point where I part ways with the majority and some media in the Philippines which put emphasis on the “helplessness” of informal settlers as victims. This “victim mentality” may have created a false reality for many poor Filipinos. Thus, we have bred generations of hopeless and dreamless Filipinos who might have been productive citizens had they been given the proper motivation and education. Barring a dictatorship and another failed economy like the one we had during the Marcos regime, poverty should be no excuse for sloth.

squatter_sewage
[Photo courtesy Global Post.]

The phenomenal response to Gonzalez’s 24-word statement on squatters in Tagalog has earned her the title The Long Awaited Messiah of Anti-Squatter Activism. Apparently Ridon recognises this and reportedly “hopes that after the meeting, Gonzales would be able to use her celebrity status to correct this impression about informal settlers.”

That remains to be seen.

Manila residents have long put up with the impunity of the hundreds of thousands of squatters that have colonised thousands of hectares of prime land in the metropolis. The cost to the economy has been enormous — among others, unfathomable loss of productivity due to the horrendous traffic jams caused by flooding and the unsightly blight to the citysccape that have put off countless potential tourists and long-term investors. Just recently, a huge fire fuelled by a vast tract of illegally-built homes adjacent to the Makati Medical Center once again highlighted the risks to public health and safety posed by the proliferation of these illegal settlements.

But because the be-all-end-all agenda of the average Filipino politician — harvesting votes — trumps just about every other reason for their existence, the immensely intractable problem that is the Philippines’ squatter situation had festered for decades and persists to this day and will likely do so for the foreseeable future.

It is up to the thought leadership of celebrities like Bianca Gonzalez to shunt the freight train of Filipino cultural dysfunction off the tracks leading to wretched oblivion.

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26 Comments on “Party-List politicians seek audience with Anti-Squatter postergirl Bianca Gonzalez”

  1. Yang si terry ridon wala nang ginawa kundi magpapansin. Sawsaw ng sawsaw sa mga issue kahit na wala nang katuturan ang pinagsasasabi nya para lang mapansin at magmukhang makamasa at maka maralita. Dapat dyan putulan na ng dila para manahimik na habambuhay.

  2. I really don’t get the big deal that she tweeted those comments in Tagalog. You can say it in English, Tagalog, Chinese, or French but the bottom line is the same.

    Not that I am against her comments but I don’t see the big fuss of her saying it in Tagalog.

    Is this the first time a Filipino has spoken against Squatters using the official language of the country?

      1. “The phenomenal response to Gonzalez’s 24-word statement on squatters in Tagalog has earned her the title The Long Awaited Messiah of Anti-Squatter Activism. ”

        The fact Tagalog was mentioned. I don’t know it just seems like unnecessary information. And I read in another article (maybe its also in Get Real Phil I can’t remember) that highlighted that too.

        1. You use the lingua franca of the intended audience.

          My mother tongue is English but when I have to I do write in Tagalog to direct my message to.

          What I find amusing is that partylist Congressmen want an audience with Bianca Gonzalez. lol

          Is she that big of a deal? What she said is on the minds of a lot of people who have to deal with squatters on their family legal lands.

  3. I hope Bianca does not entertain any of these fools even once. Even if she decides to see them they will use that to misrepresent her and make up issues that she actually did not mean to say those things. And she would have to exert extra effort again to disprove the allegations these fools made when they met up with her.

    Lumang tugtugin na yan mga ulol.

    1. I agree, engaging the partylists is just a publicity stunt by them to get more votes for the next election.

  4. My grandfather, may God rest his soul, toiled to acquire properties in the Philippines. My grandparents adhered to all the tax laws religiously and even up to now, my grandmother who is almost a centenarian, would be nothing short of furious if the responsibilities to the country are not met by her children pertaining to our family’s assets. But here is where the problem lies. In this day and age, the taxes serve the government and not impoverished brothers and sisters. The government should conscientiously do their duties and provide the Filipino with jobs and education (academics and moral) then back it up with assistance for shelter and food. Health issues need to be addressed wherein the poor and desperate don’t have to resort to wrong means to have happy and healthy families. If greed is set aside it should pave a road for the fulfillment of the Christian way of life..”Loving your brothers and sisters as He loves you”

  5. i would be surprised if terry ridon would not lift a finger or raise a point. he is supposed to be a representative not only of the youth but of the people, a progressive one at that.

    i am greatly appalled by this generation’s lack of understanding on the plight of informal settlers. this is clearly manifested by bianca gonzales’ knee-jerk and unpalatable, very insensitive remark vis-a-vis urban poor dwellers. these poor were never binebeybi. binubuldoser nga ang mga bahay, pampered ba yun? sino naman ang nagsabing bibigyan sila ng magandang bahay? susme….

    1. We are all raised with some sort of social handicap. I for one had a well to do family but and my own father gambled away all our money to the point of bankruptcy and massive debt. Did I decide to take the easy way out? Nope I got a college degree and worked my way so I can help support my family.

      My point is we are all born with some sort of social handicap. And being born poor is a piss poor excuse of not doing anything.

      I wish I was born super wealthy but I am not so I need to help support my mom, dad, and other family members.

    2. There are some poor people in the provinces that never thought about going to the city. My father is an example of that. He toiled long and hard and walked to more than a kilometer to school everyday. He does not get to school all the time because everytime it rains the books and notebooks that he has gets wet, he could care less getting wet himself. He was the youngest of all 6 siblings and their parents never had time for them because they had to work to let them go to school. Now he is a prominent person here in Cebu, was a past president of a business club, was a cabinet member in the past admin, and now has a thriving business. he was poor but he was no squatter.

      1. Your example just shows how lazy a lot of these squatters are.

        Being poor is no excuse not to be a squatter.

        These squatters are a burden to society and should know how to prioritize rather than just live in squalor.

        1. Tama ka burden to society sila. Mga middle class people kasi ang nag tatrabaho bilang factory worker,construction worker, katulong at tricylce driver. Tamad sila lahat. Tamad.

    3. It is refreshing that those with something to legitimate to lose are not scared to voice out their outrage over the squatter problem.

      The legal mechanisms are in place to move them to a better place that they can call their own kaso they still want to stay on land they do not own.

    4. Eh ano yung tawag mo doon sa CCT at ang tinatawag na “disturbance compensation” ?
      Stop being PC about it and call them squatters, for that’s what they are. What they do is practically stealing. Are you in favor of thieves? The city governments should just forcibly ship them back to their home provinces. I didn’t work my butt off just to have my taxes go to CCT!

        1. i wonder if your fathers and grand parents were on a city when they experienced hardship ?

          urban poor’s hardships doesn’t just revolve on food and work ..but as well they struggle of housing ..as for those who have they’re stories held in provinces ..we must know that being poor in provinces (not in CITIES) is just of food and work ..but hardly they struggle to have a better house for their families for we have ANCESTRAL DOMAIN wherein most of the people in agricultural provinces or even just provinces have their own land to build houses or sell to others ..

          and its quite hideous to compare the struggle of the urban poor to the rural poor . . . since their handicaps are different in more than one way . . .

          and how could you say that these squatters are slacking off their butt while most of those who are diligently paying their taxes and was paying for their lots to be owned eventually ..when this lazy people are most of the fundamentally what constitutes SWEAT shops and sources of laboring hands to build high rising building and condominiums which would hardly they be able to set foot after its grand opening . . . this squatters are those who’re being exploited to go abroad and be a tool of some foreigner . . .

          yes they may not pay their housing taxes for their lots are not for owning ..but aside from that all are the same ..struggling for life ..we all pay our taxes on our own ways so as this misplaced urban poor ..why they still fit themselves on those slums even they were offered several good propositions ..is that their hopeful and persistent in life that no matter how hard it is and how discriminating it is to be on slums they’ll persevere to retain their position to retain their jobs to give their family and children a life sufficient everyday living ..they might not be able to eat thrice aday but just to sustain their breath will suffice ..

          while i must admit there are those black sheep among the inhabitants of the slums ..so the same goes for those who has better life ..

          why do we have to emphasize the wrong doings of some to all ? so as can we say that all middle class was blockheads and was inconsiderate just as how the urban poor the squatters are lazy and was scums ?

          though they may have issues concerning law violation we must not forget that so as we at one point or another have committed and would commit a such if need comes in hand . . .

          we should just be thankful that were not among them and hope we would not ..and just be quiet ..instead of bragging that you’re a DILIGENT TAX PAYING BLOCKHEAD ..just as you are so as they ..so as all of us . . . don’t be too greedy that even good efforts you want to be granted to you and be praised by all ..hypocrisy and being a blockhead was you’re greatest sin ..tough it may not be written in the constitution but one way or another the time you realized you’re wrong doings i hope it wasn’t late yet . . .

        2. To Mcgeral Macarilay:

          There is a saying water comes from the same source and the spring does not rise higher than the source.

          The rural poor are poor but chose to remain in the rural areas to work their way up. The rural poor who choose to go to the cities without a backup plan become squatters. They are one and the same and their treatment should be commensurate to the choices they make. Don’t equate compassion for socialism, as practically no working model that has sustained longevity based on socialism has survived without a viable source of income.

  6. tama sya , Hindi kasi sila nag susumikap na lumipat sa matinong lugar. naging kampante na sila na ganoon nalang ang kalalagyan ng stado nila sa buhay. Tapos sila ang mag rereklamo na hindi sila inaasikaso ng gobyerno WTF , aasa nalang forever ? , pag may pag kilos , at may determinasyon kayang kaya naman umasenso , sila lang ang may away gusto nila sa ganyang pamumuhay maging skwater habang buhay. , hindi ako naaawa sa mga skwater kasi sila rin ang may kasalanan kung bakit sila naroon. ,

    pag pinanganak kang mahirap ,Hindi mo kasalanan pero kung mamamatay kang mahirap parin , aba kasalanan mo yan =)

  7. Yan na naman, umeepal na naman ang mga leftards. Gagamitin na naman ang mga ganyang mga pagkakataon (at yung mga informal settler) para makakuha ng boto pagdating sa halalan.

    Walang kaibahan sa mga trapo na nagme-maintain ng mga informal settler vote farm.

  8. i’m extremely hurt reading this and i am not even a filipino. i think it is horrible for these filipino women to be treating people living in these conditions badly. no one would want to live in these conditions. i am fortunate enough to be born and raised in london england. and have no reason to go to third world country philippines to come across a country that is not with the morn times. the country is not mixed with all types of people. it doesn’t have a free mind like western world countries e.g. UK and america it is brainwashed to follow catholicism, hate their colour, bleach themselves and be racist to those who are the original philippine colour brown. in the real world in western countries its all about tanning and having colour and it is so mixed and diverse with people all over the world walking working living side by side we dont even notice colour over here. many people in the philippines will never know what it is like i the western world because it is a poor country and almost impossible for people to leave unless they wish to be servants/slaves treated badly by some wealthy families. the philippine people need to come together and stop judging each other by who is lighter or who is poorer. filipinos are one people and you need to help each other come out of the poverty the whole country is facing. it is not just the squatter who are poor it is a third world country. therefore the wealthy celebrities such as bianca gonzalez who be assisting the poor instead of spending her money bleaching and being a snob. if the philippine government are going to stay corrupt it is up to the rest of the philippine people who are wealthy to try and make a difference and assist wealthy people like pacquiao and gonzalez who look down on their own people is what is keeping the squatters in poverty and not the squatters being lazy!

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