The trouble with “thought leaders” of the Philippine Opposition is that they often think and behave like spurned adolescent lovers more than rational adults. The way they launched into a shrieking fit over the recent move of renowned human rights lawyer Harry Roque into the Malacanang team reeks of vindictiveness and lacks any semblance of forward thinking.
The Opposition straight out fail to take a constructive perspective to this development and fail to apply a bit of imagination to at least find curious fascination in the prospect of how a human rights lawyer might speak for a government highly-criticised for alleged “human rights abuses”. Rather, the usual shrill voices of the Opposition turned their guns on Roque’s back as he seemingly walked away from their “graces” towards the unknown challenge of working with the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
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This highlights the futility in attempting a conversation with idiots. On one hand, the Opposition led by their self-appointed “leaders” in the Liberal Party (LP, a.k.a. the “Yellowtards”) would cocoon themselves within a clique of mutual back-patting like minds throwing barbs at what they perceive to be “incompetent” and even “evil” people serving the Duterte administration. Yet, on another (as we are seeing today), they decry someone they once regarded as “one of us”, opting to serve the Duterte government. Well, dude, what exactly is it that you want to see happen? The Yellowtards lament that all the wrong people work for Duterte. Now that one of the supposedly “right” ones have opted to join him, the shrill shrieks simply grow louder. Tanginang yan.
Perhaps, like any politician, part of what motivates Roque is political survival. But, really, what is wrong with that? It is too naive for anyone to think that anyone of consequence in the Philippines does anything purely for altruistic purposes. Roque, like any sane human being, balances personal interest and noble ideals. Perhaps it is because Yellowtards are into the worship of saints, martyrs, and their “amazing” gods. That mindset leads them to expect nothing less than pure intentions in the people they choose to hold in high esteem. For the Yellowtards, good people are always 100 percent motivated by pure or noble intentions and that their actions always involve self-sacrifices for zero personal gain.
Well now, that certainly is a recipe for the very culture of hypocrisy that lost them an entire country back in 2016. After all, only saints and martyrs are worthy of Yellowtard veneration and Filipinos, quite simply, have gotten sick of that insane self-righteousness.
Roque perhaps saw some opportunity for personal gain in joining Team Duterte. Duterte, after all, remains a popular leader. But only intelligent people who are able to think in the modern sense can properly fill in the less-evident gaps and formulate a more complete theory of why Roque does what he does. Indeed, Roque is obviously not stupid and is aware of the risk he is taking (which is a no-brainer seeing the predictibality with which the Yellowtards are reacting to this today) and would have weighed the pros and cons of joining Duterte.
There is, obviously, potential for a big win that makes this risk worthwhile for Roque. That’s Investing 101, by the way — seeing an opportunity and taking a risk to exploit it. The question therefore is, what opportunity could Roque have possibly seen that makes his investment in lost political capital amongst the Yellowtards worthwhile?
For one, Duterte’s alleged “human rights violations” are largely unsubstantiated. The gone-viral notions of him being a human rights “abuser” are largely products of spin spewed by a hostile butthurt news media industry and a largely unimaginative, directionless, and strategically-bankrupt Opposition. There is a popular saying: It takes one to know one. Roque is, of course, not a “human rights violator”. But Roque has battled a lot of them. He knows how they think and he knows how to formulate an attack plan to thwart them in court. He knows the enemy.
One-dimensional minds will, as is evident in the position the Yellowtards take, fixate themselves in this one-dimensional logical construct:
Duterte is a violator of human rights and is therefore an enemy of human rights defenders. Roque is a human rights defender. Therefore, Roque should regard Duterte as The Enemy.
It is on that childish logic that they now condemn Roque for joining Team Duterte. However, a real intellectual will, before dubbing one “The Enemy”, first ask: Is Duterte really the enemy? More specifically, perhaps Roque asked himself:
Is Duterte really a human rights violator?
As long as the answer to that question has not been established beyond reasonable doubt there is opportunity for Roque the Human Rights Lawyer to work with Duterte.
It is likely in the course of Roque’s stint in Malacanang, that he will crystallise his own conclusions about Duterte and his government to a point where he can answer this question conclusively then act accordingly. Until then, Filipinos should support the new presidential spokesperson and wish him well. He is, after all, serving the Philippine Government and, by logical extension, the Filipino people. Let’s stop acting like a bunch of Yellowtards, grow up, and start looking forward.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.