Philippine Liberal Party blogger Jover Laurio of Pinoy Ako Blog summarized what is wrong with a lot of voters and Philippine society in general in one of her recent posts on social media site Twitter:
In her effort to paint Liberal Party Senators Bam Aquino and ally Risa Hontiveros in a good light and as “compassionate” people compared to the rest of their colleagues in the Senate, Laurio inadvertently exposed the dysfunctional behavior of some Filipinos. Laurio wasn’t even aware she was exposing her own habit of begging for money, which she obviously thinks is “normal”.
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The problem with Filipinos like Laurio is their sense of entitlement is too strong. They think the government owes them money. They also think that the politicians they voted into power are indebted to them or have an obligation to give them something back such as money, goods or services in exchange for putting them in power. Laurio was promoting this appalling behavior to her thousands of followers. She was basically telling her followers “Hey, guys! You can ask these two senators for money as long as you vote for them”. So where does Laurio think these politicians get the money they dole out to random people from? No wonder a lot of politicians are forced to dip into public funds!
Laurio is really embracing her role as the Liberal Party’s propagandist. The timing of her post is perfect for the coming mid-term elections. She only praises politicians from the Liberal Party. She didn’t even mind it when she was recently exposed as Kris Aquino’s paid hack. Laurio’s silence after Aquino confirmed she was funding the boosting of Laurio’s blogs on social media site Facebook says a lot. Laurio even defended this by saying it was only fair to ask for help since she needed more exposure for her articles. That just proves that her popularity is not organic and would be difficult to sustain when she loses all the people who prop her up.
Most of us know Laurio only became popular after members of mainstream media who are against Duterte helped push her profile up. They used her and tried to portray her as a victim of cyber bullying perpetrated by Duterte supporters. We will not forget how the Inquirer gave Laurio the 2017 Filipino of the Year award. She didn’t even do anything but pretend to be a victim of online trolls. It’s not like Laurio wrote something that changed the mindset of Filipinos for the better. She was actually engaging in vicious attacks against her perceived enemies. But that wasn’t highlighted by her supporters in the media. In fact, Laurio was even interviewed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) at the height of her “fame”.
One wonders how on earth the BBC found out about her. It can only be through connections from mainstream media – someone who thought they could use her as their poster girl against Duterte. Rappler CEO Maria Ressa has connections in foreign media. Ressa eventually became one of Laurio’s wedding sponsors during her recent nuptials. For someone unemployed, a lot of people wondered how Laurio could afford her extravagant wedding with guests from the elite members of Philippine society. Some people have speculated that Laurio managed to find sponsors to spend for the occasion. There were moneyed Liberal Party members and supporters who attended her wedding.
People like Laurio have a talent for asking for money by using emotional blackmail. They try to make you feel like you’re a terrible person if you don’t give them money or do them favors. They pretend the money would be used to pay for medical bills, for example, or to save them from their wretched existence. I’m pretty sure most people would be familiar with someone like that. These moochers usually start by relating their tales of woe and then proceed to ask you to help them. If you say no, they will become aggressive and badmouth you just like what Laurio did to the other politicians who did not give money to her friend.
Unfortunately, the politicians who give in to the demands of people like Laurio – people who ask for money or favors – are contributing to the culture of mendicancy in Philippine society. There are people who think that the government’s role is to give them money or provide free access to everything. There is even a group called Kadamay the leaders of which encourage their members to grab and squat on vacant private or government housing properties because they feel entitled to it just because they are “poor”. They also become aggressive and play the victim card once officers of law enforcement agencies try to kick them out. The media doesn’t help when they portray them as being harassed even when they are violent. The problem is, the politicians do not want to be portrayed as anti-poor and are afraid of losing votes so they turn a blind eye to the dysfunctional and illegal behavior.
This situation has been going on for decades. The population of people with a strong sense of entitlement keeps growing no thanks to people like Laurio who perpetuate it. No wonder the Philippines remain a basket case.
In life, things are not always what they seem.