The panic being kicked up around the coronavirus outbreak is beginning to get tiresome. Unfortunately for Filipinos, the COVID-19 scare is the latest weaponised outrage fad the Yellowtard-led Opposition is clinging onto to bolster their demonisation campaign against the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
While other societies unite to fight the spread of this disease, the Yellowtards are fomenting division. Key to their obsession with COVID-19 is the convenient fact that it originated from China. This fits their narrative to a tee — their hollow criticism of Duterte’s pivot to China and what they assert is his plan to turn the Philippines into a “province of China”.
This is not to dismiss, of course, the disturbing influx of Chinese elements into the Philippines and their emerging effects — some good, some bad — on Philippine society. However, the Yellowtards need to take a more intelligent perspective on their bashing of Duterte and ethnic Chinese people. They need to regard the issues without the partisan blinkers that stunt their thinking.
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While the Yellowtards shriek about the spread of COVID-19, they seem to conveniently turn a blind eye to far more deadly and more known social diseases that kill and permanently injure far more Filipinos. The jeepney, for example, is a persistent social cancer that kills and maims far more Filipinos than COVID-19 ever will. These primitive contraptions also indirectly impact the lives of millions more thanks to the poisonous fumes they emit and the enormous traffic jams they cause. Interestingly enough, Filipinos are in a far better position to solve their jeepney problem than they are of getting a grip over biological threats. Jeepneys are, after all, a socio-political issue while biological threats demand more scientific and technological responses. Between the earlier and the latter, it is evident which of the two Filipinos excel at (or at least have louder voices to bring to bear).
Jeepneys are just one example of many problems dishonestly ignored by Yellowtard “activists” because these do not fit their dishonest political agenda. But in just that one example, the impact on Filipino lives utterly DWARFS that of what the COVID-19 outbreak would cause. Just last month, a jeepney was shown on a video running over a group of kids crossing a street. Yet no shrill expressions of outrage came from the Opposition cliques nor any calls for Duterte’s head over the continued proliferation of these killer vehicles heard.
Other diseases endemic to tropical settings seem to also escape the reach of outrage fad “activism” at the level of shrillness the COVID-19 crisis attracts. To put the numbers in perspective, almost 6,000 cases of Dengue and 22 deaths related to it were reported from January to February of this year just in the Central Visayas alone.
The Yellowtards are, indeed, a dishonest bunch of snowflake virtue signallers that have no place in a country that aspires to be a modern and mature democracy. They go as far as undermining statements released by Philippine government authorities and direct their followers to unofficial channels. For example, they are quick to flock to the statements on the matter of “vice president” Leni Robredo simply because she is perceived to be one of them.
— Philstar.com (@PhilstarNews) March 7, 2020
This is a dangerous thing to be doing during a period of global crisis. Robredo, for one, has a history of making statements that damage the interests of the state such as when she told lies upon lies in a video exhibited to a United Nations forum in 2017. More recently, Robredo also pretended to be “helping” with relief operations in the aftermath of the Taal Volcano eruption when, in fact, she spent most of her time putting up a performance before the cameras to score PR points.
The COVID-19 outbreak is a serious matter of global consequence that demands a national response in collaboration with the global effort. This is no time for the petty divisive partisanism being exhibited by the Yellowtard-led Philippine Opposition. The crisis should not be used as a means to score political points. Indeed, with national elections just around the corner, the shrill voices emanating from the Opposition should be regarded with a critical mind. Desperation, after all, makes for ill-thought-out and misguided posturing. It’s time Filipinos see past that and seek real solutions by applying modern thinking to the challenges they face.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.