Consistent with ethos

‘So that’s Inday, the Vice President, she won’t fight but her anger comes out of her mouth’

“If (peace) talks are revived, we are most certain that the NPA (New People’s Army) will continue to terrorize government forces and civilians.” (2018)

“It is a sad day for Davao City. I am sorry we lost Larry (Buenafe), a victim of delusional people living in an alternate universe who are now celebrating their so-called victory against oppression. But it is a celebration that means nothing except grief for the true victims.” (May 2017)

“I wore the traditional Bagobo Tagabawa dress to raise awareness of the victimization of the IPs by the NPA and the Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. It was lobbying in the open public the welfare of IPs who have always been the favorite darling of the NPA for their recruitment and attacks — which happen every time they register their resistance.” (July 2022)

“And I will not waver. In fact, you will see me even more relentless because I have a responsibility to the Filipino people, especially to the Filipino children.” (July 2022)

“We can clearly expect nothing from the NPA terrorists — not even the slightest compassion for the people. It cannot even feign concern.” (25 April 2020)

“Congress should expel the members of the Makabayan bloc. The party-list system is the milking cow of terrorists. These militant groups, who masquerade as pro-people, only want to sow hostility and chaos, especially to those who reject them and the terrorist groups they support.” (October 2018)

These are among the many strongly worded anti-communist rhetoric of Vice President Sara Z. Duterte. They are rants branching out from a deeply rooted reason that her father, former President Rodrigo R. Duterte, bared in a media interview last week.

Back in the day, he said, his parents adopted a “poor guy” who was already an adult named Berto. He carried around the little Sara, fondly called Inday.

He went on to say that Berto later acquired a piece of land in Marilog, a barangay some 76 kilometers from Davao City.

“One night, the NPA (rebels) went to his house and ate. After eating, they shot Berto to death,” Duterte said.

When informed of Berto’s death the following day, the former president immediately ran to the farm with Inday in tow.

They got there ahead of the forensics team and Inday saw the lifeless body of Berto, a persevering man whom the Dutertes considered family.

He said he saw through Inday’s eyes the anger and the grief over the loss of an extended family member.

“Alam ko talaga si Inday, si Pulong o Baste wala, but yan si Inday talagang hindi ko na talaga mabawi; cannot be corrected anymore (I know Inday well; she is different from Pulong or Baste. With Inday, it is irreversible),” he said.

“That’s how the NPAs are. I have the same experience with them.”

Right from the father’s mouth, no one can blame his daughter for her hardline stand because she saw with her bare eyes the cruelty of communists, to the extent of killing those who fed them.

“So that’s Inday, the Vice President, she won’t fight but her anger comes out of her mouth,” an equally feisty father said.

Just the same, the hardline stand of the Vice President, as Education Secretary, evokes consistency with her ethos and conscience by implementing stronger child protection against the exploitation and recruitment of children and youth into communist terrorism.

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