Two weeks ago, typhoon “Ulysses” brought much havoc and paralyzing devastation in Luzon. In the typhoon’s aftermath, a hashtag went viral.
It suggested in question form that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was nowhere to be found at the height of the typhoon’s fury, and in the relief efforts that followed.
President Duterte was very upset about the hashtag and suspected that Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo was behind the accusation.
Duterte criticized Robredo for making typhoon relief efforts a popularity contest between him and her.
The President’s spokesman, Secretary Harry Roque, also suspected that the Robredo camp was behind the smear campaign.
He cited social media posts made by certain individuals close to Robredo, which seem to link the Veep to the anti-Duterte hashtag.
Roque also revealed to media a screenshot of a tweet exchange between two of Robredo’s daughters.
According to the screenshots, Tricia Robredo posted, “Tulog pa rin, alas otso na (Still asleep and its 8 o’clock already),” to which Aika Robredo replied in the style of her mother’s carabao English, “Sabado eh, weekend (That’s because it’s a Saturday, a weekend).”
Although the authenticity of those tweets was not denied by the Robredo camp, a disclaimer insisted that there is no proof that the tweets are connected to the anti-Duterte hashtag.
Like a mother hen shielding her noisy chicks, Robredo complained in her social media account that her two daughters were bullied for their tweets.
It turned out that her statements praising her daughters consisted of conflicting inferences.
“Now, my children are being bullied. I have always been proud of the persons my daughters have become.
They are their own persons. What they have accomplished, so far, are all borne out of their hard work. Yes, they’re outspoken and rightfully so. We have trained them to stand up for themselves and what they believe in,” went her post.
Observers noted that Robredo’s post was not in her usual carabao English because it was probably prepared for her by her publicist.
At any rate, Mother Hen Robredo’s social media post should be dismissed as nonsense.
While her daughters’ tweets do not have a direct link to the anti-Duterte hashtag, the timing of the tweets and the names of their authors are tell-tale indications that the tweets themselves were riding on the ongoing bad publicity for President Duterte generated by the hashtag.
Since Mother Hen Robredo claims her daughters are “accomplished” individuals, then her daughters ought to have known that the timing of their tweets and the fact that their names are indicated therein can easily give the public the impression, correct or otherwise, that they were referring to President Duterte.
If Robredo’s “accomplished” daughters had someone else in mind in their tweets other than President Duterte, then they should have had the common sense to categorically say so.
That would have reduced the chances of their being misunderstood, especially considering that their tweets were for public consumption. They did not, and that omission indicates that their tweets were stealthily directed at President Duterte.
By making those tweets in the public realm of the “market place of ideas and opinions” that is social media, Robredo’s “accomplished” daughters willingly made themselves fair game for criticism and counter-opinions from others.
From all indications, therefore, Robredo’s “rightfully outspoken” daughters are unaware of the saying, “if you can’t take it in, then don’t dish it out.”
Robredo also boasts that her daughters “are their own persons” and that they have been trained “to stand up for themselves.”
If that is true, then why is Robredo personally involved in the defense of her daughters? Since the daughters are touted as “their own persons” trained “to stand up for themselves,” then they should defend themselves on their own, instead of letting their mother do all the public talking for them. Having joined the word war of politics on their own free will, the daughters should fight their own battles.
Another saying teaches, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!”
Thus, if Robredo can’t stand the heat by which her “accomplished” and “rightfully outspoken” daughters are getting “bullied” in the kitchen of Philippine politics, she should tell them to get out of that kitchen.