Having responded in my last column to the erroneous and baseless accusations on my half inaccurate remark on the VP’s (I mistakenly thought to be accurate) supposed riding in a C-130 plane ferrying her relief goods, I will now dissect her responses to the President’s commentaries on the controversial “Nasaan Ang Pangulo” hashtag that went viral.
In one of his televised addresses, PRRD slammed the VP for her dishonesty in questioning his whereabouts at the height of typhoon “Ulysses” that caused floods in Cagayan, Isabela and Marikina.
The President said that as VP, she knew that at the height of the typhoon, he was in Malacañang attending the ASEAN Summit, and immediately thereafter, he flew to the flooded places to check on the extent of the damage caused by it.
Those activities received wide media coverage.
The VP replied in a Twitter post to PRRD the following: “When a President is a misogynist, the conversation goes down to this level.
Eto po yung ginagawa namin gabi-gabi, nagpupuyat ilang linggo na para araw-araw may madala lang na tulong sa mga nangangailangan (This is what we do, losing sleep every night for some weeks, preparing relief goods so that every day we can bring them to those in need).
I am also calling out whoever peddled the fake news to the President, kaya ganito siya kapikon (that’s why he is so pissed off).
I never said ‘Where is the President?’”
Her response shows another glaring disconnect of the VP from reality.
Nobody is accusing her of being the source of the “Nasaan ang Pangulo” that went viral. It was her camp, specifically her spokesperson, who maliciously and publicly floated the idea that, while the VP was distributing relief goods, the President was in Malacañang doing nothing while typhoon “Ulysses” was doing its worst to the country.
Her own daughter tweeted, obviously referring to PRRD, that it was already 8 a.m. and the former was still asleep, when the truth of the matter is, at that precise time, the President was attending the virtual ASEAN Summit conference with other Asian heads of states, and after delivering his speech, he excused himself and flew to check on the floods which engulfed Cagayan, Isabela and Marikina, caused by the rampaging storm.
The VP did not dispute nor did she repudiate the official statements of her spokesman, hence she is bound by it.
Neither did she disagree with her daughter’s tweet that PRRD was still sleeping at 8 a.m. when the nation was in fact all up because horrendous typhoon “Ulysses” was unleashing its fury.
Since it is undeniable she is in constant communication with her daughter, the reasonable inference is that the daughter’s tweet then mirrored the sentiments of the mother, especially since the VP said she would not apologize for her daughter’s tweet.
If as she claims she reacts to any false news against her, and she cannot countenance any spread of it, then if she is true to her words as a citizen and as the second highest official of the land, she should have reacted against the lies peddled by biased netizens and yellow trolls on the fake news that PRRD was just lying idle in Malacañang in the midst of a natural disaster, and corrected them. But she did not, she let it pass. Necessarily, she abetted it and therefore became part of the spreader of fake news by her implied acquiescence and silence.
Her omission, evidently intentional, to correct a wrong, is inconsistent with her statement that: “Sa panahon ng matinding sakuna, dapat lahat ng tulong, welcome.
Hindi ito contest. Hindi tayo nag-uunahan. Lahat tayo dapat nagtutulong-tulong para sa ating mga kababayan.
(In the midst of a grave calamity, every help should be welcomed.
We cannot be competing with each other. All of us should help each other for our countrymen who have become victims of the disaster).” These words of the VP are hollow, and hypocritical as well, as she failed to walk her talk.
Giving help in a crisis is not limited to providing relief goods or cash assistance to the disaster victims, but it includes helping the government, of which the VP is very much a part of, to squelch or to stop dead on its tracks any fake news or false information that will undermine the trust reposed on the government and its officials and tarnish their integrity, and derail adversely the efforts of the government to provide efficient and effective services to the people.
By not correcting the fake news about the alleged President’s inaction and failure to perform his duty, the VP in effect allowed such falsity to proliferate and therefore she is as equally guilty with those who caused its transmission and spread.
The VP says helping people should not be a contest. There is nothing wrong with a friendly contest in assisting the typhoon victims.
It should even be encouraged as the donors will be motivated to give more to the needy. What is gravely wrong, as what the VP is doing every time there is a calamity and distributes goodies to the needy, is that she makes it appear that the government is either not responding to the needs of the people or that it is late in providing succor to them, and therefore she is the one filling in to — or substituting for — the inaction or inefficiency of the national government and the President.
She also creates the impression that she is the one coordinating with government offices, the Philippine National Police and military establishment charged with relief, rescue and rehabilitation works, and it is because of her coordination that these government instrumentalities are able to perform their mandates, when all she does is to call them up and asks if help is on the way to a particular place.
She then issues a statement either by Twitter or through her TV-radio program to the effect that she already coordinated with the concerned agencies, and they would then be on their way to provide the needed services, personnel, equipment, medicines and goods.
To top it all, on every occasion she is to visit a typhoon ravaged place bringing some relief assistance, she either brings a media crew in tow to record her activities for release to the media outlets, or she releases official statements trumpeting and detailing her relief operation activities with an aside that government efforts are inadequate.
And when this writer and other public officials publicly call her attention on her grandstanding stunts, and her misleading narratives and baseless criticisms against the government’s responses, she and her camp predictably express pretended righteous indignation and lament that their doing laudable works get undeserved brickbrats instead of getting government’s commendation for their charitable work. That again is where another disconnect lies.