Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Quiet Achievement is not in Leni Robredo's vocabulary
The other day, we analyzed whether or not Leni Robredo’s “private visit” to the bomb attack victims in Davao was a publicity stunt. (Read here)
If you’re still wondering about this, check out this link to an ABS-CBN report about a post Robredo made on her Facebook account regarding one of the victims she visited.
Here is another Facebook post that she made about another victim.
As we said yesterday, while Robredo’s sympathy for the victims might have been genuine, it is quite clear that publicity was also one of her goals. Why else would a “private visit” end up with pictures sent directly by her office for circulation in the media, and now, Facebook posts being picked up like press releases by the media?
But what if Robredo really just wants to help? What if she really just wants people to know how tragic the victims’ situations are? Yes, that might well be true, but there is no denying that she also wants to gain image-building points in the process.
A person who only wants to help with no self-serving motives would do so privately and quietly. Recall Senator Manny Pacquiao’s initiative to lend one of his properties in Region 12 to the government for use as a drug rehab/livelihood center. We only found out about that because PNP Chief Bato de la Rosa happened to mention it while he was reporting the statistics on drug surrenderees per region during the Senate hearing on the war on drugs.
Had that been Robredo, there would probably have been a ceremonial groundbreaking with photo opportunities and heart-tugging press releases of drug surrenderees talking about how poverty led them to drugs and how grateful they are that a “saint” like Robredo gave them the time of day. There might even be a move to name the rehab center after her late husband. That is how Robredo does things.
Do we really need Robredo to tell us all the tragic, dramatic details of the Davao victims’ fates in order to feel more grief for them than we already do? Not even President Duterte or Davao Mayor Inday Sara Duterte did this, and they are much closer to the victims than Robredo is.
Why not? Because to do so would be tantamount to exploiting the victims’ suffering for media consumption, and serving up their pain to an audience that is titillated by dramatic and gory details like “shrapnels from the bomb pierced through her abdomen, shattering her intestines” as Robredo wrote, which, in the end, may elicit pity but will not translate to any concrete or sustainable solutions to the root causes of the violence that created the suffering in the first place.
President Duterte and Mayor Inday Sara wasted no time playing Florence Nightingale and instead trained their energies on the things that mattered: arranging to cover the medical and funeral expenses of the victims, then hunting down the perpetrators of the bombing. These are things that count, not the photo ops and tear-jerking press releases.
There was one very telling comment on the FB thread of the ABS-CBN report from a woman who was present at the Davao hospital when Robredo visited:
“Advance security ni VP sa SPMC bawal daw pag pa picture sa VP kay priority mga victims… Gitubag pud nako na dili pud ko magpa picture sa iyaha… Ni second the motion mga kapatad nako na bystanders dili me magpa picture kay wala me niboto sa iyaha…Lol”
A Bisaya friend’s translation:
“The advance security of the VP at SPMC (Southern Philippines Medical Hospital) said photos with the VP are not allowed because the victims are the priority . . . I replied that I’m not interested in having a picture taken with her . . . the bystanders near me seconded the motion and said we don’t need a picture with her because we did not even vote for her . . .Lol”
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[Photo courtesy PhilStar.]