by Atty. Bruce Rivera
I have seen past elections where candidates are destroyed just by one smear campaign.
I have seen Erap removed just because of an unopened envelope that actually contained nothing damaging.
I have seen GMA being hailed as an working president to a criminal mind.
I have seen Binay fall from grace because of a single allegedly overcharged building.
They all suffered.
They all were judged.
Worst, they all experienced that fate during their incumbency as national leaders when they had the insitutions at their disposal.
Imagine someone that is being subjected to a smear campaign so violent and malignant everyone participated. They started calling him a Pope-basher. Then a womanizer. Then a communist. Then a gay-basher. Then an insensitive rape-joker. Then a Chinese sympathizer. Then an Anti-American and anti-Australian person. Then a psychopath. Then a millionaire no, billionaire. Then a real estate mogul with 41 properties.
And he is 71 years old supposed to be retiring so he can be with his grandchildren. He has no tangible political machinery. No money to buy election campaign goods for his supporters. No mainstream media backer. And he is merely an incumbent of a city in Mindanao. Not even a national position. He is the oldest person I have seen castigated from all angles.
WHY IS HE STILL STANDING UP?
In fact, why are his numbers rising despite all the bad publicity. All the other presidentiables have something bad to say against him but seem to be so courteous with one another. So bad, most of them are actually short of saying, vote for me or him but NOT Duterte.
Worst, even Vice-Presidential bets are joining in the affray. Trillanes attacked him as if he had a President to protect. He even warned Cayetano not to defend. Teka, di ba dapat siya ang kalaban mo? Kaya nga siguro ang VP ng isang presidentiable ay nabwiset kaya nagsuntukan sila nung jowa ni candidate. Naghanapan ng pera daw. Leni even said she cannot work for Duterte. But she can work with the others including Binay, who is the recognized opposition.
Again, I ask the question. WHY IS TATAY DIGONG STILL IN THE RACE?
Kasi tatay namin siya. That is the reason why despite your endless bashing, name-calling, scandalous charges, we are still here. Stronger and more resilient. When you attack him, we feel that we are being attacked.
And it angers us because aside from the fact that those are not true, you are attacking the only one who had the balls to defend us from the bullies who are financing most of the other’s campaign. Using their money to bully the hoi polloi so they can be richer with contractualization, BOT, mining concessions while normal Filipinos get stuck with a system that only gives us more suffering.
So the more you attack him, the more we feel hurt. You are attacking our tatay. He may not be perfect but you are not perfect as well. He may curse but that is what fathers do when his children are being bullied. He may be a bit of a womanizer but that will not make us leave him.
Kasi tatay namin siya.
Nakita namin ang sakripisyo niya.
Nakita namin ang kasimplehan niya.
Nakita namin ang kalokohan niya.
Nakita namin ang katauhan niya.
Nakita namin ang katatagan niya.
Nakita namin na kaya niyang mamatay ipagtatanggol lang kami.
TATAY NAMIN SIYA.
That is our desperation talking.
We have been bullied by the rich.
We have been made to believe what they fed us in the news.
We were made to pay taxes and made to feel indebted to the politician who made the bridge using our money like it was their own.
We were made to believe our economy is growing when a few are reaping its benefits while we are stuck with a mass transport system that is life-threatening.
We are made to suffer with a promise of a better tomorrow.
We are made to watch in horror our soldier killed in battle because they exchanged wrong text messages.
We are made to arrive in our airports scared of what fate awaits us in our own country.
So, gang up on our father. Pagtulungan niyo siya. Dayain ninyo kami. Subukan ninyo ang aming katatagan.
But remember this: put yourself in our shoes.
When someone attacks your father, a father who you know is willing to die for you, will you not risk your life to defend his honor?
Call us a cult. Call us blind. Call us stupid. But this election is personal. Tatay namin ang tumatakbo eh. Sensya na, pamilya lang.
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