'Rody So Real'

By: Dra. Lorraine T. Badoy

photo from Dra. Lorraine's post

There are 2 groups of people I am most careful with as I approach them. And I realize that I’ve been doing so almost subconsciously, like an automatic stance almost. And I do it because I do not want to scare nor overwhelm them. And it is children and the poor.

I approach them with the highest respect. And I am careful as hell not to be that asshole who comes to them from on high nor that arrogant schmuck who prescribes solutions for them without their input. “Nothing about us without us.”..

And I’d like to help those who have a hard time understanding the overwhelming tide of popularity the sitting president enjoys with the marginalized. This isn’t an academic exercise. Just something I know instinctively having worked with them for decades now.

Rodrigo Duterte scores high points in various sectors but I daresay, here, in the marginalized sector is where he gets his highest points. Where he is revered like I revere Mick Jagger. (like a god, in other words). That would need to be tweaked so they remember their own power and not wait for a savior to get them out of the nightmare they are in. But as things stand now, Rodrigo Duterte is someone the poor love slash adore slash luvvvvv.

You know why?

He’s no fake. The poor, like children, can sniff a fake a mile away.

Their lives are an overflow of cynical bastards who use them for whatever political or personal agenda they may have (votes, selfie, as a way to steal), that they’ve become quite the experts in ferreting out those who are only out to use them versus those who have come down from their ivory towers and joined them, gotten to know them, eaten with them, and in the process have been so changed that the line that separates them from the poor is erased.

The president’s constant refrain of “Bigas for the poor.”comes from someone who has placed himself in their place and walked in their shoes so he knows how hunger looks and feels like—its dimensions and how it dehumanizes and takes away one’s dignity as a human being.

And I feel his ache each and every time he talks about them and all that he desires to do for them. His plans aren’t seamless and there are gaps that he endeavors to close. But when it comes to heart, no one can fault Rodrigo Duterte when it comes to the poor. He is their champion.

A first in that forever line-up of high government officials who not only stole from them but stole from them relentlessly, and in their darkest hours. For them, I reserve my deepest scorn. Monsters.

So these days, when I go on field work—like I do now (I am in Leyte, then off to Samar), I find that my one great and profound joy is to tell them in sincere and close-to-hushed tones  the good news: that the most powerful man in the country will use all that power to try his darndest to snatch them out of the jaws of poverty and that he has an entire team raring to make this President’s vision a reality.

And that he cannot do everything but the everything that he can do for them, he will. And I tell them to be a bit more patient. Finally, we have a government that truly cares for them. A government that works and links arms with the private sector, with NGOs, with other countries—so they can see better days for themselves and their children.

And they hear me because they have seen the President and they know he’s no fake.

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