Credit to Author: Tempo Desk| Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2019 16:30:36 +0000
THESE were the words of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, about last week, on the occasion of inaugurating a hospital in Malabon City. As is already anticipated of the “Mayor” when delivering his speeches, he went back to his usual “folksy” style referencing on his experience as chief executive of Davao City. He related issuing a stern warning to drug syndicates and their purveyors, to keep off our children, or else…
The said caveat and consequences thereto, was later explained. It was as Oprah Winfrey would say, an “Aha moment”, like a light bulb switched-on in a darkened room. The clarification came in the most understandable terms, a Filipino audience could appreciate. In brief, the sense of the president went in this paraphrased manner, better spoken in the vernacular, “If a parent has to visit a doctor, who will accompany them? Our children. If a mother requires to be confined in hospital, who will watch over her? Her child. If we are old and smelling of age, who will bathe us? Our children. When that moment should arrive, and we are to meet our Maker, who will bury and pray for us? Our children”. Thus, “Do not hurt our children”.
The web of tradition and culture is imbedded in the deep thinking of why the “mayor” is predictably always at boiling point, incensed with how drugs are able to sever the ties that bind mother to child, father to child, in the most personal and relatable terms. As Filipinos, we cannot escape the ethos of who we are, in the sensitive caring for our children. And in the ebbing of times, children cradling for their aging parents. The value of “mano po” is one clear example of how our kids, at a young age, are taught love and respect for the elderly. The president struck a nerve, over and beyond the political punch-line of drugs destroying the family, as the basic fabric of Philippine society.
It will be recalled, how a photo of Duterte was captured by dailies, in tears, embracing the cold tomb of his mother three years ago at their family mortuary, when elected as president. That speaks volumes, gleaning into his heart of hearts.