Briones: Inappropriate time

Publio J. Briones III
·2 min read

HERE’S the thing.

I couldn’t stand Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III because I honestly thought he only became president of this country because his mother had died the year before the 2010 elections.

So his father was assassinated as he stepped off the plane when he arrived from the US in 1983. Ninoy was there to seek treatment following a heart attack.

So his mother later became the poster girl for democracy when she took over from the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos who was forced out of office in 1986 after several days of peaceful street protests in the capital while she was hiding in a convent here in Cebu City. It was, after all, called the People Power Revolution and not the Cory Revolution.

I was way too young to vote then, but I supported her because of what I thought she represented.

Change.

Two decades Marcos had been in power. He was president when I was born and he was president throughout my childhood and my early teens. Like so many, I guess, I wanted to see someone else in Malacañang.

Who was I kidding? I never cared about politics. I was too busy getting drunk at Manang’s on Makati Ave. which sold P5 San Miguel beer. So my friends and I flashed the “L” sign at passing vehicles. It was the cool thing to do.

Anyway, in my eyes Noynoy was elected into office not because of his personal achievements, but because of his name and his parentage.

But I supported his administration because it had its good points. And really, what choice did I have? I have a stake in this country, too, because I live here. And I refused to spend six years of my life criticizing, whining against and condemning him and his allies. It’s bad for the heart.

At any rate, when then Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte announced that he was running for president, I thought it was a joke and that he had no chance of winning. Obviously, the election results only showed how far removed I was from the “pulse of the masses.”

But did that mean I didn’t and don’t support his administration? Quite the contrary. I am fully behind his anti-drug war, his road clearing operations and his anti-corruption drive.

Which brings me to the stuff I’ve been reading on social media regarding the government’s handling of the pandemic and recent calamities in Luzon.

Both sides of the political fence have been hurling vitriolic allegations. Attention has been diverted from the hundreds of thousand if not millions who have been affected.

People, now is not the time to play politics.

If you are not doing anything to help our fellow countrymen, keep quiet. Grab a beer. You can always flash the “L” sign to show you care.