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June 25, 2018 - Unjust Judges

June 25, 2018 - Unjust Judges Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time Father Edward McIlmail, LC   Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus sa...

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Reason Why Duterte is Worth Dying for the Philippines

There are days when I feel like a ton of bricks have fallen on me for something I learn about him. How he thinks, for instance, that Ferdinand Marcos, unparalleled plunderer and murderer of a president, is our best president. 

And how defends this family of thieves. It feels like my scalp gets scraped with sharpened tongs every time I hear him give such laughably weak reasons for why the Marcoses aren’t all that bad. 

Because I know he is a brilliant man and so I wonder what game this dude is playing. I look at his face when he says all that crap and –do I imagine it?—but it looks like he’s not even convinced himself. Ang daming hangin when he talks this way. 

And then there are days—like today – when it’s all I can do not to text his secretary and ask where Da Man is because I want to throw my arms around his neck and kiss his funkeh face all over. 

Because I found out that the first batch of Yolanda victims who have been living in evacuation centers for the past 3 years have been given homes. Real ones. With electricity and running water and bathrooms. 

Not the dog houses the past administration of the heartless elitist bastards, Noynoy and Mar provided. Spotty at less than 1% the number of homes they should have built and when they finally found a trickle of motivation to build homes, what did they build but dog houses where 50 or so families shared one toilet/bathroom? 

I know this. I saw the shit they built and when I saw those hovels, the first words out of my mouth were, “You have got to be fucking kidding me..”, endless shaking of head. Shake shake shake. 

Hovels that were a little bit wider than one arms’ length and maybe, at most 2 arms’ length at its widest with paper thin plyboards between each unit. 

My dogs live so much more luxuriously. 

Something that most of us will not be able to live in for one night, they lived in for over 3 yrs. 

And just like that. JUST LIKE THAT. And because the president ordered it. The poor, the grieving, the beaten down and defeated have been given a leg up. 

The president visited them earlier this month and he saw the same shit others (me included) saw and it grieved him. And this is where he provided the muscle needed to get our kababayans out of the nightmare they were in for the past 3 yrs. 

The poor cannot tolerate setbacks as much as we, who are a bit better off, can. 

One illness in the family, a typhoon that destroys their homes, takes their livelihoods away- can send them into a downward spin they can’t get out of. And this is where generational poverty starts. It’s just too hard for them to get out of this vicious trap. They need our help—over and beyond what most of us need. 

And I hear that on top of these homes, transportation to and from school for the children will be provided for. And then of course, there’s the rice subsidy on top of the conditional cash transfer they will get. And I hear public school kids are going to be given carabao milk every day. In this place where I see so much malnourished children and where children who go to school hungry, day in, day out. 

I could cry. Really I could–from this man’s kindness. And how his heart is so clearly for the poor and how he serves them in all ways. 

The kind of service I have not seen for the poor from a sitting president in a very long time. 

And so today I learned the most powerful man in our country has reached out and given his hand to some of our least powerful. 

And today I learned that so much of what I ached for for the people of Samar and Leyte will finally come to pass.

Today is a good day, my friends. 

I hug you guys. TIGHT. With gladness and great rejoicing! 

Todos saludos, Mr. President! 


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