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[OPINION] Language that divides us

By Junelie Anthony Velonta | February 9, 2021

Bad-mouthing foreign oppressors is a good thing. It means that the people are aware that their rights are being limited for the benefit of some multinational corporation whose top dogs only see the land and the people live in as resource mines and vacation places. This could be extended to politicians too. By vocalizing discontent, the politicians are faced with situations that could tarnish their reputations and public images, and everyone knows politicians don’t like dirt on their skin. So, they are forced to create solutions. 

However, those same oppressors and politicians are also using such language. Rather than to call-out individuals and entities worthy of punishment, they use it to divide the people. 

Filipinos treat politicians as celebrities. This is an “inheritance” from the American-brand democracy that the nation was given years ago. As such, the following and image that a politician has is of more importance than the actual service they do, the same way that fandoms follow James Reid even though he is not a good actor. 

To preserve the loyalty of the politician’s followers and their public image, even though they are not deserving of both, they use language to condemn those that oppose them. When legitimate problems are revealed, instead of giving solutions, a politician’s PR team would rather tell the people to be grateful of all the “good” things the politician has done. Of course, the loyal followers are happy to oblige. Noise attracts attention. The more noise the followers make, the more they recruit to their ranks.

But this does not solve the problem. Even if the people are grateful, roads will still have potholes in them, bridges will still be left unfinished, people were still unjustly killed, and tax money still remains stolen.

Politicians today are so fond of “Ano’ng ambag mo?” and “Where are you?” when they themselves gave no effort in solving the problems. The more they speak, the more the people are divided. Such phrases used to belong to the people. In use, they demand accountability and action. However, politicians just use it to further their goals. 

As such, the people should reclaim this language. When the politicians demand gratitude for whatever small thing they have done (or claim to have done without evidence), the people should reply:

“Manigas kayo!”


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