Agot Isidoro and Duterte – Why does anyone care?

With Agot Isidro’s anti Duterte comments being the major story this week it has once again inflamed the political debate for those on both sides of the fence. What I am having a hard time understanding is why the reaction from anyone at all? An actress voiced an opinion on the president’s decisions. So what?

Not only has the outrage from the pro-Duterte brigade been brutal, but the President’s office has felt the need to publicly respond to the criticism. It was interesting to note that the focus of the response was Isidro’s attitude towards aid.

To quote the press release – “He wants to the Filipino people to gain true independence, economically, mentally and socially.”

Sounds great, but is a country become independent overnight just because someone says so? I would have been interested to hear about the how rather than the end goal.

The foreign aid issue is an important one. The politics of it is again something I won’t get into here. Speaking in general terms though, countries offer aid as a way to contribute to the greater good and help people around the world who are not their own. This is a gesture of goodwill, not one of control.

There are many countries around the world who depend on foreign aid and demand is high. Countries do not give aid to countries that do not need it. To reject aid based on promoting national pride is a risky thing to do unless you have adequately prepared for it. A path towards independence that the whole country can be part of and contribute to could also be a source of national inspiration to do better. Pride would come along with that.

All I have heard is an abrupt we are independent now! So are the question for the Filipino people to ask themselves is are they comfortable placing their countrymen at risk for the sake of pride? The fact is that people are starving to death in the Philippines right now, and cutting the cord as a gesture of national strength is not going to help these people.

As for the pro-Duterte brigade that went into overdrive to beat up Agot Isidro online, do you want to live in a place where you are not allowed to disagree with your nation’s leader? That question alone should raise thoughts about the country’s darker times in the past and offer some perspective to view your own thoughts and actions through.

If you cannot handle people disagreeing with your opinion then you should probably throw out your computer and smart phone now, or you will forever make yourself look like a fool.

Something that many supporters may forget is that while 16 million votes to win an election is impressive, it is no-where near a majority of the people who were eligible to vote. I raise this not to question the legitimacy of the election, but to highlight to people that there will be millions and millions of people who don’t hold the same view that you do. Losing your mind and getting angry every time you discover this may shorten your life span. That’s life…. Grow up, deal with it. She (Agot) is just another person.

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