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Drugs, stop!

By Netnet Camomot

LAST Saturday, a nephew posted a video of a 73-year-old grandma who’s dancing like a K-pop group member. He tagged us and wrote, “Paging all my ates and titas, you can do this too! On behalf of my generation, we look forward to your Christmas performance!” And my comment was, “Challenge accepted.”

Vice President Leni Robredo also kind of had her challenge-accepted moment when she accepted President Rody Duterte’s appointment for her to be the new drug czar. Are drug lords shaking in their boots now? Well, the shaking could be caused by earthquakes and their aftershocks. But still, if someone as brutally frank as Duterte could not stop Pinas’ drug industry in six months, how can a sweet, charming, and soft-spoken Robredo accomplish such a seemingly impossible dream?

The hundred-percent accomplishment, though, is this: Being the country’s drug czar will keep her visible till the 2022 presidential election. Hmmm. Alam na this?

So, goodbye, Tokhang. Goodbye, extrajudicial killings. Goodbye to any other Dilawan’s chance to be president in 2022.

If the secret to real estate investment is “location, location, location,” the key to victory in the elections is relevance, relevance, relevance.

Bibo na pud ang news ani once Duterte starts criticizing Robredo’s handling of the drug war. But can he criticize his own appointee? That’s the question.

Robredo’s acceptance speech last Wednesday ended with, “Tinatanong nila ako kung handa ba ako para sa trabahong ito. Ang tanong ko, handa ba kayo para sa akin?”

Ay. “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” Which is a quote from the 1986 movie, “The Fly.”

And, of course, when 1986 is mentioned, the senior-moment Pinoy remembers the People Power Revolution again, which sent the Marcoses to Hawaii, and provided an opportunity for Cory Aquino to become president.

Thirty-three years later, it’s still the Dilawan versus the Marcoses as “vice presidentiable” Bongbong Marcos continues his poll protest against Robredo.

And it will be a Dilawan-Marcos rivalry again in 2022.

All these—appointment acceptance, poll protest, making any other kinds of noise—are for relevance, relevance, relevance, ensuring constant mainstream and social media exposure for the politicians and people involved.

Power is addictive. Imagine a world where you’re often interviewed. But then, you lose, and no one knows you anymore. Coping with anonymity can be a challenge that a former politician may find hard to accept. He can’t even demand, Do you know who I am? Because people can easily forget in this age of social media where news feeds and posts are updated every minute. Or every second. Gasp.

On Wednesday, right before Robredo’s announcement, I was reading Julia Cameron’s memoir, “Floor Sample,” where she wrote about how her book, “The Artist’s Way,” was developed, and how she survived through her drinking problem by referring to her HALT—hungry, angry, lonely, and tired—checklist.

It was through “The Artist’s Way” that Cameron’s name became familiar to me.

Sometimes we remember names this way. Julia Cameron is “The Artist’s Way.” James Cameron is “Terminator,” “Titanic,” “Avatar,” etc. Cameron Diaz is “There’s Something About Mary” and “Charlie’s Angels”—she has other movies but these are the two that I remember.

Which is an easier comeback, that of a politician or a Hollywood celebrity? In Pinas, a politician can always morph into a showbiz celebrity and vice versa, so, there are no particular rules here. But for a while there, I did wonder about where Dondon Nakar is now. He was one of the members of the ‘70s’ “Apat na Sikat” team. Hehe.

I haven’t watched the latest “Terminator” installment, though. But I did watch “The Addams Family” because I thought it would be funny. Well, disappointment again in the expectation-versus-reality department. Which can also be Rebredo’s dilemma as a drug czar.

If all else fails, Robredo can always ask Apollo Quiboloy, self-proclaimed as “The Appointed Son of God,” to say, Drugs, stop!

Quiboloy is not the only one trending on social media. “Pildi ang Maibog,” a Facebook page that features one of his avid followers, is also gaining notoriety, er, popularity as he belittles other people’s donations for Mindanao’s earthquake survivors and compares them to the gift-giving and feeding program that his Pastor could afford. In another video, he says he had to learn how to use chopsticks because that’s for the “sosyalan na kan-anan.”

His most popular video is that of a building, presumably belonging to his Pastor, which he introduces as, “Kita ka sa among balay? Mao ni dari. O, mao na… Naay sariling eskwelahan. Pang-mayaman. Only rich can afford. O di vah? Pero grabe si Pastor, no? Kay gilibre lagi ni Pastor ang kanang mga pobre. Unya pagkahuman, daut-dauton lang! Way batasan! Hmp! Bye!”

If he’s Quiboloy’s public-image chair, aguy, good luck na lang.


About Netnet Camomot

Netnet Camomot once edited a society page and covered society stories for another newspaper. She has long been writing about the lighter side of anything under the sun, including pressing issues of the day, with a touch of humor.

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