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Former foreign secretary Roberto R. Romulo is supposed to take things easy for health reasons. He has even suspended his columns in Philippine Star until November. But he just had to send out an urgent appeal to his fellow members of the business community. And he was surprised by the reactions.
The appeal has gone viral. Someone translated it to Tagalog and Cebuano.
As expected, it has elicited the ire of Duterte fanatics.
Read what Romulo has written:
“This letter is about the sad plight of our country under the Presidency of Duterte which has been characterized by incompetence, brutality, corruption, incivility, abuse of power, and dishonesty. In a span of five years, he has reversed the gains that the Aquino Presidency has bequeathed him – a robust economy, a healthy balance sheet, shrinking poverty levels, the confidence of foreign investors, international credit rating agencies and corruption ranking institutions and the respect of other countries. He has squandered the weight of global public opinion in our favor following the ruling of the UN arbitration court invalidating China’s claim on the South China Sea by meekly standing by while she continues encroaching on our territory and denying our fishermen access to traditional fishing grounds. His brutal implementation of his anti-drug war has caused the lives of thousands with little success to show for it. His incompetent management of the pandemic resulted in unnecessary deaths and impoverished the poor even more. The simplicity, dignity, moral values and respect for democratic ideals that the under-appreciated Noynoy Aquino brought stands in stark contrast to Duterte. Do we really want six more years of this dark age in our history? Six more years of Harry Roque and Jose Calida?
“The next election will be fought in cyberspace – be it the social media trolls or even outright digital shenanigans by the side that have the means to do so or is friendly with those who have. Truth is the counter weapon of choice against those who will bend it to change the narrative. I strongly suggest that you highlight Aquino legacies to your family, friends, and acquaintances. If possible, provide moral and financial support to those who are in social media. It is my understanding that there are trolls on our side but regrettably weak in comparison to Duterte trolls.
“Do not put priority on the ‘winnability’ of a candidate but rather on someone who will bring back competence, dignity, civility and true love of country and her people. Together we can make that candidate winnable. But do not wait for that individual to emerge. Our primary objective now is to show our countrymen that Duterte and his anointed are unacceptable.
“At the age of 82, I assure you I have no personal agenda, political or otherwise. In truth, it is my fervent prayer for the return of democracy and its institutions, which the incumbent has trampled.
“Thank you for the messages and prayers. It is my hope that Divine Intervention will assist me in my medical challenge even as I devoutly pray that HE will bring enlightenment to our citizenry that will lead to the political demise of the incumbent President and his allies.