When pigs fly from Davao City | Inquirer Opinion
Kris-Crossing Mindanao

When pigs fly from Davao City

Rodrigo Duterte and his family are an amusing lot. Never before in the history of our country have we had a president who is exceptional in comical amusement. Not even the self-deprecating Erap Estrada, who loved to poke fun at himself through the so-called “Eraption” jokes, comes on par with the Duterte family’s capacity for hilarity.

This past week, a member of Davao City’s forever-ruling family had sustained the beloved tradition of its patriarch
to expose lists of what in their perception are society’s pariahs. The latest list (which has been deleted from the source) is called “ANTI-ADMINISTRATION GROUP—OUST-DUTERTE MOVEMENT.”


Let us analyze the supposed list and see who are in it. It begins, first of all, with Vice President Leni Robredo, former vice president Jejomar Binay and Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio. If they will answer such accusation in the next few days, we do not know. I suggest they just remain entertained. Laughter is good medicine.

Try to figure out how the jailed, guarded and gagged Sen. Leila de Lima is able to participate in such a seditious movement. Or former senator Kit Tatad, no longer in the Senate for a long time and has devoted his life to the work of public opinion. Although identified in the past with Ferdinand Marcos, the Kit Tatad of today is one of the most articulate critics of the government identified with the Marcoses. Carmen Navarro Pedrosa, known otherwise as the writer of the explosive “The Untold
Story of Imelda Marcos,” is today a fan of the Marcos-linked Duterte administration. Nonetheless, she is on the list. That precisely is the point in a comedy of errors where even goats have bangs and pigs can fly.


That’s not the punch line yet. Bishop Julio X. Labayen of the Order of Discalced Carmelites is on the list, never mind if he retired in 2003 from the See of Infanta. And, as a by the way, he died in 2016 at the age of 89. Labayen was a perennial critics lister during the Marcos era. Well, this is the age of copy and paste. Incredible is how he has been resurrected from the dead, which many would probably welcome, as Labayen was shepherd of the downtrodden.

I am happy to see the name of a friend on the list, Bishop Leo Drona of the Salesians of Don Bosco. He was Bishop of San Pablo until 2013 and is now enjoying the fruits of retirement at 77 years old. I didn’t know the pious and soft-spoken Bishop Drona is leading the life of a subversive cabal plotter. There is another bishop on the list by the name of Arturo Santos. But the Catholic-Hierarchy.org says there never ever was any bishop by that name anywhere in the world. Well, let fairy tale decree there be one Arturo Santos.

Of course the list includes names of current personalities the Duterte family perceives as flavor of the month. Top of mind is Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, already accused of pocketing church funds for his family’s benefit. His brother, the indispensable Randy David of Inquirer, says the truth is actually the reverse: the bishop often turns to family for support in his church projects. But this is a comedy of errors. Errors are without reference and basis. It is a dry humor the Dutertes love to spin. Davao City folks love such amusements. The rest of the country must act like the fun fair that Davao City is. Didn’t one Palace spin doctor after another say all these are mere jokes?

Jollibee is on the list, much to the delight of Ronald McDonald. What did the famous bee do to land on that list? Some opine it’s probably the yellow band on his mascot suit. Beware of the color yellow — it can be funny. Century Tuna and Dole Pineapple should remove the color from their liveries, too.

Finally on the list are “millennial students studying at Jesuit-run schools.” That’s huge, to say the least. There are
seven top universities in the country run by the Society of Jesus. That about sums up to almost a hundred thousand millennial students. I suggest they transfer to other schools that are not Jesuit-run. Otherwise, in one wide sweep of the Duterte fun wand, they are part of the joke.

Let us go boil our heads.

On Twitter: @AntonioJMontal2. E-mail: [email protected]

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