IT was as expected.
The President is facing his biggest crisis ever, with louder calls for his resignation and ouster, and a public becoming more informed and intelligent about what ails this government.
The death of 44 Special Action Force police troopers in the Mamasapano tragedy and the countless civilian lives affected weighs heavily on nation. The Bangsamoro Basic Law is under scrutiny. The President failed to appear at the arrival honors for the fallen soldiers. He failed to deliver a more compassionate speech at the necrological services. He failed to answer questions from the families of the dead SAF troopers.
Always, the President fell back on invoking his own personal story, where the loss of his father should mean he is one with the families who have lost a father, husband, brother, son. It means that he understands because he has suffered, too.
Yes, the President has chosen this time to speak about himself.
It’s a page right out of his youngest sister’s book of tricks.
Kris in a time of crisis
It’s in this time of crisis that the President’s youngest sister is most useful. At any other time, she is the member of the family that they would rather gag – she shares too much of her personal life, willingly releasing the skeletons in her closet.
But times like this one, Kris is the perfect distraction: she says anything remotely controversial and mainstream and online media will pick it up, using up the space and energy that could’ve gone into the more important news of the day.
She wears a statement shirt and she’s all over social media. She writes a blog entry on an unromantic proposal from a man, pointing out who he is without naming him, and it’s stuff for news websites. When you’re the self-proclaimed “queen of all-media” it apparently means you’ve got media dancing in the palm of your hand.
Kris is like figuring out what color that dress was: white and blue, or blue and gold? It’s an absolute waste of time, it is pointless, it is a distraction. But a whole day is wasted just staring at – and thinking about! – nothing, and the government can only be thankful.
One day spent not thinking about this President and the way he runs this country, is a day spent with no criticism, intelligent and otherwise.
Kris is the reprieve her brother needs. She’s just one bright yellow.
Kris in a time of war
But this is a time like no other for the President. And you’d know it because his youngest sister is not merely falling back on her personal life – the last broken heart was stuff for last year’s news after all.
Welcome Kris, the lobbyist for policemen’s wage hike!
And she declared this herself, on nationwide television, in that evening talkshow she hosts with Boy Abunda. She called herself a lobbyist – which leaves a bad taste in the mouth because she’s the President’s sister.
But what is more interesting is when this new job description was announced: at a Women’s Month celebration with the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on March 2. Kris being herself, she took the opportunity to talk about herself, never mind women’s month: “I’m here because you must like me because you invited me for your flag raising and awarding ceremony. And if you like me, then that must mean, at least I’m praying na gusto nyo pa rin at nirerespeto nyo ang ating pangulo.” She then went on to talk about how difficult the past month has been for her and her family, how difficult it is to fall silent when her family’s being criticized.
Sure she talked about raising the salaries of our policemen, but also she asked that the policemen give her back something for her lobbying skills: “Pero since close na tayo, tulungan nyo po ang presidente sa pagtataguyod sa ating konstitusyon at sa pag-protekta ng ating kapayapaan.”
It is clear that in the hierarchy of her multiple jobs, high on that list is Kris as lobbyist for her brother.
Kris on women’s month
Kris is far from being the woman the Pinay must look to for any form of empowerment.
In fact, the one time in the year when we might speak freely about women’s issues, the last person we would like to speak for us is Kris.
She who sells notions of perfection and beauty like no one else does: endorsing whitening products even when she is fair-skinned to begin with, anti-aging products even when not aging is impossible, straight hair in a sea of curly, thick haired Pinays. She talks about her clothes and travels and lifestyle like it is something that the women who watch her can afford, making so many dream the impossibilities of acquisition, making so many imagine that buying products is what being woman is about.
Sadly, it is these notions of being woman that a generation of young morena Pinays will grow up with. It is irresponsible of Kris to say the least.
This is superficiality at its finest, and that is what trumps all that Kris said at that QCPD speech.
After she told the policemen to be faithful to their wives, she followed it up with: “To all the wives, please tell them that I said, alagaan nila ang mga sarili nila, makisig ang kanilang mga asawa, dapat manatiling maganda, sexy, at mapang-akit pa rin si misis. Pag alaga ka sa sarili mo, walang dahilan para mag selos pa.”
And yet, she herself, despite the “perfection” that her money can buy, had to begin her speech by talking about getting her heart broken by the QC mayor: “Truthfully, I’m here super early on a Monday even if I received this invitation just 2 days ago, not because isusumbong ko sa inyo na yung Mayor ninyo broke my heart. Sayang, kung nagkatuluyan lang, sobrang bongga sana ang mga programs that I could have initiated with the private sector to help QCPD, most especially for your spouses and children, oh well move on na tayo.”
In one swift move Kris effectively revealed that it is still her personal life that dictates who and how she might help others. Helping does not come from some inexplicable kindness in her heart. It is merely a by-product of who she might fall in love with, if not who her brother is and how difficult a time he’s having with his presidency. It is about what she gets in return for what she does.
For someone who’s declared she’s not running in 2016, she’s sure more politico than her brother.
She’s also the worst politico to welcome any of us to women’s month.