In the political turmoil of the Philippines, it’s easy to get caught in labels and stereotypes.
On one hand, you have the Duterte Diehard Supporters or DDS, fanatics who believe that President Duterte can do no wrong. On the other are their counterparts, called Dilawans, extremists who are seemingly opposed to every action of the current administration.
The two parties constantly bicker on why one’s beliefs are superior to the other, while failing to recognize the flaws of their own camps. Lost in the feud is the true essence of being politically aware: it’s not to feed one’s ego, but rather, to raise attention for changes that could benefit the Filipino people.
Vico Sotto reminded us of this truth during an interview with Howie Severino. The Pasig Mayor was questioned whether he considered himself a political ally of Duterte. The latter previously gave his endorsement during the former’s mayoral campaign.
‘I’ve always looked myself as an independent’, admitted Vico. He elaborated that his primary obligation as Mayor is to serve his constituents.
‘Whether ally ka or opposition, it should be irrelevant. Whether DDS or Dilawan, I don’t pay any attention to that because I have work to do’.
‘Hindi ako pwede mamulitika dito’, revealing that he doesn’t have an interest in national politics and only cares about getting the job done.
Vico adds that he’s not opposed to asking help from the national government, and adds that the latter has responded well to his staff in the past.
‘It’s all in our mandates to help each other as government officials’.
Vico also asked not to be used as a figurehead for the political agendas of both the pros and antis. Severino pointed out Vico’s opposing stance regarding the drug war and the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
‘Whether kakampi ka or kalaban ka ng Presidente, huwag niyo ako gamitin sa pulitka niyo. Kasi ako nagtatrabaho lang ako sa Pasig’.
‘Again, I really don’t care much for their national politics at this point, because I have a lot on my plate already’.
Vico’s seemingly neutral political stance might be seen as problematic by some, but it raises a great point. In the midst of our degrading conflicts, we forget that we should be working towards the betterment of Filipinos everywhere, not the validation of our respective beliefs.
Once we let our political affiliations cloud our better judgment, then we are no better than the disillusioned people that we denounce.