Mar’s tempest

posted March 29, 2016 at 12:01 am

Several weeks ago, former Interior and Local Government Secretary and now presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II said there was no drama at all to his candidacy. He did not have a compelling life story, he said, and his background pales in comparison to the tales of his opponents. All this was just work, and he was just looking to continue the Daang Matuwid—fill its gaps and correct its inadequacies. 

The comic book distributed by Roxas’ supporters during the birthday celebration of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Chairman Irineo Maliksi in Cavite, however, belies this claim. Titled “Sa Gitna ng Unos (In the midst of the  tempest),” the comic book portrayed Roxas as the hero and savior of the people during and after the onslaught of Super Typhoon “Yolanda.” 

The story of Roxas’ predisposition to put country over self is the main theme. He left a lucrative career in New York, brought business to the Philippines, pushed ground-breaking legislation, fathered the business process outsourcing industry, gave way to the more popular Benigno Aquino III in the 2010 presidential elections, and pushed for the implementation of projects at the DILG that have earned recognition for the country. 

A photo of Roxas in a fallen motorcycle also showed the candidate would go to great lengths to help his countrymen despite danger and adversity. Campaign spokesman Barry Gutierrez said Roxas’ supporters came out with comic book to inform the people of what really happened before, during and after the typhoon. 

The portrayal of Roxas as larger than life—shown most prominently in the booklet cover where he shields victims from the storm—is not lost on a representative of a group of Yolanda survivors, who slammed the attempt as a desperate move to show he did something when he did not. 

If the comic book does not scream drama, then we do not know what does. 

In these last few weeks of the campaign, Roxas and his supporters are inclined to do anything—even resort to tall tales—to change the former secretary’s dismal showing in the surveys. The comic book is likely to yield results that are the opposite of what it intended.  How shameful it is to use a tragedy, and worse, lie about it, to boost one’s stock. 

Comic books are popular for their entertainment value. Roxas’ should be seen for just that, and nothing more.

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