As The Bamboos Sway: Putang-Burgis


Wow! I am able to use the word ‘puta’ without hesitation as I write this column, courtesy of President Rodrigo ‘Digong’ Duterte who has culturized the Filipino language to have the word acceptable in speeches. Deng! Those who believe in him or his captive audiences even applaud him whenever he utters the word. If they could, at every opportune time, they would even give him a standing ovulation or a standing ejaculation.

But, please, excuse my French.

I don’t exactly feel presidential using the term (puta) but I would like to stick the word to Philippine Presidential Spokesperson Harry Lopez Roque Jr. This is in response to Pinoy Blog’s post where he wonders: “I’ll never understand how someone intelligent and passionate about the things he used to fight for could make a complete turnaround, destroy himself, and become an enabler of a president who embodies everything he used to fight against.”

Truly, before he assumed to be the apology babbling machine of Digong in October 30, 2017, Roque appeared to be on the side of the people. Now, he justifies every move or pronouncement of Digong whose regime is driving the Filipino majority into misery with spiraling high prices of goods due to the plummeting devaluation of the peso; lack of essential goods like rice; responsible for massacres; alleged drug lord protector; who has not kept his promise to resign for not being able to curb corruption in the government and the drug menace within the months he predicted they should be eradicated; and others.

With a Master of Laws with Merits from the London School of Economics, Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Philippines, and Bachelor of Arts (Economics and Political Science) from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, among other positions, Roque was a congressman under the Kabalikat ng Mamamayan (Kabayan) party-list. He championed the marginalized but highly important sectors in Philippine society, including farmers and fisherfolk, urban and rural poor, transport workers, industrial workers, migrant workers and seafarers, persons with disability, and students and youth.

Moreover, through the advocacy group Center for International Law, which he co-founded, he and his team represented victims of the 2009 Ampatuan massacre; the Malaya Lolas, victims of systematic rape and abuse by the Japanese Imperial Army; the family of slain transgender Jennifer Laude; and the family of murdered environmental advocate and media man Gerry Ortega of Palawan.

By all appearances, he was an advocate for the people and lauded for it.

So, what happened? Now, he is being derided as being anti-movement as a defender of Digong, one of the latest being his justification that Southern Filipinos take jokes very lightly. Thus, Digong, being from the South, should be excused for his statement on the issue of Davao women topping the number of being raped in the Philippines. Digong said that the reason for this is there are more beautiful women in Davao than any part of the country. Now, Digong is saying that there will be more incidence of rape as long as there are beautiful women. I don’t really know how Roque will spin this out. Moreover, we will surely have him squeezing Digong out of his contradiction while in Israel criticizing Hitler for the slaughter of Jews when Digong had likened himself to Hitler in his pronouncements of slaughtering Filipinos.

So, what really happened? If we go by Amado Guerrero’s definition of social stratifications in his book Philippine Society and Revolution, perhaps, we can understand what happened to Roque from being an advocate of the people to being against the people. According to Guerrero, Philippine society is generally divided into the status quo preservers and revolutionary forces.

Those who would like to preserve the status quo, generally the landlord and comprador big bourgeoisie, profit of the land and big businesses and would like to keep the country agrarian and unindustrialized, thus, not to progress and keep the masses poor. The revolutionary forces are composed largely of the peasantry and the workers or the proletariat. By contention, the revolutionary forces which compose 90% of the population wants to change the status of the Philippines from being semi-feudal and neo-colonial because they are being driven to poverty every passing of time and its only those who want to preserve it who benefit from the situation.

In between the rabid anti-revolutionary and revolutionary forces are what we call the national and petty bourgeoisie. The national bourgeoisie cannot advance in their class because of the unindustrialized state of the country. They could be revolutionary in that regard but at the same time, they exploit the workers in terms of profit motivation. The petty-bourgeoisie or petty-burgis could be catalysts of the revolution but also tagged as the vacillating class.

The petty-burgis are mostly from the poor educated youth, from the academe, office workers and the like. Having the enthusiasm of the youth and open to new ideas, the petty-burgis readily absorbs revolutionary ideas and could transmit such ideas to the unawakened revolutionary forces. Thus, catalysts of the revolution. However, since they are relatively comfortable in life and with opportunities to climb the ladder of stratification, they could vacillate specially when confronted with the rigors of struggle or tempted by opportunities.

Roque, by his education and class background is a petty-burgis. He was once revolutionary leaning. However, becoming a congressman and offered to be in the circle of Digong, he has vacillated to the dark side opportunity. In appointing him as spokesperson, Digong has said, “To get the message clear, sabi ko, Harry will fit the… kasi medyo malikot ang bunganga namin.” This translates to “To get the message clear, I said, Harry will fit the… because we both have slightly naughty mouths.” Roque has since then become the deodorizer of Digong’s not only naughty mouth, but anti-people policies.

So, while many from the petty burgis class had joined the revolutionary advocacy groups against the ruling classes, a great number even joining the armed movement, there are those of the Roque colors who have turned rabid anti-people.

Pinoy Blog, wonder no more. Roque could have been a great force in the list of revolutionaries. He lost his chance for he had deteriorated to be a putang-burgis.#


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