Aquino’s yellow ribbon idea: Unity knows no color
MANILA, Philippines–President Aquino’s suggestion that people wear a yellow ribbon to show their support amid his plunging ratings and a squabble with the Supreme Court is divisive and will not benefit the country, senators said on Thursday.
And countering the yellow ribbon brigade with a peach ribbon movement, as groups behind attempts to impeach the President want, is counterproductive as well, according to Sen. Nancy Binay.
“Unity knows no color,” Binay said, reacting to Aquino’s suggestion after the Supreme Court voided his controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) that people could express support for him by wearing yellow ribbons.
“This is the time to be united as one people and one nation. Instead of bridging gaps, colors polarize and sharply divide us. Unity knows no color and we must look beyond yellow. Isn’t the rainbow a sign of hope after a gloomy day?” said Binay, of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
During a dialogue in Malacañang on Tuesday, Gregorio Navarro, president of the Management Association of the Philippines, asked Aquino what he wanted the public to do “to help you.”
“Perhaps wearing our yellow ribbons, amongst other things, just to demonstrate exactly in a quick manner where the sentiments of our people lie,” the President replied.
Don’t take it seriously
Within the day, some members of the Presidential Communication Development and Strategic Planning Office posted images of yellow ribbons on their social media accounts.
On Thursday, Malacañang sought to downplay the ribbon campaign.
“We can take it seriously but not too seriously,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma told reporters.
“Perhaps, we shouldn’t be too serious [about it],” he added.
The President’s suggestion has nevertheless triggered counterproposals from critics, who asked the public to instead wear black or peach ribbons.
Bayan Muna said the peach ribbons would indicate support for the impeachment complaints set to be filed against Aquino in connection with the DAP.
Other groups said it was better for Filipinos to wear the colors of the Philippine flag, not Aquino’s political color, to show unity as a country.
Sen. JV Ejercito, also from UNA, said Aquino should try to rise above the disputes for the sake of the country.
“As President, he should have been magnanimous, as he is the father of the nation. P-Noy’s asking his supporters to wear the yellow ribbon only worsens the divisiveness among our people,” Ejercito said.
President causing divisiveness
“This has been the story of the administration; if you are not wearing yellow, you are considered an enemy of the administration. How can people unite when it’s the President himself causing the divisiveness?” he said.
According to Ejercito, what was more important was for people to unite under the colors of the Philippine flag.
“I am loyal to my flag and country, and not to one person,” he said.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV also described Aquino’s campaign as a “very divisive proposition.”
“He is the President of all Filipinos and not only of those who voted for him. The challenge for him is how to win over the people who may have had doubts about his intentions on the DAP,” Trillanes said.
The group Migrante, a global alliance of overseas Filipino workers, rejected the President’s call for the donning of yellow ribbons.
Garry Martinez, Migrante International chair, said many OFWs were incensed at the President’s blast against the Supreme Court.
“His unrepentance and arrogance has brought much discontent among Filipinos worldwide,” Martinez said in a statement. “In threatening the Supreme Court, Aquino has also unleashed a threat against all democracy-loving Filipinos.”
Originally posted at 11:16 pm | Thursday, July 17, 2014
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