De Lima: UPV students’ cheer reflects ‘brutal reality’ under Duterte admin
MANILA, Philippines — Opposition Senator Leila De Lima lauded Wednesday a cheering group from the University of the Philippines Visayas that has gone viral for its satirical attack on social and political issues, which the lawmaker said reflects the “brutal reality” under the Duterte administration.
De Lima, a staunch Duterte administration critic, said the UP Visayas students “hit the nail on the head” with their performance that criticized President Duterte’s anti-people policies.
“It smacks of the truth, without sugarcoating the reality under this administration,” De Lima said in a statement.
“Their presentation is only a reaction to the truth and reflects the brutal reality articulated by Duterte himself in his public speeches. It was a social satire that hit right through the core of present Philippine society,” she added.
The students’ cheer routine did not sit well with the avid supporters of the President, particularly when the group chanted: “Let’s kill the President. Charot!”
“Charot” is a gay term, which means “just kidding.”
Malacañang already said it took no offense on the cheer, noting that the students can criticize the government as part of free speech. However, it also noted that the attacks and threats of Duterte supporters to the UP Visayas students were just “natural.”
De Lima, who has been detained for her alleged involvement in the drug trade, described as a “horrifying truth” that as the President normalizes killings and abuse, “legitimate dissent is treated as a crime, and dissenters are punished for disrupting the peace.”
The senator went on to take a swipe at the “Diehard Duterte Supporters” for hurling attacks and threats against the UP Visayas students.
“When Duterte spews his usual poison about murdering people, it is quickly defended by his DDS minions as part of his playful or dark humor. But when a group of students quips about killing him, it is a subversion,” she said.
“Because of their hard-hitting commentary, these students are now subjected to the organized hate speech of the Duterte machinery, the very same ones used to persecute me and the rest of the political opposition,” she added.
The former justice secretary then praised the group for their “patriotic creativity.”
“Creative dissent is most powerful when it speaks of the everyday woes of the people, those that would otherwise remain unspoken and unheard. I hope your creativity would continue to inspire others to think out of the box in defying and resisting this administration,” De Lima said. /kga
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