Well-known writer commemorates her grievous Yolanda experience

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Krizette Laureta Chu, a well-known writer and has remained to be one of the staunch and ardent supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte, recently published a Facebook post delineating her sentiments and insights re the commemoration of the Super Typhoon Yolanda.

It can be recalled that Yolanda is historically, one of the strongest and devastating typhoons that ever landed on the Philippines destroying millions of lives, properties, and livestock leaving the country in dire and desperate situation.

Chu’s elaborate commemorative post reads:

“Today, we commemorate the 3rd anniversary of ST Yolanda, a catastrophic event that forever changed the face of Leyte and many other provinces.

Can I talk about myself? It forever changed me too, from somebody who described herself as “politically apathetic” on Facebook’s political views “ABOUT ME” question, to someone deeply invested in finding a leader for my country who will be capable enough to avoid a repeat of the massive failed operations that followed Yolanda. 

I came of age politically under President Aquino, because you could not have witnessed his shocking lack of empathy; the shameless corruption of government officials who should have been first in line to help; the overwhelming inefficiency of Mar Roxas, DILG chief, and walk away untouched and unaffected. This? This is the shit we  must contend with? I refuse to accept that Filipinos do not deserve better than the crap we have been fed for years.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to being the carefree girl I was before Yolanda happened. I wish sometimes I weren’t always so mad and passionate. I wish all I cared about were shoes and shopping and travel, but the Yolanda tragedy has shaken me and woken me up in a way that I won’t be able to rest easy until I find somebody who I know has heart and will take his job seriously enough. I don’t even need my President to be perfect; I just want him human and kind and effective. But apparently, as Aquino showed, even that would be a tall order. 

Maybe I could relax again, not be so mad again, “chill” again. It IS exhausting to be so politically passionate. I look at some of my friends and wish I could be as detached, but I can’t. Another personal tragedy after Yolanda has also made me realize how fucked up our system is, and how authorities who should be the first to respond could and would not, just because this has been the way forever. 

Did Yolanda have to happen to show us that we need to better take care of our planet, to show us small people to stand up against countries whose flagrant disregard for Earth has made us bear the brunt of Nature’s wrath, that our government leaders were nothing but self-entitled, selfish, greedy bastards and that WE. FUCKING. DESERVED. BETTER? How tragic a lesson, how bitter a pill, if this were true. 

Nearly 20,000 lives lost–and that number the previous government couldnt even give us the dignity to count because their fucking image was more important, so yes 6,000 official it is, so we could finally wake up from our stupor and say, “PUTANG INA, TAMA NA.”

Did Yolanda have to happen to make us realize we needed a man like Rodrigo Duterte, who I will always assert, was one of the very first responders on the scene despite the distance they needed to cover, from far Davao to unpassable, unreachable Leyte? 

PNoy’s and Mar’s apologists always come up with some vague statistic about how the money collected has all been spent wisely, that it’s all accounted for, but well fuck we have eyes and you can go see for yourself how many people are still living in deplorable conditions. Billions were poured in, Leyte has never seen so much money, and yet there are schools that are still damaged, people who are still living in transition homes, and people who still have no sources of income. 

Region 8 has always been considered poor, but the people have never been poor in that they always had roof over their heads, they had food to grow,  they had the dignity of a job. I grew up in Leyte, and never once did I get the sense that the people were starving mendicants. Never. 

Three years after and much work needs to be done. 

VP Leni, I campaigned for you, I was the only one in my Waray-Ilokano family to do so, but I campaigned for you as Vice President. Not as President, if I have to spell it out.

Sometimes I regret it now because I fear that your ambition and the goading from your party will make you forget the dignity and goodness that made many of us Duterte-Leni voters choose you. 
Please don’t forget you are Leni Gerona Robredo, champion of the masses, not LP’s PLAN B flagbearer. 

When you were given the position of Housing chair, I cheered, because you would be instrumental in rebuilding our homes. But I have yet to see something significant from you in Leyte. If you have started laying down some groundwork, and I just dont know it, I apologize (my friend did say you were there recently), but I guess it’s fair to say I’m disappointed things are not moving fast enough or achievements are not impressive enough in the first six months. The other hardworking Secretaries are making less effective Secretaries look bad. 

My wish is for you to give Leyte the full attention it deserves. Now. You said that only a few percent of the homes to be built have been built–10 percent, was it?–and yet Sec. Judy Taguiwalo has said that only a few million pesos from the Yolanda fund remain. Im not sure our government has the energy or the time to track the spending of the last government, but we must look forward. 

Please, I have never attacked you nor maligned you because I am holding out in the hopes that you are not what you are painted out to be by your detractors, and I hope to be proven right. Just do your job. Just focus. The Presidency is a destiny, and karma is a universal law. Fate has placed on the head of Duterte (and no one else’s) the burden and the privilege to lead this country. We are not supposed to grab what is not ours, or we suffer the consequences. Look at GMA and her years in “prison.” (Leila de Lima, who sent her there upon the orders of her amo, will also pay. She will get her karma, not just for this but for many things. It’s a question of when, not if, in this never-ending cycle of cause and consequences that make up the flow of our lives.) We always pay our karmic debt. Always. 

What many people do not understand about our “devotion” to Duterte–the one they mock as cultish–is that we are not fighting for Lord Digong. 

He is just a representative of our anger and rage, our fears, our frustrations, but most importantly, our hopes. A thin but bright sliver of hope that all is not lost. 

Rodrigo Duterte is an idea whose time has come. And while you can destroy the man, you cannot destroy the idea. You can kill him, we will find another one like him, another one willing to buck this useless system, and meanwhile our rage grows to proportions that would be very hard to restrain. 

Rodrigo Duterte inherits a failed state. Whether or not he succeeds, only time will tell. But the least of us–the least of us makes up the majority of Filipinos–have voted to give him a chance. 

A chance not for him, actually, but a chance for this country, for at least 16 million of us, and the millions more deprived of their votes. I wish him (and I fight for his) success, not for a roof over my own head, but for the many others in Leyte. 

As for me, I just want to have some normal days when I can go back to being a mindless hedonist without worrying about this country, secure in the knowledge I have a more than able President who can take care of it well.” Chu ended conclusively.

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