In a TV appearance, Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy did the hopelessly and fantastically absurd. She attempted to red-tag an IBON representative as a communist by saying—“Ibon has been around for 41 years and the CPP has been around for 51 years.”
The British have a word for this fatal inanity: Ignoramus horribilis. Horrible stupidity. It’s an absurdity of its own class because the very president that Badoy is serving is a front-line cheerleader of communist China, a country that has inspired Philippine Maoists rebels during their heyday in the 1960s and 1970s.
Going by Badoy’s logic, IBON’s analysis of the Duterte Legacy infographic that her office produced with taxpayers’ money is not worthy of an informed rebuttal because IBON is a communist hound dog. In her own words: “IBON is an above-ground organization of the CPP-NPA-NDF.”
If her infographic has true merits of its own, that TV appearance by Badoy is just the right vehicle to amplify the so-called legacy implemented by her president. But she inadvertently missed her own target by going on an ad hominem attack, questioning IBON’s credibility through a cliched approach, that of inferring ‘communist agenda’ on the part of the economic NGO think-tank.
The absurd thing about the mind of Lorraine and her ilk is that imputing shame on being a ‘commie,’ ‘red’ or a Maoist mindset is not only ineffectual but also patently silly. Her own boss is showering the most servile promises he can come up with on the leaders of two paper tiger Communists countries in the world—China and Russia. Let us put aside the fact that Duterte nurtures a somewhat dated and nostalgic fanboy notions of what communism is, but the absurdity in Lorraine’s non-sequitur argument becomes all the more glaring when she failed to present figures or arguments that should demolish any criticism neatly laid out by IBON.
To be single handedly mowed by a left-leaning bird or be reduced to a stammering, high-brow glare that only Badoy can project in her TV cameo is deeply pathetic. Her office which attempted to claim a higher budget in the coming years has only delivered gaffe after gaffe, a multitude of mea culpas that even a giraffe would have difficulty in accumulating within its lifetime of long-necked, fumbling ineptitude.
Legacy is a big word for an administration that is shooting itself in the foot with a blitz of ill-timed pronouncements and lackluster performance. One unanswered critique on the so-called economic gains made by this administration concerns the spill-over or trickle-down benefits from previous administrations that could actually be generating the economic boom being parlayed by the Duterte regime as its own accomplishment.
Lorraine should beef up her economic guns before she hurries to the TV studios for a laughable appearance. A poor TV performance doesn't serve her master, who she says does not micro-manage, well. Embarrassingly she even disclosed that the Legacy infographic was actually meant to be a sort of hallelujah thanks to her boss who she truly perceives as doing a sterling performance. We are not asking for her personal opinion and government civil servants should refrain from giving one, especially when not solicited.
When did fandom become a qualification to create a fanciful infographic that will not survive even the lightest of critiques? When does perception become a substitute for real work? Or fangirl gratefulness the basis for real assessment?
If we go by the title of ‘Undersecretary,’ maybe that word is not really amiss, but actually reflects the kind of performance that Badoy is capable of. Under the secretary, beneath the lowest of low cuts.
Joel Vega is the author of the poetry collection ‘Drift’ which won the 2019 National Book Award. He lives in Arnhem, the Netherlands, where he works as freelance editor and visual artist.