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ROUGH CUTS | An ‘error’ in pronoun now an issue




Vic N. Sumalinog

INDEED we were correct in our projection some months back. That is, that the opposition and other critics of the Duterte administration will make an issue against the President on his apparent erroneous use of one possessive pronoun in many of his public addresses.

     We are referring to the President’s unintentional use of the pronoun “akong” in trying to exculpate the entire police or military organization from the harangues of those who feel their rights are trampled upon by a member or two of any of these two law enforcement agencies. The same pronoun is also being used by the President in taking responsibility for police or military actions the human rights advocates like the Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations Commission onHuman Rights (UNCHR) consider as affronts to society, either real or imagined.

     Now, some of the initial batches of social media trolls unleashed by the opposition to start a demolition job on the President, are openly using this insignificant grammatical laps to portray him as considering the police and the military as his private armed minions that can be made to accede on his bidding. Yes, the opposition’s top troll in the social media by the name of Manuel Lacerna Jr., which we believe is a fictitious one, is trying to convince the Filipinos that Duterte has no other reason in saying “akong mga pulis” or “akong mga kasundalohan” in his public speeches because they the policemen and the military of the Filipino people; they are not his private army. Or, if he thinks they are, because he is doing everything in his power to “pamper” them, his only intention is to use them for his evil plan to perpetuate himself in power or assure that those who will come after him will submit to his bidding.

     They may be right. That is, if the opposition trolls and critics interpret the President’s use of the pronoun “akong” or “aking” policemen or soldiers in its literal context. However, these trolls from the opposition farm could have forgotten – or simply refuse to remember – that Duterte is President of the Philippines. That as such he is symbol of the country and as the head of the country and the symbol of this republic he may have premised his use of “ako’ng” or “aki’ng” kapulisan or military as the sovereign owner of the police and military organizations, being figuratively, the country itself. Thus, in this particular context he has the authority to protect the police or the military organization from any attack – armed or verbal –by forces from outside and within the government.

     Is that not as simple as a person having possession of the documented title to a piece or tracks of land, but in the real sense of the word it is still the government that owns the properties? And yes, with the President being voted by some 6 million Filipinos to become their head, hasn’t he the right to call the uniformed servicemen “ako’ng” or “aking” pulis or military?

     Indeed when election season sets in, the politicians are “fair games” to whatever vicious attacks from his opponents whether the issues are legitimate or simple verbal inadvertence that cannot affect the over-all objective of improving the lives of the Filipinos.

     So it was no more a surprise for the anti-administration trolls to immediately add to their present posts the near fall of the President (assuming that the incident was not a computer manipulation) when he climbed up a stall on the rostrum where he delivered his 123rd Independence Day anniversary message in Malolos, Bulacan last Saturday alleging that he was still sleepy during that occasion.


     We agree with comments of some netizens over the social media that to be vaccinated is a personal choice. And we strongly affirm their claim that while it is one’s prerogative to be administered the vaccine or to reject it totally, those who think they are among the non-believers of the vaccine, should not also arrogate unto themselves the right to convince other people not to get the jab.

     Yes, it is hard to imagine these non-believers of the vaccine to deter the pandemic or perhaps totally stop it, saying a lot of things against the vaccination and or the vaccines like they are more learned than the medical practitioners and scientists in providing supposed detailed negative implications of the vaccine on the human body.

     Above all, they are comparable to the politicians’ trolls – destroying those on the other side of the political fence. They seem to be released for the purpose of derailing the efforts of the government to cushion the impact of the pandemic on the lives of the people. 

     For once, can they just take the option of not getting vaccinated and let those who wanted the inoculation administered on them and not paint a negative picture of the possibilities of those who opt for vaccination?

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