Gab Valenciano speaks up on Duterte, responds to bashers
MANILA, Philippines – With the 2016 presidential elections looming, celebrities have begun to voice out their opinions or support for those planning to run.
On December 6, musician and multimedia artist Gab Valenciano reacted to a post that singer Kitchie Nadal posted on Facebook.
According to the When In Manila post that Gab reposted, Kitchie said that our leaders should respect marital laws, and lead by example: "It has become part of our culture to think that our leaders’ 'private lives' have no lasting impact in society, when the reality is that followers and constituents emulate and follow the lead of their leaders. If ever you are thinking of voting for Mayor [Rodrigo] Duterte (and I include myself), we should keep in mind that men and women should uphold marital laws as seriously as criminal laws, because family is the very foundation of our society."
Kitchie's post followed presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte's admission that he's a "womanizer" with two wives and two girlfriends. (READ: Rodrigo Duterte: Yes, I'm a womanizer)
Kitchie's post has since been deleted.
In his December 6 post, Gab supported Kitchie's opinion, saying, "Wisdom. Pure wisdom. Respect for Kitchie has quintupled."
He added, "I'm sorry, but leadership does not justify compromise.
This is the sad reality. The Philippines' greatest weakness isn't the government anymore, it's the people who so eagerly, desperately, and blindly fall for anything that looks and sounds good."
Duterte is the tough-talking mayor of Davao City who is credited with bringing peace and order to the area. Known for taking strong action against crime, he told Rappler's Maria Ressa in a previous interview that "If I have to kill you, I’ll kill you," with regard to stopping criminality. (READ: Duterte, his 6 contradictions and planned dictatorship)
Recently, Amnesty International (AI) said that they asked the 5 leading presidential hopefuls for their human rights agendas, but none of them complied. After "reaffirming" his certificate of candidacy at the Commission of Elections on Tuesday, December 8, Duterte downplayed AI's comment, saying that his bad human rights record “started as a political gimmick” by his former rival, former Davao Representative Prospero Nograles.
“700 daw ang pinatay ko? Nagkulang ho sila sa kuwenta (I killed 700? They underestimated the figures),” said Duterte. Asked about the actual figure, Duterte replied, “Mga 1,700 (Around 1,700)." (READ: Duterte: I killed 700? No, make that 1,700)
"No doubt, Duterte is a leader who leads, and leads well. But what about the model and nature in which that leadership is put across? Doesn't that matter anymore? I respect him for his honesty and eagerness to lead our country back on track, but I cannot support his morality," continued Gab.
On December 7, Gab responded to a commenter asking who he thinks is most qualified to lead the Philippines among the aspiring candidates. The commenter said that before Gab gave his opinion on the 2016 elections, he should first think about the young Filipino citizens who are "mad for change."
Gab replied, "I am for no one. Sadly."
He reiterated that his opinion on Duterte had nothing to do with his leadership but his morality. "When any decent person boasts about dirty laundry, in this case a presidential candidate, that shouldn't be socially acceptable. You say you want change yet are willing to compromise for the sake of acquiring that change. I think that should be reason enough to rethink your argument."
On December 8, another commenter said that celebrities should choose a specific candidate to endorse, rather than "playing safe" and not choosing.
Gab replied that he isn't a celebrity, and that he's just a guy standing up for what he believes in. "I refuse to pick a candidate just for the sake of picking and choosing. If you want to vote for whoever you feel has the right to lead the Philippines, then by all means please do so. I'm sorry if my moral conscience doesn't equate to my social responsibility to endorse or support a candidate," wrote Gab.
Gab finished, "I am not playing safe. I never do. My refusal to choose is my own personal protest. It's not my fault people take interest in what I have to say. If you feel he's the right man for the job, then vote."
On December 9, Gab wrote another Facebook post, addressing the messages he received on social media after his first post.
Gab said that many of the comments he received had nothing to do with the issue at hand, but rather, attacked him personally. "I would have loved to indulge in constructive arguments with people and go head-to-head on this issue, instead, they talk about how ugly I am, how I'm using this issue to boost my popularity, how I'm just desperately looking for attention because I don't have a career anymore AND how I was never fit for show business."
He continued, "I am not saying all this for pity, instead, for people to gain a certain level of consciousness of the current educational and mental state of the country... It's sad. Heartbreaking even. Not necessarily with what they were saying about my personal life (since I've heard all that over and over before anyway), but seeing how real people who live real lives think and feel nowadays. It's scary. It's scary seeing where Filipinos stand culturally, socially, spiritually, and mentally."
Gab is the son of singer Gary Valenciano and veteran talent manager Angeli Pangilinan Valenciano.
Gab also praised those who gave valid arguments on his post, explaining, "Because you actually are for the advancement of our country and are educated enough to know how to handle opposition."
He ended, "I stood up and spoke out for what I believe in, and I will not apologize nor back down. So come at me with your garbage, and I will retaliate with my education."
What do you think of the issue? Sound off in the comments section below. – Rappler.com