OLD SOUL: Half The Truth, Half The Lie

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By Maria Rodriguez

An assignment I was given for English in 3rd quarter was to compare the differences of bias and prejudice. Of course, with that assigned topic, I was bound to discuss racism. As a student, I was disappointed by the supplementary learning material provided by the Department of Education. Its an example of racism was: All Chinese in the country are considered virus carriers due to the COVID-19 disease.”  

I found this and many other examples in the learning material to be distorted and ironic. After all, it is true that the Chinese are the mainstream carriers of the disease in our country. Since, according to DOH, the first case of COVID-19 in the Philippines was a 38-year-old Chinese woman who flew in from Wuhan, China via Hong Kong on January 21, 2020. 

The woman was admitted into one of the government hospitals in the Philippines on January 25, 2020.  And earlier in January of 2020, President Duterte dismissed the clamoring of various members of the government for a travel ban on China —even before the first case of COVID was reported. Health Secretary Fransisco Duque III even supported Mr. Duterte in his reluctance to bar Chinese nationals from entering the country, raising the unwanted possibility of Chinas questioning as to why the Government isnt imposing the same restriction on other countries. If only they used common sense: The first-known infections of the SARS-CoV-2 were discovered in Wuhan, China. So therefore, this cant be classified as an act of racism, but simply practicality. 

Its extremely disappointing to have President Dutertes distorted views and draconian values extended to my education. I find it ironic that Mr. Duterte was reluctant to come off as degrading to China, when he approves of the death (authorization of extra-judicial killing, allowing the police to shoot people not wearing masks) and hardship of his countrymen, as a result of unnecessary seemingly never-ending quarantines (thanks to the delayed implementation of said travel ban). Whats the hardship in travel-banning Chinese and intensifying the precautionary measures for our safety, when its so easy for Mr. Duterte to approve the killing and violence towards his own people?

From the turn of events, Duterte told half the truth, half the lie. 

So for this 2022 Presidential Election, we need not make the same mistake again. This 2022, we dont need a president from a long line of traitors and liars; we dont need the kind of president who abuses his power and makes empty promises; we dont need a president whos charismatic but incompetent; we dont need a president who built the foundation of his wealth on corruption. Lets not make the same mistake again. In this coming election, we must carefully examine our biases and prejudices for the sake of our future.