On Apr. 6, Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla shared on Facebook a translation of a letter he sent to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte appealing for the inclusion of the middle class in the government’s social amelioration program. Last night, actor and outspoken supporter of the president Robin Padilla posted his reaction to the plea on Instagram. Netizens were not happy with it.
In the letter to the president, Gov. Remulla requested that the middle class receive a fraction, if not equal to the amount allocated to lower class families, of the aid to be provided under the social amelioration program. “Ang pandemic na ito ay isang krisis para sa lahat. Hindi lamang para sa pinakamahirap nating kababayan, kung hindi pati na rin sa mga taong nagtaguyod ng sarili ngunit hindi pa rin sapat. Sila rin ay naghihintay sa tulong ng lokal na pamahalaan. Sila ay nagtitipid, nagsasanla, nangungutang—para lamang makaraos,” he wrote. The president acknowledged the concern in a televised speech Monday night, Apr. 6. “Marami ang may gusto, I will discuss it when I reach the point raised by Governor [Jonvic] Remulla of Cavite, which I think is valid. I will try to remedy whatever, kung may mapulot pa tayo sa daan,” said Pres. Duterte.
Padilla defended the government’s decision in his post and wrote in the caption, “Sir Governor alam ni mayor PRRD ang ginagawa niya hindi puedeng sabay sabay sa isang bagsakan dahil limitado rin ang resources ng bansa. [sic]” The actor claimed that the administration gave the middle class a tax break to help them during the crisis.
He added that he anticipates the governor’s full support for the president after we get through the pandemic. “Kaya po sir governor kung sakaling ipahintulot pa ng Panginoon na makabalik pa tayo sa dating mundo aasahan ko ang muli mong pagtindig at paglutang kapag kakasahan na muli ni mayor PRRD ang mga oligarchs dahil ang makapagbibigay lamang ng kaginhawaan sa buhay ng mga middle class ay ang tamang sueldo, tamang benepisyo at tamang karapatan para sa mga manggggawa/middle class [sic],” he ends his post.
Remulla answered the actor on Facebook. “Nakakalungkot na minasama mo ang aking panawagan sa ating pangulo. Pag nasa realidad na buhay ka ay durugo ang puso mo para sa mga nahihirapan. Hinde po namin iniisip na makipagaway kahit kanino. Wala pong Oligarch, wala pong mahirap, wala pong makapangyarihan sa mata ng Covid. Ako lamang ay nagpanayam sa ating pangulo na baka sakali matugunan niya ang pangangailangan ng middle class,” he replied. The governor reiterated that he was working with the administration and not against it.
Netizens were displeased with Padilla’s response and called him out for invalidating the struggles of the middle class.
Robin Padilla's response to Gov. Remulla's letter is dripping with ignorance and priveleged sentiments. Pls. Dont be insensitive to the sufferings of the middle class. Coz while you stay at home inside your mansion, the working class worries about getting no salary… pic.twitter.com/wMWWc1ADoH
While it is understandable to give priority to the poorest of the poor for the cash aid program, we hope that the government remembers that their mandate is to serve all their constituents and continue to formulate solutions to lessen everyone’s burden during the enhanced community quarantine.