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Apparently thinking that Romualdez’ supporters took a video only of that particular part of that meeting, Roxas claimed that the mayor was lying and that the video was “spliced, and its intention malicious.” He had threatened to “release to the public” what he claimed was the untampered video “at an appropriate time.” He was unaware though that as he spoke, thousands were already viewing the clearly unedited 40-minute video on You Tube, posted by columnist Cito Beltran and Romualdez’ father-in-law Jose Ma. You Tube sensation As of this writing, the two posts together had been viewed more than 500,000 times, a record of sorts for Philippine videos posted on You Tube that aren’t entertainment in nature.
It’s probably the most viewed You Tube video of a political nature involving our country ever.
It turns out that Mayor Alfred Romualdez wasn’t telling everything when he said in a congressional hearing Monday that Secretary Mar Roxas, President Aquino’s point-man in Tacloban after the super typhoon hit, told him, “You are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino.” Romualdez didn’t report the more chilling statement Roxas made: “If we cannot legalize [the turnover of authority to the national government], you’ll be in charge, we’ll help you, and that’s it, pero bahala na kayo sa buhay niyo.” That Pilipino sentence has a particular nuance, which can’t be captured by its literal translation, “You’re in charge of your lives.” Rather, it means, at best, telling somebody, “I don’t care whatever happens to you from here on.” At worse, it’s a veiled threat from a superior or from somebody with authority.
“You can go to hell for all I care,” or “I wouldn’t lift a finger to help you from here on,” would be more accurate translations.
It is the kind of arrogance of power that led dictatorships and hated administrations fall here and all over the world.
Dream goes to the sewers Roxas’ arrogance of power at Tacloban, though, means “game-over” for his dream to be president in 2016.
Worse, Roxas claimed that Romualdez was not in his right mind as he was traumatized by Yolanda’s devastation, saying—and laughing madly afterwards—in an interview in GMA’s 24 Oras news program: “Tanong ko sa kanya, nagpa-stress debriefing ka na ba?Kung nag pa stress-briefing siya, baka tumino, luminaw ang pag-iisip niya.” (“My question to him: Has he undergone stress debriefing?If he did, he’d probably be sane and his thinking made clear.”) Roxas’ statements in his meeting in Tacloban with Romualdez, his response to the criticisms against him for that episode, even his body language and choice of words reflect this man’s arrogance of power.What’s obviously has been going in Roxas mind: “Who is this mayor to defy what I wanted to be done in Tacloban, and to complain about it?Coming from Roxas’ mouth and made in a meeting with a stunned mayor of a devastated city and his aides, it was a clear threat that if Romualdez wouldn’t formally turn over authority over the city, he won’t get the help he needs from the national government that Roxas represented.
Rather than just apologizing and regretting that his words were misinterpreted by the mayor, Roxas instead came out belligerent and quarrelsome.