MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – In the United States, the president has to wake up to answer a 3 a.m. call if there is a crisis. In the Philippines, the president goes to sleep.
For over a week, Philippine President Noynoy Aquino chose to remain silent on the April 1 Kidapawan massacre which killed and injured farmers who staged a peaceful protest to ask for rice to feed their families who had nothing to eat because of the El Niño effect on crops in Mindanao.
Today, finally, Aquino talked about the massacre and why he has not said a word about this unfortunate incident.
“Alam po niyo, talagang 24/7, 365 days ang trabaho ko po, paminsan-minsan po nagrereklamo na rin ‘yung katawan ko,” Aquino said. “Kaya nung Biyernes ng gabi, bigla ho tayong nagkaroon ng trangkaso. Giniginaw, naka-sweater, balot na balot, walang aircon, walang electric fan, pinilit nating matulog sabay nagkakonti pang problema kinabukasan pati ‘yung ating sikmura at talaga naman pong pinayuhan ng doktor kailangan magpahinga raw maski konti,” he added.
(You know really, my job is 24/7, 365 days and once in a while, my body complains. On Friday night (on the day of the massacre), I came down with the flu all of a sudden. I was having chills, had a sweater on, fully wrapped, no airconditioning, no electric fan, I tried hard to sleep and the next morning I had more problems involving my stomach, so the doctor advised me to rest even for just a short period.)
Responding to a question from The Adobo Chronicles on why it took Aquino more than a week to make a statement about the incident, the president said that his press secretary and staff were on a week-long annual holiday in a beach resort in Palawan so no one could help him write a good excuse for not immediately responding to the massacre. He added: “It was only this morning that my press secretary reported back for work, but I think he did a good job in coming up with a good reason for my one-week silence, don’t you think?”