INTERNATIONAL pop star Justin Bieber, infamous for his brat-like attitude, brought cheer to the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda when he flew to Tacloban City to help with relief efforts by singing Christmas carols and bonding with them. Prior to that, he also raised funds for the same cause.

It is thus tempting to hark back last year when the House of Representatives wanted to declare Bieber persona non grata for ridiculing Manny Pacquiao when he was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez. I bet the Lower House members ate their words.

Of course it is easy to criticize and doubt Bieber’s motives. But then again, regardless of what his motives were, it cannot be denied that Bieber has helped relieve the victims. In fact, he has helped more than our local “trapos” here, particularly the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary Mar Roxas.

Typhoon “Yolanda” really brought out the worst in our politicos—or should I say revealed their true colors? Even international news agencies picked up stories about them.

Among government officials, Secretary Roxas seemed the favorite target of critics (second only of course to President Aquino), starting from the Anderson Cooper issue to the escalation of his run-in with Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

In a video circulating online, Roxas is shown in the crucial meeting with Romualdez immediately after the typhoon. “You are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino,” Roxas is shown telling the mayor, apparently in reference to the age-old rivalry between the Marcoses and the Aquinos. Roxas immediately cried foul after the release of the video, saying it was cropped and his words misinterpreted. Interesting to note that the full video would reveal even more chilling statements from Roxas: “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.”

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To be fair to the DILG secretary, I’d rather not tackle deeper any of those issues. It cannot be denied, however, that Roxas really does have a tendency for arrogance, which was easily seen in in light of recent events.

In times of trouble, people don’t need a man with power who power-trips at every opportunity he gets. They need officials who would help them, be with them, let them know everything will be all right, inspire them.

So yes, in times like this, sometimes I’d pick a bratty pop star over a local trapo.


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