As if this administration doesn’t already have enough staunch critics, in comes its most ironic one yet – one that shares the president’s surname.
She is Nuelle Rodriguez Duterte, a US-based psychiatrist, and the President’s niece. After a couple of catastrophic typhoons left a trail of destruction in the Philippines, her voice was one of the most resolute, echoing the frustrations of a great lot of Filipinos over the government’s sheer incompetence.
A quick browse through her Facebook account reveals that she isn’t a blind apologist to this administration, but is, in fact, the stark opposite. In the wake of these calamities, she has very vehemently called out the government for its absence during the disaster, its failure to channel funds that could’ve prevented it, and its unfit fixation towards Filipino resilience as a solution.
Oh, and she hasn’t missed out on sharing every post about the Office of the Vice-President’s relief operations.
She wasn’t always like this, though. According to a profile by Rappler, there was a time when the president’s niece was devoted to building her career and carving a name for herself in New York, far from the maladies of Manila.
But Filipinos can only ever look away for so long, and as points of tensions pop up left and right in her motherland – such as the murder of South Korean national Jee Ick-Joo and the Supreme Court’s decision to bury the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani – she knew she could not keep quiet anymore. From there, her voice only grew stronger.
Now, she’s grown accustomed to her association with who would be considered around the globe as a strongman leader and a murderer responsible for copious extra-judicial killing cases. If anything, her very opposition proves one thing: that Duterte’s governance has become so divisive that even his own relatives would detach themselves from his tainted legacy.
She isn’t an influencer. She has never claimed to be a political pundit. Nuelle, like any other Filipinos who can see through the government’s veneer of lies, just isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade. At least we know there’s at least one from the family who can separate the truth from the tall tales.
We’re still curious as to how fun their family reunions usually are, though.
(Banner image from Philstar.com)