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Lea Salonga draws flak for questioning anger over inflation

/ 10:56 AM October 09, 2018

Image: Instagram/@juansarte

Tony Award-winning singer and actress Lea Salonga recently drew flak for an answer she made in a press conference back in September. In the press conference then, Salonga was asked about a multitude of things, from her running for political office to her thoughts on President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration, as well as the escalating inflation rate, among others.

Salonga thought it tough when asked by reporters about what she could say about Duterte. She said then that it was hard to have a nuanced position in a divisive environment, saying, “You can’t like everything and you never will. You can like some things and that is fine. That’s as diplomatic as I can be about it.”

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Meanwhile, she also shared that she and her family were also affected by the high inflation rate. But then, she added that people have to see if the same thing happened in the previous administrations and if they were just as angry about it.

She said then, “You gotta wonder, we’re angry about this, we have to see if it’s happened in previous administrations before and if we got angry then, too. And if it happened before and you didn’t get angry, you might have to examine why that is.”

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Netizens have since called out Salonga for her remarks, with some wondering whether she was ostensibly showing support for the Duterte administration.

Human rights advocate and political blogger Francis Baraan IV took to Twitter on Oct. 7 to address Salonga for what she said regarding inflation.

“Dear @MsLeaSalonga, is this a thinly veiled support for Marcos & Duterte? Aquino admin is the past. THE PRESSING ISSUE TODAY IS THE CURRENT INFLATION RATE UNDER CURRENT ADMIN,” wrote Baraan.

“Whether or not [the] inflation rate was high during Aquino time, is now totally immaterial and irrelevant.”

Ogie Rosa, a Palanca award-winning writer and activist, also took to Twitter the same day to tell Salonga that people were enraged about the inflation during the time of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

“@MsLeaSalonga on inflation: ‘Dapat tingnan kung ito ba’y nangyari rin sa past admin at kung nagalit din ba tayo noon,” quoted Rosa as he shared pictures of Filipinos protesting during different administrations.

“A resounding  YES! Inflation averaged only around 3% during Pnoy; yet Filipinos were enraged,” said Rosa. “For your reference, here are photos of protests vs. past admins.”

Meanwhile, a certain Darwin (@darwinervasss) tweeted on the same day to call out Salonga for allegedly not recognizing the abuses during Martial Law and for her inflation remark.

“You didn’t recognize the abuses during Martial Law coz you said that the Marcoses were good on you,” wrote the netizen. “And now this? We always have an inflation forecast. But going beyond that forecast is something that we should be angry of. Totally lost my admiration @MsLeaSalonga.”

Salonga, on her end, has since taken to her Twitter yesterday, Oct. 8, where she reached out to economics professors for their expertise.

“Okay, economics professors, and anyone knowledgeable in how things work here at home,” she wrote. “What drives the prices of goods and services to skyrocket? I know, this is probably grade school stuff, but I’m asking anyway. A little knowledge never hurt anyone. Thanks.”

And although she didn’t specifically respond to those who called her out, Salonga, in another tweet made on the same day, shared that one must seek online exchanges where they are insulted to return to reality.

“If you want to be brought back down to earth, actively seek and find online exchange where you are disparaged and even insulted,” she wrote. “The moral of the story: Not everyone will like you. And that’s perfectly okay.”

It was reported on Friday, Oct. 5, that although the inflation rate rose to 6.7 percent inSeptember, the highest in over nine years, it was still lower than most analysts’ expectations, with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) midpoint forecast at 6.8 percent.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said on Friday that the inflation could have already peaked and might be seeing the start of a decline.

Guinigundo said then, “Despite the impact of Typhoon Ompong, escalating global oil and food commodity prices, we are beginning to feel the positive impact of various non-monetary measures including accelerated release of NFA rice, higher importation of rice and other food commodities as well as close monitoring and surveillance of market prices against possible profiteering and hoarding.”  /ra

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TAGS: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, economics, inflation rate, Lea Salonga, President Rodrigo Duterte
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