Political figures have remained a hot topic on social media. One of the recent viral hits on Facebook was a photo of Senator Leila de Lima with Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez, his daughter.
Facebook page “Ambag Bayan Central” taunted de Lima for being photographed with the mayor, who was linked to Herbert “Ampang” Colangco. They even captioned the photo with a famous line about friendships.
“Show me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.”
Colangco is one of the top drug lords in Ozamiz City, who is now serving time in Bilibid. He was also recently tagged by Duterte as a member of a triad running the illegal drug trade in the Philippines.
On July 11, Parojinog admitted that his daughter, his vice mayor, is in a relationship with Colangco, something which he disapproves of. However, he denies having any business or family ties with the prisoner.
As of writing, the said photo of de Lima with the Parojinogs has gained 5,000 reactions and over 12,000 shares.
Most of the comments were crucifying de Lima for being linked with the controversial mayor and for being a drug protector.
But the surprising twist is that Duterte also had a photo with a smiling Parojinog and the president even showed a thumbs-up sign.
Well, let’s get back to that line thrown by the other Facebook page – “Show me who your friends are (or who you’re photographed with, in these two cases) and I’ll tell you who you are.”
The “Oras Na, Roxas Na” Facebook page captioned the photo with “Approved?”
“Kapag mga small time at mahihirap na suspects sa paggamit at pagtutulak ng droga patay agad,” said the caption, probably referring to the reported killings of alleged drug users and pushers.
“Pero kapag pinaghihinalaan na drug lord ay big time at makapangyarihan na kagaya ni Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, Sr. ng Ozamiz City, chummy chummy at may photo-op pa,” according to the caption.
Some of those who commented on the photo were out to defend Duterte, saying that this was before he became the president and had access to intelligence so he did not have any idea that Parojinog was suspected to be involved with illegal drugs.
So if Duterte’s supporters shared de Lima’s photo with the Parojinogs to imply that she is involved with illegal drugs, does that mean Duterte, having had a photo taken with Parojinog, is also linked to drugs? In these cases, it might not be best to read too much into a photo. Photo-ops are, at times, just photo-ops.
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