Filipinos know all too well how President Rodrigo Duterte detests the color yellow, which is associated with the opposition Liberal Party (LP). So it’s hard not to laugh when Vice President Leni Robredo — who is part of the LP — read a children’s book titled Digong Dilaw to a bunch of kids yesterday.
Digong is Duterte’s nickname and dilaw is yellow in Filipino.
Robredo read the book to children in Barangay (Village) 58 Day Care Center in Pritil, Tondo as part of her “Metro Laylayan” program that has her visiting some of the poorest communities in Metro Manila.
Unlike what many assume, however, the book isn’t actually a jab at the president. It was written by National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario in 2003 and is about a little boy who only likes yellow things and wakes up one day with the power to turn everything yellow.
But of course, the joke was not lost on Robredo. She told GMA News that she was amazed the first time she saw the book because it was “ironic.”
That it is, Robredo, that it is.
“The story is good. The lesson is important for the children,” she also said.
However, she said that she wasn’t the one who picked the book.
“It was handed over to me by the ‘Dubredo Army,’” she told Inquirer, a reference to supporters of a Duterte-Robredo tandem. “They were the ones who were supposed to read the book. When I entered, the session had not yet started, and so the role [of reader] was passed on to me.”
Duterte hasn’t had a good relationship with the LP.
In September, he claimed that the dilawans (yellows) were conspiring with communist leaders in an ouster plot against him. Apart from that, Duterte and his supporters often accuse them of sabotaging his administration.
The color yellow is such a touchy subject that Duterte even made headlines last month just for browsing through pieces of yellow clothing while shopping in Hong Kong.