Saturday’s EDSA people power movement celebration showed some traces of the tensions that erupted many years ago, when anti-Marcos and pro-Aquino supporters gathered in front of the EDSA shrine. The supposedly peaceful commemoration had some tension-filled moments when singer Jim Paredes confronted seven pro-Duterte youths who were standing in the side lines with fists raised ala-Duterte and playing music through a loudspeaker.
The commemorative event was also a protest movement, with anti-Duterte and anti-Marcos supporters mainly protesting the killings of over 7,000 Filipinos by Duterte’s war on drugs. The 7 youths arrived at the area about five minutes after the rally started. The EDSA rallyists started saying that these young men were trying to disrupt their affair. It’s not immediately known how many attended the affair, but it can be safely said that its seven young men versus thousands, so what’s the odds of them fully disrupting the rally? In the video, it was Paredes who was engaged in a one-sided verbal argument. While Jim Paredes was unleashing his tirade, the young men also stood their ground, saying that they believe and support Duterte, which seemed to incense Paredes more. All the while, the other rallyists remained silent.
Paredes, a very vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte took to social media to express his satisfaction about the incident. He compared their presence as someone pissing on food; that they were provocative and disrespectful.
When he accosted them and he started his tirade, showering the young men with several questions, he said they were incoherent and were only able to give troll arguments, expressing his belief that those people probably only read troll comments about him. There was no mention of the seven youth engaging in anything else, but they did express their support of the president.
Jim Paredes said many things on his social media posts, but mostly it was about his enjoyment of being able to shut down those young Duterte supporters. He claimed that they were not able to substantiate the drug-related killings as they only replied that those are still being investigated. He called one man a coward, claiming that he cannot look him (Paredes) in the eye.
Jim Paredes may have felt satisfaction over what transpired – berating those young men who he claimed were not able to give him satisfactory answers to his questions. The incident, captured on video, has gone viral. But then, who came out the winner? Looking at the incident, one could say that the young men were the winners because they remained dignified, even if they responded curtly. Jim Paredes was shown shouting at them and pointing his fingers and glaring at them. There were mixed reactions to the video and as someone said, he was the elder, he should have known better. Those kids were young enough to be his grandchildren. Netizens were questioning Paredes’ claim of being a decent person. Others lauded his actions, while some said that what he did brought down his reputation as a respected musician. Still some said that it does not matter whether one is a pro-Duterte or against Duterte. The actions of Jim Paredes were very inappropriate.