A different Yellow Ribbon on Times St.

President-elect Aquino a no-show on Times St. as labor leaders on Friday aired their demands just outside his home.

For workers who have yet to hear from President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino about his plans for labor, it’s quite disappointing that Aquino has already talked to a number of business leaders — and has even offered some of them Cabinet posts. And it is perhaps more disappointing that Aquino has turned down the requested dialogue of labor leaders who wished to present sincere demands even as he granted visits of foreign envoys.

But the labor leaders aired their demands outside Aquino’s home nevertheless — using the same yellow ribbon which Aquino used as campaign icon and which, for the most part, is associated with the Aquinos. Bearing urgent calls for wage increase, Arroyo’s prosecution and junking of contractualization policies, these huge ribbons stood out from all other ribbons on Times St.

These ribbons could have been similar to the yellow ribbons plastered on vehicles, doors and profile pictures which semantically point to Noynoy Aquino and his popular appeal. But by simply attaching the usual placards, workers have used the political value and impact of Aquino’s pervasive campaign icon as springboard in forwarding concrete demands. It was powder keg made extra explosive.

What materialized on Times St. today – when a different set of yellow ribbons graced the middle-class neighborhood – hints at how Aquino will be “haunted” by his campaign icon in the coming days. Yellow ribbons are here to stay not to remind him of his electoral victory or of his parents, but to constantly remind him of the promises he dished out to the people.

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