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Feeling Mr. Clean! Ex-Ateneo dean Tony La Viña explains why ‘dilawan’ is a hated brand


The administration of former President Benigno Aquino III may have made gains in fighting corruption, but that doesn’t mean people have much love for the “dilawan.”

Former Ateneo School of Government dean Tony La Viña on Thursday (April 20) explained why “dilawan” has become a derogatory term after he noted negative comments regarding a photo showing political bigwigs such as former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and President Rodrigo Duterte seated in one table at former President Joseph Estrada’s 80th birthday party.

La Viña, who currently teaches law at the San Beda College of Law and other schools, said “dilawan” has become associated with self-righteousness.

He said a cursory look at the photo would show that the personalities vilified by the “dilawan” actually have more supporters than them.

“You add to them the Grace Poe supporters and you know why dilawan is such a disliked brand. It’s just insane, outright stupid, to say that all of these supporters are anti-reform and corrupt,” he said.

La Viña said the “dilawans'” self-righteousness is baseless considering that several of the politikos who joined the Liberal Party, the ruling party during the Aquino administration, “who would not pass any integrity or good governance test.”

For the law professor, those who tolerated the corruption in the Aquino administration are not in a position to judge Arroyo, Estrada and Duterte for supposedly being corrupt.

A person who does, La Viña said, is “unfortunately blinded” and “will never get why dilawan is a political color that will not recover.”

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