Credit-grabbers like Roque represent how politicians act in the country’s time of triumph. The only thing Duterte’s administration made possible for athletes is a conundrum: Olympians need to grab the gold to get the bare minimum, while politicians do only the bare minimum to grab the most gold.
The tarpaulin is a simple recipe: a piece of material with bold and striking typography, carrying an even bolder message. It has simultaneously been the ally of activists in protests and the weapon of politicians currying votes. The government is now using it to red-tag activists, creating the latest battlefield in its war against critics.