Category: social media
Like a warm bullet in my head:
How I was silenced by right speech fundamentalists in the Philippines
By Sass Rogando Sasot
I am a Duterte supporter. This declaration exposes me to a barrage of insults from the Filipino disente society. I’ve been labelled a cuckoo, fascist, a Nazi, a Dutertard, an idiot, a fanatic, a blind follower, an apologist, and a High Priestess of the Cult of Duterte. Even benign tags have been weaponized against me, such as “just a student in The Hague” and “Mocha Uson with a diploma.” My Facebook Page has been ridiculed as the “slums of Facebook.” A professor in a true-blue elite university in Quezon City even stripped me of my nationality, uprooting me from my origin. He called me a “European Dutertian.” Its purpose is to discredit my participation in the political affairs of the Philippines, akin to how Michael Ignatieff’s US residency was successfully used against him by his opponents when he ran as Prime Minister of Canada in 2011. Their rationale is that since I’m educated, they cannot understand why I’m supporting the monster they call Duterte. For them, there’s no ethical standpoint that could justify my support; if there is, they dismiss any explanation as mere apologetics for Duterte. They simply refuse to understand. Period.
… The ability of government and humanitarian organizations to deliver aid to areas devastated by Yolanda is hampered by decades – if not generations – of economic underdevelopment brought about by a multitude of factors. It’s a wound that cuts to almost everything from literacy to education to employment to housing to disposable income to disaster preparedness. It’s a wound cut by the knives of political patronage, dependency, backward policy, and the perpetuation of top-down development that does little – if not nothing – for the poor.
These days, social media is a hotbed for criticisms against President Aquino for not doing enough. As President, he is not blameless. He should be at the forefront of the reforms in policy and redistributing resources in Eastern Visayas, in particular. But generations of underdevelopment and poverty can be pinned down not only to him, but to every President, Vice President, Senator, and Representative who has ignored the imperative to prepare the most vulnerable people in the country for the worst through a national plan and execution for sustainable development.