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Young Blood

From troll to woke gal

/ 05:14 AM February 28, 2019

I was a huge fan of Tatay Digong. I voted for him and wholeheartedly supported his campaign. Wishing I could give a little help, I posted a series of blogs on social media explaining my reasons for choosing him over other candidates.

Aside from being merely a fan, I was also his defender. I was a DDS (die-hard Duterte supporter), trolling his critics every time I could.

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I fought with the “Yellows,” including the neutral ones that I mistakenly considered to be among them.

Attacking a stranger’s opinion gave me pleasure and satisfaction, especially when they eventually stopped arguing with me.

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Little did I know I was unconsciously the one making fun of and degrading myself. I began cringing when it crossed my mind how illogical and irrelevant some of my reasoning were in these social media wars.

I remember staying up all night despite having a hard time finishing my thesis, just so I could confront people’s criticisms of Tatay Digong and engage in petty fights with critical netizens.

On Twitter, I voiced out disappointments over these people, ranting about why they couldn’t give my President the benefit of the doubt.

On Facebook, I ended up sharing fake news, as long as it somehow wrecked the reputation of the Yellows while glorifying the name of my bet.

Thankfully, I was able to save myself from sharing that one about him being the best president of the solar system.

I was such an irrational supporter. When he won, I continued to put my trust in him — that he would finish the drug problem in the Philippines within three or six months, that he would imprison corrupt politicians, etc.

But, in time, all these promises appeared to be forgotten. However, regardless of his failed commitments, I kept my loyalty. I did not know for what reason; after all, even I knew that innocent people had become victims in the war on drugs.

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“There are good things he did for the country, so why can’t we just focus on that,” I wrote back. “Never forget the Dengvaxia scandal, ‘Yolanda’ funds, the Mamasapano massacre…!”

Irrational. Idiot. That’s how I defended the killings and failed promises.

And whenever I found biased stories against Digong, I bashed the TV networks and news practitioners. As a college student then, I juggled between school and trolling.

One day, I just woke up realizing how disgraceful I have become with the impulsive judgments I have been making. I began to question and think more deeply about the issues I used to think were just okay.

I am a woke person now, and I ask: How can we improve our justice system when we find extrajudicial killings to be the solution? How can a leader make fun of sexual assaults and rape when it is his responsibility to raise the standards of public discourse and campaign against such heinous crimes? How can the government rehabilitate beaches while refusing to do the same with human beings? How can it easily give up on our own territory and comfortably share it with others? How can it freely Red-tag student activists, when it’s these young people’s right to air grievances against the government when they feel something is wrong? How can this administration have the guts to acquit criminals and plunderers? And how can it violate the Constitution again and again for base self-interest?

My ex-cohorts will no doubt retort by responding, “Why not focus on the infrastructure, on Boracay, the Manila Bay rehabilitation?” Well, sure — but to leave out everything else?

Pointing out the flaws of government is our basic duty. Are we not supposed to criticize or condemn something our government officials shouldn’t be doing? Or are we just going to absolve them of every wrongdoing, just because they rehabilitated Boracay? Most of us today treat politicians’ accomplishments as a big deal, as if these aren’t what they took an oath for and what we expect from them as public servants.

I hope each of us would learn to see with both eyes the issues we confront today beyond the DDS and Yellow tags. Our politicians do not deserve our loyalty; our country does.

* * *

Kiki Mahinay, 23, works in a telecommunications company.

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TAGS: Duterte supporters, Duterte's unfulfilled promises, Kiki Mahinay, Rodrigo Duterte, Young Blood
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