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Do aliases invalidate views?

08:59 PM April 24, 2012

Rigoberto Tiglao must have a lot of time in his hands. He went to the extent of thoroughly investigating and disproving the identities of letter-writers who support Renato Corona’s impeachment trial and criticize his (Tiglao’s) pro-Arroyo and anti-Aquino stance. In his columns on April 12 and 19, he tried to prove his assertions regarding the non-existence of these “letter-senders,” and even kept tabs on the number of times some of them were published in this paper.

He claims that some of the letter-senders he mentioned actually belong to President Aquino’s PR camp and are just hiding under fictitious names to make their letters appear as if they come from ordinary citizens. Yes, that might be possible, for in this day and age, anybody can easily create an e-mail account and come up with any name from which they can send letters to newspaper editors. But, on the other hand, do also consider the possibility that there might be “erudite” civilians out there who wish to share their opinions in a newspaper but are just very private and are wary of revealing their true identities in such a publicly accessible medium, hence, their use of pseudonyms.

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Still, granting that a letter-sender did use a fictitious name, does that in any way invalidate the arguments he/she raised? Does one just ignore a letter’s worth and merits unless its writer’s existence is verified? Should one first be able to search the person on Google or Facebook before absorbing, processing and reacting to what he/she wrote?

But the way Tiglao wrote his columns was clever as it distracts the readers from the fact that he did not address the main points of these letters; the focus was on the alleged bogusness of the senders. Does he hope that henceforth, some readers would be dismissive of any letter that is critical of him and instead be more intrigued by the writer’s real name?

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At any rate, those letters that provoked Tiglao’s two columns seem to have stung him deeply (otherwise, he would have just ignored them, plain and simple). As it is, Tiglao does come across as insecure about the huge number of published letters that oppose his political views. It would be very interesting to see then how far he will go with his letter-sender hunt. No need to include me, Mr. Tiglao. I am a bogus person.

—CLAUDE LUCAS C. DESPABILADERAS,

[email protected]

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TAGS: aliases, letters, pseudonyms
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