Que Barbaridad!



Who will not be sick and oftentimes livid at the hate-messaging so prevalent among a good number of Filipinos in the social media today?


Of course, I am. How can I not be?


Hate-messaging targeting certain individuals with different opinions, political or otherwise, continues unabated in a country that prides itself of being the only Christian nation in Asia. Isn’t that embarrassing and shameful? “Que barbaridad,” my mother would say if she were alive today.


These hate-messaging individuals are not dumb. Some of them probably went to prestigious universities for their education. Others probably attended Catholic schools. But they don’t give a damn. What matters to them is to spew falsehood and destroy the reputation of their perceived enemies. Que barbaridad!


Before the May 2022 presidential elections, the favorite target of these hate-messaging individuals was the former Vice-President Leni Robredo, who was called a “joke,” “traitor,” and “ally” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front (NDF). Que barbaridad!


What triggered the false accusation was Robredo’s call to abolish the National Task Force to End Local communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).


Of course, Robredo denied these accusations. In the Philippines today, these accusations could endanger the lives of so many activists or anybody who may not have the national standing of Robredo.


According to human rights group Karapatan, several human rights activists had already been killed after being falsely accused as communists, like Dr. Mary Rose Sancelan of Negros Oriental, Atty. Benjamin Ramos of Kabankalan City, Zara Alvarez of Bacolod City, and Obello Bay-ao of Davao del Norte, to mention a few. Que barbaridad!


Even after the election where Bongbong Marcos had already been proclaimed president, Robredo continues to be the target of hate-messaging and fake news as when she was accused of “forming a government within a government” because of her Angat Buhay NGO. Even her children were not spared from being attacked. Que barbaridad!


Some trolls still refer to her as “madumb” Robredo. I just don’t get it. Have our people reached a new low that they have now sold their souls to the devil for political convenience? Que barbaridad!


When typhoon Paeng pounded the Philippines last October causing heavy rains, flood, and killing people mostly in Mindanao, Facebook and Twitter were flooded with sarcastic posts by trolls asking where Robredo was. The point was to embarrass Robredo who, in the first place, was no longer a public servant. Que barbaridad!


In fact, the Robredo-led Angat Buhay Foundation was immediately on the ground helping typhoon Paeng’s victims in several areas of the country.


Sometimes, I surmise that probably, in the hearts of those who continue to malign Robredo, they know that she was the real winner of the last presidential election, and that’s why she needs to be constantly humiliated in the social media as “lutang,” “lugaw,” and “madumb.” Que barbaridad!


While nothing at this time can stop these online bullies and liars no matter how wrong and hateful they are, they continue to protect the interests of certain powerful people. It is a fact that many of these people benefit from the atmosphere of hate engulfing the social media like a wild fire. Que barbaridad!


To me, the deafening silence of many politicians is a conscious attempt to numb the people’s sense to fake news and distortion of the truth. As long as these politicians benefit from fake news or hate-messaging, they will remain tolerant of hate-messaging. Que barbaridad!


Truth be told, Marcos, according to the South China Morning Post, admitted after the May elections that he used a troll army during his presidential campaign to “keep political fortunes alive.” Que barbaridad!


From all indications and as horrible as it is, it appears that hate-messaging is here to stay, unless a modern-day Hercules comes to the rescue and cleanses the Augean stables of hate-messengers.