Now that election fever has reached its highest peak in the Philippines with just 23 days before casting our vote, many netizens are voicing their bet and using their own connection to campaign for their respective candidates. This is a good practice of freedom but it seems a lot of people have gone beyond the boundaries of free speech.
I’ve been opened about my preferred candidate via social media and I stand firm after doing series of my own version of “fact-checking”. Despite the negative issues and bad publicity, I now understand what happened in Yolanda, MRT, Zamboanga siege, and all the chunks of blame being thrown at him. For me, he is the most capable man for the job and Mar Roxas got my full support. (Okay at this point, some people from the other camp might be saying bad words or cursing me already but STOP! Read some more if you may; I’m not creating a war here and that is so unnecessary).
I can tell you why I will vote for Mar and may encourage you to reconsider BUT I see no reason why opposing sides don’t even listen and are mad as hell at once. If you prefer to stick with your candidate, I truly respect that. I’m sure you have your valid points (but please, I deserve to be respected too regardless of how contrary your belief is to mine).
Sharing our thoughts and properly pushing our chosen candidates are okay; heated arguments may be unavoidable but such conversations should still be kept with courtesy, yes? As they say, we are all entitled to our opinion. Even in school, we are taught to take pride in owning our voice but to make sure that we are not stepping on the rights of others.
It is such a pain to read baseless, rude comments on the newsfeed (when in fact the word “rude” is an understatement). Why many are fighting to the core? Why making social media enemies come so natural nowadays by simply belonging to a different side? I have my candidate and you got yours but we all have to agree over a common denominator—we are all Filipinos. There should be a decent acceptance of our respective political views and a confidence to share our thoughts without the worry of being irrationally and viciously treated within the digital sphere (and perhaps beyond online).
I trust that we should be reminded of the following basic behavior:
- It is not respectful to write bad, insulting, nonsense feedback and degrade the person with a different perspective.
- When we put ourselves in the world of social media, we should be responsible with what we are writing; disseminating hate and lies must not be a part of the agenda.
- Google has given us the power of knowledge and perhaps we can use this to validate and conduct our own research to uncover realities. No one is perfect yet no one should be put in the highest position with proven scores of deceit.
- Use reliable resources to confirm the statement of the Presidentiables. It is so easy to make promises but what’s the concrete plan? How to implement the platform? They are not supposed to merely point-finger, create a scapegoat, play around the bush, make myriads of bad words, or hit random comedic punch lines.
So you think your candidate is the right one to lead our country? Okay, I assume that you have done your part learning the truth and is not a blind follower. Giving your full loyalty to a person running in the government does not give you the right to demean others. Have your “facts” ready when you start rebutting and please, it is futile to have barbaric comments without solid proof while having a one-sided view.
So much hate and division due to politics and again I ask, why? Is it even relevant? We are not even politicians to begin with. We are citizens practicing our right of free speech so why has this become the gateway of making digital enemies?
We should all be united and aim for a better Philippines—this election is an opportunity to achieve that and not about bashing others, planting hatred, uttering curses, cyber bullying and giving endless threats.
The result of the 2016 Election dictates our future and should not be the ground for causeless digital battlefield. Let us begin and continue by respecting our political differences and gear for a peaceful, progressive tomorrow.