In response to Walden Bello’s insults

In response to Walden Bello’s insults

- in Opinion
5

Walden,

I was rooting around your page, trying to figure out why you decided to attack the supporters of President Duterte, and closest I came to it was  your response to the concerns raised by Inday Varona’s where you wrote,

I never wanted to pick a fight with Duterte supporters. But when I see them baying their support for extra-judicial killings and repeating their leader’s depreciation of human rights and due process, and I see how they threaten people who do not agree with them on the internet in the vilest ways, then it is my duty to act and oppose their awful, retrograde sentiments in any way I can.

But here’s the thing. What exactly qualifies you – or anyone for that matter – to judge the validity of other people’s sentiments? I can understand how you can disagree with, and even be offended by what some pro-Duterte people are saying. I admit, some of it can be pretty disagreeable and offensive.

But to go so far as to deny these people the right to feel the way they do, and express their feelings in the way they feel appropriate is – in my opinion – the absolute height of arrogance. It presupposes on your part, a God-like level of understanding of what exactly these people are going through in order to be able to accurately asses whether what they are feeling, and how it comes out on social media, is justified or not.

To be perfectly honest, while I never even considered voting for you, I was under the impression that you would be more tolerant of the excesses people resort to when driven to the extremes of desperation. Such after all is the fuel that drives the cause of Akbayan, and that of your estranged ideological big brother, the Communist Party of the Philippines.

That and your claim of “having written extensively on the causes of Duterte’s victory, rooting this in the failure of the EDSA elite to deliver on the promises of the EDSA Republic” adds to my overall confusion.

Are you saying that just because Duterte won the people should be less angry? If so, why should they be? What exactly is the difference between their anger during the campaign period, and their anger now less than two months hence? Isn’t it possible that it merely continues on, especially since the campaign message of Duterte and what he has been delivering are essentially the same?

As I read through further into your posts and discovered many more subtle inconsistencies, the only explanation I could come up with for these contradictions is that you have a deeply hidden disdain for people who do not share your ideas and principles. While you claim to be open to intelligent debate, your posts actually reveal a deep seated intolerance to disagreement – particularly from those whom you consider intellectually inferior.

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Your attacks on Duterte’s supporters have the same pattern of condescension that is absent when dealing with say, Ms. Varona, whom you admit to holding in high regard. Without even the thinest veneer of civility, you go after those poor Duterte supporters who have the temerity to comment on your page, with the same viciousness and hate that you accuse them of. You call them stupid, delusional, crazy. And worst of all, even resort to making fun of their inability to speak english as well as you do.

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In doing all this, you can of course always claim – as you do – that you are simply doing your sacred duty to protect the nation from internet trolls, but in truth you are no different than the people you condemn. Except perhaps you have a far superior vocabulary.

So Walden, after all has been said and done – with more being said than done – if you really want to educate us and turn us from our paths of folly, I suggest you don’t do it from the comfort of your own page. Come to where we are. Bring your comments to our online communities. Engage with us there,  and let’s see how thick that skin of yours really is.


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