We live at a time when political differences go beyond supporting leaders with different policies and styles in running things. It has become a choice between supporting ‘leaders’ who promote abuse, misogyny, impunity, and even murder and those who have the courage to stand up and say no even if that means that they will be persecuted by those in power. I always choose the latter.
But this is a democracy. Celebrities, just like anyone else, are free to choose who they want to support. As we, the public who follow them, are free to boycott their careers and everything that they represent should we think that they are not the role models that we want for us and for the next generation. You would have no qualms boycotting a celebrity should he/she support rape and pedophilia, right? How are impunity and murder any different?
We, concerned Filipino bloggers, stand for the rights to free expression and to free speech. And our first responsibility is to protect these rights.
We thus stand with Rappler, its right to exist, the rights of its working journalists and contributors, and the rights of its community of readers.
We stand against moves to silence and scare journalists, bloggers and media practitioners just because the President and his ardent supporters dislike their news and views.
Now is a time for making choices amid battles between truth and lies, debate and dissonance, democracy and dictatorship.
We sign our names here to tell everyone we have made a choice. We are bloggers for freedom.
When I was in college, I joined the League of Filipino Students (LFS), a group known for protesting against state injustices and fighting for the rights of the poor and marginalized Filipinos. It never felt like it was a good fit for me.
During discussions about how certain laws were supposed to be unjust, I found myself being the devil’s advocate. I would always argue for the debated law and how it could be beneficial if only it were implemented properly. I further affirmed that I was wrong for the movement on the first rally that I attended when we had not even gone beyond University Ave in UP Diliman and I thought, “Ay, ang init. Kayo nalang.” I then promptly left, enjoyed a cake at the Chocolate Kiss Cafe, and ended my rather short stint as an activist. Or so I thought.
In the digital age, both information and misinformation are readily available for anyone with a computer or a smartphone. Discerning what is real and what isn’t is not always easy especially for digital novices because there are websites and social media pages that are created with the intent to deceive.
This kind of deception has proven effective in getting politicians elected both in the country and abroad. The profile of the victims cover pretty much all academic and social standing. Social media savvy individuals aren’t even immune. I have personally seen friends that have fallen prey to fake articles posted by paid political influencers that forward their agenda by promoting half-truths.