It seems that we now have a new political warfare being waged in the Philippines between erstwhile allies belonging to the camp of former president Rodrigo Roa Duterte (FPRRD) and the camp of president Bongbong Marcos (PBBM). True to form, in terms of the maturity (or lack of) of the propaganda players, new political hashtags have been formed. The Duterte Die Hard Supporters (DDS) camp has propped up the #AntiBudol hashtag, implying that PBBM has swindled or double-crossed the Filipinos that elected him to the presidency. The PBBM camp has come up with the #ModernMakapili hashtag, implying that the DDS ilk is pro-China, especially when it comes to foreign policy. Lost in the brickbats thrown and pathetic drama of many of the two camps’ social media players and adherents are merits of their respective policy differences, as well as logic. But hey, we are talking about Philippine politics here. Since when have actual political ideologies and principles ever dominate personality politics in the Philippines?
Consider the recent issue on the Facebook page suspension of a few loud DDS social media influencers such as Sass Rogando Sasot. Earlier last week, her page was reportedly suspended, although at least some of her fellow Duterte sycophants claimed that it was “deleted”. Whatever the case may have been, what is crazy is that many Duterte supporters appear to jump the gun and point the blame on some sort of BlackOps perpetrated against them by First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos, RJ Nieto (a.k.a. Thinking Pinoy), Mel Robles, and pretty much the entire PBBM administration. So according to the narrative being peddled, since Sasot and the likes of Sasot have been critical of the PBBM administration, the government is now suppressing their freedom of speech and expression. One uber DDS even claimed that there is now “Martial Law on Social Media”. It really makes one wonder why facts and conclusive evidence seem to get thrown out the window when DDS personalities, or even the Dutertes themselves, are in trouble. The blame always would have to point towards their perceived enemies!
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This reminds me of a Jerry Seinfeld line describing how guilt is established merely using chalk outlines of crime victims. Seinfeld said:
It seems to me that the chalk-outline guy is one of the better jobs that you can get. You know it’s not dangerous, the criminals are long gone, that seems like a good one. … I don’t even know how it helps to solve the crime? You know, they look at the thing on the ground. “Ahh, his arm was like that when he hit the pavement. That means the killer must’ve been Jim.”
So, I guess the DDS is now applying some sort of Seinfeld logic. “Sasot has been critical of PBBM and his administration, so PBBM and his administration must’ve been the ones responsible for the suspension of her FB page!”
It really is so amazing how the DDS mind works. It seems to me that they do have a knack for backwards logic. Start with the conclusion that PBBM (and his circle) is applying some sort of BlackOps to take them and the Dutertes down, and support this claim using mere memories, impressions, or testimonies made by themselves (and of course, corroborated by their fellow administration critics who have an axe to grind against the current dispensation). To hell with evidentiary standards and logical methodology! For the DDS: “It’s the Duterte agenda, stupid!”
What we are seeing is personality politics in full display. It wreaks havoc on logic and the electorate’s political maturity. Identity politics gives more premium on a favored person or group over actual principle or policy. In our current DDS drama, identification with Duterte seems to have become some sort of shield for any moronic and unethical action or idea they come up with and do. To combat the perils of personality politics, we resort to hashtag politics – #AntiBudol vs. #ModernMakapili. Brilliant! Now I can honestly say that I do not blame some animals who eat their young!
Calling a spade, a spade…