[OPINION] Silent no more: Thank you, silent majority and the Filipino youth, for fighting for truth, justice and ‘gobyernong tapat’

Photo from Twitter/@lenirobredo

I was on my Camino de Santiago pilgrimage around September 21, 2021 when I was shocked to read so many people posting comments on social media disputing the commemoration of the deposed dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos’ declaration of martial law.

They argued against reporting of credible news organizations about the evils of martial law, contending that martial law was the best thing that ever happened to the Philippines, and that the dictator was the best president the Philippines have ever had.

From then on, I tried to share perspectives with those commenters, but the more I tried to present facts, the more I got vile malicious and coordinated responses on my social media platforms and inbox — curses, ill wishes and even death threats.

I knew then the Philippines has retrogressed to those dark years of martial law, that Philippine history was being revised contrary to the truth and hard facts, and that this was all part of a big coordinated effort orchestrated by the Marcos family.

This has been confirmed with the filing of candidacy of the son of the dictator — Bongbong Marcos — for president of the Philippines. It is like a nightmare for all those who knew what really happened during martial law. And lately, through the empirical AI-data based finding revealed through the website TrollExposer.com, a project of the US Filipinos for Good Governance to fight against trolls and disinformation. This has to stop.

Initially my social media posts were swarmed by these commenters who behaved like trolls, who were even mocking me for having no one to support and validate the truth I was sharing. True — they lorded over the online discourse, and when one courageous commenter would try to debunk their lies, they — as in many of them — would bully this commenter and drown his/her voice out with their angry, malicious attacks and their lies, all meant to intimidate people from speaking up.

Along with these are surveys that came frequently, touting Marcos as the frontrunner, and the Marcos trolls and loyalists would jump in and coronate the son of the dictator as the rightful successor to the throne who would “make the Philippines great again,” picking up from the playbook of another wanna be dictator, former U.S. President Donald Trump, who we Americans voted out in his re-election bid.

My husband was asking where are the defenders of the truth? Why were they so quiet? This would go on and on and on, until the official start of the campaign season on February 8, 2022…

Until people started flocking the caravans and rallies of VP Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan…

Until volunteers from different ways of life started joining in, giving all that they have to support the candidacy of Leni and Kiko who have inspired them to make a stand, come out and fight for good honest governance through their leadership by example as tried and tested true public servants with integrity and genuine love for the country…

Until this campaign has become a movement toward change for a better government that they deserve and worth fighting for…

The Trolls did not stop. In fact they grew louder and meaner and more evil, reinforced by the same attitude and language and example of public officials who are pro-Marcos and pro-political dynasties…

These supposed public officials were even caught on camera promising victory through X number of votes of their constituents to their master. With their surrogate and campaign machineries they give out bribe money, use “hakot” for money. Some supposedly civil servants working as teachers or employees of the local and national government, or even those working in private businesses would share how they were being intimidated and harassed to support Bongbong and Sara and the UniTeam to keep their job and to get bonus if they play along.

The appointment of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte of members of his Davao squad to leadership positions in COMELEC and even in the Supreme Court, or the granting of contracts to one of the companies of Duterte’s Davao-based crony Dennis Uy (hello Pharmally scandal) to transport election materials and results , the questionable polls that would report BBM’s lead over Leni by a wide margin each time Leni-Kiko’s rallies beat record number of people joining their rallies — they all were carried out unabashedly to keep their loyalists loyal to the UniTeam, now being called “Unithieves” as many of their member were convicted of plunder and other abuse of power like Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the Estrada, Revilla, Remulla, Villafuerte, etc. joining the Duterte and Marcos and Marcos dynasties.

But despite and perhaps because of these continued transgressions against the Constitution and the country, the grassroots movement supporting Leni and Kiko just kept on growing bigger and stronger. They worked together in campaigning with radical love for the country, reacvhing out to people in their homes and barrios — tao sa tao.

There is “strength in number” when people work together for a common cause bigger than ourselves, fighting our good fight of faith for the country and for the future generation. Even Google Trends have revealed this strength in numbers that will catapult our “gobyernong tapat” team of Leni and Kiko to victory.

Indeed, the silent majority are silent no more, especially the idealist youth, many of whom are first time voters. They have evolved from being apolitical, “walang pakialam” to being heavily invested in fighting for their future. They have proven our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal right when he said “ And mga kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan.”

May 7 is the scheduled Miting de Avance, and after this, no more organized campaign activities  are allowed leading up to May 9, Election Day.

I would like to THANK YOU ALL for giving us hope when we were almost in despair. You have soldiered on, defying all odds, to fight for a better brighter Philippines that all of us can be proud of. We are writing a new chapter in our nation’s history together, and we, the People, will write a victorious flourishing finish for this movement.

Tunay na magiging kulay Rosas ang bukas with the victory of our candidates for gobyernong tapat— Leni and Kiko. Their victory is OUR victory, because WE the people fought for them to lead us— our government by the people, of the people, for the people. Let us pray for a clean, honest, orderly and peaceful election.

Together we lift up this petition to God this Easter prayer shared by the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP):

Tagapamuno: Manalangin tayo upang sa papalapit na pambansa at panglokal na halalan ay tunay na maghari ang kalooban ng Diyos, na Siyang gumagabay sa lahat ng bansa.

Sama-sama nating idalangin:

Lahat: Iligtas mo kami, Panginoon.

Mula sa pamimilit, pananakot, karahasan, at terorismo …

Mula sa panloloko, pagsisinungaling, at pagbaluktot sa katotohanan…

Mula sa panunuhol, kasakiman, at sabwatan upang makapandaya…

Mula sa kawalang-muwang sa panlilinlang at makitid na pananaw…

Mula sa pagbabanta, pananakot, at lapastangang pananalita…

Tagapamuno: Sama-sama nating idalangin:

Lahat: Dinggin Mo kami, Panginoon.

Upang ang aming budhi ang siyang gawing tunay na pamantayan…

Upang ang kabutihan ng nakararami ang aming pinakamataas na layunin…

Upang ang dignidad ng tao ay palagiang igalang…

Upang ang kapos-palad at mahihina ay pag-ukulan ng higit na pansin…

Upang ang pangangalaga sa kalikasan ay hindi ipagwalang-bahala…

Upang ang pagkakaisa ay magbigay-daan sa landas ng kapayapaan at kaunlaran…

Upang ang banal na pagkatakot sa Diyos at pag-ibig sa kapwa ang maging gabay ng mga nagnanais manungkulan sa pamahalaan…

Tagapamuno: Manalangin tayo.

Lahat: Pastol ng aming kaluluwa at Tagapagligtas ng sanlibutan, ang pulitika ay Iyong kaloob sa amin; isang paanyaya upang maglingkod sa iba at lumago sa kabanalan. Gabayan Mo ang pulitika sa aming bansa katulad ng pag-gabay mo sa amin. Nawa ang aming pulitikal na pakikilahok para sa mga botante at kandidato ay magdulot ng kaluwalhatian sa Iyong mahal na ngalan at matulungan din kaming yumabong sa kabutihan, ngayon at magpasawalang hanggan. Amen.

Thank you, our silent majority, especially the Filipino youth, for fighting for the truth, justice and “gobyernong tapat” with our vote that honors God. TARA! Ipanalo na natin ito!

SO HELP US GOD.

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Gel Santos Relos has been in news, talk, public service and educational broadcasting since 1989. She was a news anchor, TV host and radio commentator and public service host for ABS- CBN and DZMM. She is now working on her advocacies independently, serving the Filipino audience using different  media platforms. You may contact her through email at gelrelos@icloud.com, or send her a message via Facebook at Facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos. Also on Twitter, Instagram: Gel Santos Relos

 

Gel Santos Relos

Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com and www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos

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