In this age of social media, things can get a little tense when a divisive topic leads to strained relationships with friends and colleagues, without having to face anyone in person.
You would think you’d know people unless they show a behavior you’d thought would be extremely uncharacteristic. Then again, being protected behind a keyboard gives you that feeling of power for which you would think you can get away with anything. The sad reality is that, when an duly-elected leader acts so vile, their behavior is exemplified by those who seem to adore him for whatever reason, despite the many red flags in his leadership that many are willing to ignore. In fact, they would condone such behavior and rally around and act as a sort of hive mind who see their leader as someone who can do no wrong, any wrong he will have made would be easily forgiven because of reasons.
When one such supporter acts like this on their social media, they will be encouraged by those who think similarly as them And they’re usually the loud ignorant ones who seem to not see the bigger picture of events being unraveled. Instead, seeing things one-way. Such is the general behavior of a DDS fan (DDS is short of Davao Death Squad a.k.a. Digong Duterte Supporter).
Personally, I have encountered being into a heated argument with someone who I was surprised to learn since this viral-related lockdown started was a DDS.
One day, I thought of commenting on a Facebook post of an old high school friend as it seems their recent behavior since the start of the lockdown have been quite enlightening. It’s in the sense that, they would share a DDS-related post or article about our president sort of bad-mouthing/ridiculing/attacking/”red-tagging*” critics, giving a defeatist tone whenever he goes off-script about government efforts to curb the spread of this ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the country, among others.
The particular post in question was making fun of those who are taking the President’s “seriously”. Just the other day, he ordered police and military forces to “shoot them dead”, referring to anyone breaking quarantine protocol. He was referring to recent skirmishes between police and protesters from a small poor low-income neighborhood surrounded by land development in the city. But that same post shared an article where he tries to make people believe that he didn’t make such order.
And my comment was something like “‘Shoot them dead’ seems very clear”, which is the exact phrase he said in his previous address.
Of course, that didn’t sit well with the person and the response thread went on and on for much of the whole day. The person then went into personal attack mode in their next couple of responses.
Knowing how this works, I eventually bowed out with one last word, “Think about things”.
Now, I’m gonna tell you myself that I ain’t perfect. Anyone who’s been following my blog knows fully well how open I am with my imperfections and how bad I would act out impulsively. Many of those old posts in the blog are still there to see the transparency of how I sometimes comes across. Hence it’s disappointing how some of these people I thought of highly to act so high and mighty and stand behind a president whose actions made matters worse for country and not acknowledging that the criticisms being thrown to his administration actually made them do what needs to be done. From allowing safeguards to be imposed on the president’s emergency powers granted to him by the legislature to sacking his own people for targeting the vice-president who’s doing her job for her constituents but was seen by some as “competing against the president”. The guidelines on what must be done as much of the Philippines is placed on lockdown were not even clear from the start and has allowed so many mishaps such as mass movements and panic buying to occur.
Now, this person, I still regard as a friend who seems to be lost in their way. I know of a way to reach out without seemingly triggering them again with another simple reply to their post. How that will be, I’m still thinking about it. But nevertheless, it would be definitely something.