Aquino, Pangilinan call for decency amid Marcos burial debate
MANILA — Senators Francis Pangilinan and Bam Aquino on Tuesday appealed for decency as debates over the stealthy burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani last Friday continued to light up social media.
In separate statements, the two senators, both staunchly against the unexpected interment, hit social media users who have resorted to vulgar, misogynistic and abusive language in their comments on photos of female protesters against Marcos’ burial.
Several commenters have been using sexually explicit language to objectify the women, whose photographs from the Nov. 18 protests were posted on Facebook.
“The attacks against them are too much. Those attacks do not reflect the behavior of the average Filipino man. We are respectful. We are loving. Sometimes we Filipino men are called mama’s boy because our respect for women are rooted in our love for our moms,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
Pangilinan, fiercely indignant to the administration’s grant of a presidential burial for Marcos despite his bloody legacy during martial law, had himself been called names online as he protested the secrecy-shrouded interment.
He noted that “name-calling, slut-shaming, and other gender-based remarks have been the chosen form of attack by those who cannot defend their positions.”
Pangilinan cited how even Vice President Leni Robredo and his colleagues in the Senate, Senators Risa Hontiveros and Leila de Lima, have been subjected to such vile attacks.
“That is not right. If we don’t agree with others’ statements, let’s give our own arguments. Let’s not cuss each other. It is degrading,” he said.
Aquino, meanwhile, said that people should still respect each other even while they had divergent positions.
“While we have different views on issues, we should not lose respect for each other and decency in social media,” Aquino said in a statement.
“How we are outside, with our friends and family, should also be how we behave in social media,” he said.
Given open access to the internet even by minors, social media “must be free from discrimination, hate speech and verbal abuse.” SFM/rga
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