Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, President Rodrigo Duterte’s former assistant, confirmed yesterday that he requested the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe several online posts that were critical of him.
He admitted in a statement sent to several reporters that he wrote to the NBI to urge them to look into “social media posts that may fall under possible violations of the cybercrime law, particularly libel.”
ABS-CBN reports that among those being investigated is a college student, whose lawyer confirmed that it was the senator’s litigators who filed the complaint against his client. Rappler identified the complainant in the case as Uy Cruz Lo & Associates, a law firm based in Davao City, Go’s hometown. It reported that another person has also received a subpoena from the NBI but the bureau did not specify the online post that triggered the complaint.
Despite taking steps to make his critics pay, Go insisted that he respects a Filipino’s right to free speech.
“We have nothing against freedom of expression. That’s the right of each Filipino but everyone has to understand that it comes with responsibility,” he said in English and Filipino.
“To those critics, if you think that you are telling the truth, just continue with what you are doing. We respect your rights and opinions. If you think you are not doing anything illegal, you have nothing to worry about or fear.”
As news spread about Go’s campaign to punish his detractors, Filipinos online attacked the senator using the hashtag #Tangin*MoBongGo, which loosely translates to “Bong Go, you son of a b*tch.” The hashtag is so popular that it topped the Philippine Twitter-verse this morning.
Using the hashtag, @DITA_manila told Go, “You’ll have your place in hell!!!”
— Maldita of Manila (@DITA_manila) July 17, 2020
User @robinzoned sarcastically wrote, “Don’t use the hashtag #TanginaMoBongGo, because our senator deserves respect. Gets?”
— Robin (@robinzoned) July 17, 2020
“The national ingredient. Onion-skinned,” wrote @KenCallawood and attached a photo of an onion with Go’s face superimposed on it.
Ang Pambansang Sahog.
— Ken Callawood (@KenCallawood) July 17, 2020
Do you think Go should sue his critics? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or tweeting to @CoconutsManila.
This article, Senator Go tells NBI to probe online posts criticizing him, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!