Wenceslao: They’re back

Bong O. Wenceslao

THE trolls who made the 2016 presidential elections miserable for liberal democrats are back, this time making life miserable for critics of organizers of the Southeast Asian Games (Seag) that we are currently hosting. They should be the same trolls who happily embraced the tag of DDS (Duterte diehard supporters). They seem to have shifted allegiance to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who also heads the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc). Just call these trolls DCS (Diehard Cayetano Supporters).

I actually read somewhere that the loyalty of these trolls is still with the Duterte administration but they are now sidelining for Cayetano. The Speaker seems to be building a social media army in preparation for his eventual presidential bid. Didn’t he get too friendly with DDS online leader Mocha Uson when he was still Foreign Affairs secretary? He would bring Uson to major events apparently to bolster his image with Uson’s large number of followers. By the way, why has Uson gone silent now?

You know these are the same DDS trolls because they carry the same shallow arguments and overwhelm you by their sheer number. They label critics “dilawan” even if the issue is about the initial missteps of the Seag organizers. The Seag is a sporting event although the incompetence of the organizers could reflect on the Duterte administration and could be used as political capital of the “dilawans.” But that is a different story altogether.

Most of these trolls are paid, although there are those who are sincere in their love of the President and by extension his administration. I have seen how trolls and their handlers operate, having experienced an actual campaign skirmish in 2018. Many of these trolls are paid and are provided with workplaces where they do their thing like daily wage employees. I have a feeling there are trolls paid just to promote our handling of the Seag and defend the organizers.

But the truth will always prevail over propaganda and even a kernel of the truth will prevail over overwhelming odds. Let us just wait until our hosting is over and reopen a discussion stymied by the start of the competition participated in by our athletes. Let us see how Cayetano and Phisgoc will weather the eventual storm of recriminations that will erupt. Cayetano may be glib but glibness cannot prevail over reality.

President Duterte said he does not believe Cayetano is making money out of our hosting even if billions of pesos for the hosting expenses were earlier parked with the foreign affairs department that Cayetano once headed. And what about Cayetano’s friends and political allies who were earlier reported to have cashed in on our hosting of the Seag? But I won’t tarry on this issue because we still have athletes to cheer.

One thing is clear here though. We are always better off criticizing than being the one handling events. Kining hinawayon, kun maoy padad-on, labaw pa diayng palpak.