Toral: Calls to action-A A +A
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
AFTER my blog post yesterday about Janet Lim-Napoles, I received a heads-up about two activities being promoted through social media that aim to gather people in different venues next week in protest of the pork barrel and other concerns.
I hope it is not becoming a political circus being capitalized on by groups of various agenda trying to ride on the anger of the people. Was it because the noise on the PDAF is gradually calming down and it required a sustained momentum in catching people’s attention?
Are the online campaigns meant to divert the focus from the main issue? A smoke-screen to deflect people’s attention from cases to be filed?
Of course, there is no exclusivity as to which groups can express their grievances, especially if it is genuine. Left, right, pro, anti-government, or what have you.
However, one thing is for sure: people who have concerns would not want to be used.
They will start asking questions such as, who are the people or groups or politicians organizing these events? To whom are they connected with or aligned? Are they there to express grievances? Are they anti-government? Who is funding them? Do they want to solve problems within the system or outside?
I believe mobilizing people into action, especially through social media, requires proof that the gathering is needed and credible and that one’s attendance and stand on issues will not be used as a smoke screen to bring out other agendas unexpectedly.
This is similar to politicians suddenly showing up hoping their appearance will put them in a good light. Trust is of utmost importance.
Take the case of what happened last Aug. 26 where some groups tried to convince the people to march to other locations. That didn’t materialize although it got media exposure.
Majority of the people who went to the Aug. 26 gathering knew why they were there.
They definitely did not want to be used by other groups for other purposes.
We are entering an interesting phase on how we use social media as a tool to appeal for better governance and contribute ideas that will help us become a much better informed Filipino citizen.
It will also require vigilance from each Filipino Internet user. Exercise due diligence, investigate, read, learn and engage others. From there, make a well-informed decision.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 04, 2013.