Nalzaro: Spare the Osmeña baby

NETIZENS are very cruel sometimes. They comment on posts in social media without verifying if an account is fake or not and without thinking of the repercussions. Here's an example.

My Facebook account was tagged in a message posted in this “former has-been politician's” account, which I believe is fake. The post said: “To drug users, you better leave Cebu City or else I will bring you myself to CCMC. This is the result of drug use.” Below it was the photo of Acting Cebu City Mayor Margot Osmeña, who was holding her granddaughter (the child of her son Miguel and his wife Bea).

The post generated comments from some netizens who hurled insinuations at Margot and her granddaughter. One comment did not spare Miguel. But other netizens defended Margot and the Osmeñas from the cruel criticisms.

As a father, I pity the child and Miguel as they too are victims of some netizens' cruelty. This is unfair for them. Why would people include them in their tirades against the Osmeña couple? They should be spared because they don't have anything to do with the “political sins” of their elders.

In the case of the Osmeñas' apo, she is too young to be dragged into the fray. Why include her? In the case of Miguel, the Osmeña couple's only son, he should also be spared. In fairness, he is not known to be abusive. Why should he be included in the “attacks” from his parents' political foes?

Several times, I have been a victim of netizens' wrath when I wrote columns that contradicted their views. During the campaign period, I wrote a piece criticizing then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte for his expletives and for cursing the Pope. What I got was a barrage of comments against me that included personal attacks. Some of these were out of topic and out of tune.

They called me several names. Instead of countering my arguments at the professional level, they resorted to personal attacks. In a debate that's what we call, argumentun ad hominem, or attacking personally the debater and not the topic being debated on.

I am appealing to critics of the Osmeñas to please spare the Osmeña baby from your attacks against her grandparents. Dili baya pud na lalim kun himoon na nganha ninyo ug sa inyong pamilya. Dili baya na maayo nga inyong iapil ang inosenteng mga tawo sa inyong kalagot sa usa ka tawo. Ayaw ninyo intawon iapil sa pulitika ang batang inosente.

***

Balimbing is the term used for political turncoatism. The balimbing fruit has many faces just like politicians. But we can also describe turncoats as political butterflies and dragonflies. Those insects fly from one flower to another while politicians jump from one political party to another. Tan-awa nang mga alibangbang ug mga alindahaw maniba sa mga halaman ug kabulakan.

Consider what is happening now. It's still only a month after the elections but majority of our politicians, especially those elected as members of the House of Representatives, are already lining up to join PDP-Laban, the political party of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte.

If these were funeral rites, these politicians did not even observe the 40-day mourning period. Worse, they did not even ask permission from and said goodbye to leaders of their former party. This is the sad reality of the country's politics.

If you ask these politicians why they are jumping to the ruling party, they will tell you that they want to support the legislative agenda of the administration and that they are doing this not for themselves but for their constituents because it is easy to get projects and funds if they are with the administration.

But who will believe that politicians join political parties because they believe in that party's principles? In the first place, political parties have no principles. And the politicians' primordial concern is their own interests. This is the result of the institution of the multi-party system under the 1987 Constitution.

It is better to go back to two-party system so that politicians cannot just jump from one party to another. Mga baga og nawong ang kadaghanan aning mga pulitiko.

(bobby@sunstar.com.ph)

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