rants, raves and randomness
Becoming famous or making someone (in)famous has never been so easy and so cheap. Just look at Justin Bieber, Rebecca Black, Petra Mahalimuyak and more recently, the food-blogger, whose article on Filipino Food (I Would Rather Go Hungry Than Eat Filipino Street Food Again!) got liked around 37k times (last time I checked?)? Whether you like it or not, social media has a great power to make or break you. Depending on how and who uses it- and why. This is what social media has afforded us. It’s a a genie, waiting to fulfill your wishes, or a monster out to get you. Recently, a former classmate has been getting a lot of social media attention-for the wrong reasons. Another former classmate, working for the congress, posted on her FB:
As government employees, we seem to be under everyone’s microscope especially if you’re a frontliner. It’s bad that our version of the story is the total opposite of theirs. What’s worse is that their story gets the limelight most of the time. People don’t even bother to get our side of the story. One classic example is this incident involving a college classmate who works for the BI. The “aggrieved” party already aired their side through social media. Now who’s going to air his? We swore to do our jobs and bound by the system that we work in. We are sorry we couldn’t bend some rules for you just so you could have it your way. We are sorry not all of us are made of the same fine substance but we do our best to serve you. We are sorry we are also humans.
Carlo Salazar, the “villain” in the post, turned out to be a PE classmate of ours back in 2001, although I realized that after I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Because everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt these days, don’t you think? For the life of me, though, I can’t remember who he is- all my other classmates remembered him well enough, throwing a couple of adjectives here and there – all in vain, of course,because my memory is selective and really bad when it’s acting up.
Although we haven’t seen each other for years, the support for Carlo Salazar from our group is overwhelming.
I don’t remember you, Carlo. But I can’t imagine what’s it like to be internet-lynched and publicly humiliated, judged as guilty before you were given the chance to air your side. Aren’t there at least two sides to a story? How can people jump to conclusions when they’ve heard only one? (As of writing this, Carlo has not aired his side yet). Aren’t we all supposed to be innocent until proven guilty? Oh wait, this is Asia, where that is hardly the norm.
Almost everyone accused of a crime in Japan signs a confession, guilty or not. The Economist. Confess and be done with it. February 8, 2007. Web. April 2, 2014. < www.economist.com/node/8680941 >
Spate of wrongful convictions reveal shortcomings of judicial system with prosecutors putting pressure on judges over verdicts. Kaiman, Jonathan. The Guardian. China suspects presumed guilty until proven innocent. May 20, 2013. Web. April 2, 2014. < theguardian.com/world/2013/may/20/china-courts-presume-guilty-wrongful-convictions >
In the Philippines, let alone in Sulu, the law does not work for the people to whom it is supposed to be serving. The assumption “innocent until proven guilty” has never been the case but otherwise; you are “guilty until proven innocent” and, chances are, you’d be locked away in oblivion. Asian Human Rights Commission. PHILIPPINES: “Guilty until proven innocent”. October 8, 2010. Web. April 2, 2014. < www.humanrights.asia/opinions/columns/AHRC-ETC-031-2010 >
It seems like despite the territorial disputes and the warmongering, the hate and racial bigotry, these three Asian nations seem to agree that suspects are presumed guilty until proven innocent. So who can blame the legions of keyboard bullies when they gallop around on their high horses while passing judgement to the poor fellow whose side they haven’t even heard yet? They are passing guilty verdicts because it is the norm. It must take great power to resist the norm! Besides, don’t we all hate the power-trippers, those mercilessly inefficient public servants who keep us waiting for three hours on a workday, missing work, lunch and all to get this document required by POEA? Or haven’t all tried to renew our passports at the embassy where the officials, self-important and overbearing, shout at you through the mic (for everybody to hear) that you-stupid you-have once again brought the wrong docs and you’d have to reschedule your long awaited appointment three weeks from now, because that’s all the slot they have? I know. The folks at the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo were incredibly rude. It didn’t help that every time I called, the “required documents” change – who can blame these people *ahem* us-if we brought the wrong docs with us, when half of us were hardly literate here? I only got a better treatment when I spoke to them in my (not so ) flawless English – both on the phone and in person, a thing I normally wouldn’t do. Thrown off balance, they seemed to respect me more. But this story doesn’t end there. Going out of the embassy was another story, where these Filipino folks handing out flyers berated me for ignoring them (which is what I do to all flyer folks – Japanese or Filipinos- ignore them ) as if I owed them my attention or my time. EXCUSE ME! “Si Ate parang walang kausap!” shouted the flyer lady as I passed in front her when I ignored her flyers and her beseech to use her company’s visa services (because I don’t need a f*cking VISA !!!!). She was, to put it simply and bluntly, BASTOS. I never got that from a Japanese – whether I ignore their flyers or not. For a moment, I was torn between putting up a fight or ignoring her. I chose the second because I had something else to do. My point is , rude people are everywhere. They are working in the embassy AND outside of it. They are both public servants and flyer persons. So before you press that share button- sharing a story in which you were neither a part of nor a witness of- I invite you to take a step back and do more research because you never know, the person you want to publicly persecute may just be the victim of a skewed story. Maybe the flyer lady, for all the goodness in her, imagined I was being rude and maybe my photo is now circulating in her circle as the person who “ignored her flyers” and therefore deserves public lynching. Who knows, the next person can be you! While I respect everyone has the right to express themselves – write a review about a hotel or a restaurant (or a school) or complain about a terrible (public) service- and that the underlying motive may be nothing but to improve the current state of things. We do want things to progress, become better. Call it a constructive complaint, if you like.
Through our reviews, we manage to eliminate the worst and bring the best to the top (which also works for commenting : the more thumbs up the more it remains at the top). It works because there is a general assumption that most people are good and will not abuse the power given to them (to say, mark a valid comment as a spam). And rightly so. Except that, in some cases, I find that people are not willing to hear the other side of the story before commenting. Look at the amount of the sympathizing comments Teacher Roselle Carreon got!
Such a shame Philippine public servants act that way. Had an experience with them as well at NAIA 1 and at Terminal 3, they are very rude, ill-mannered, boastful. The Philippine government should investigate this matter and have them compelled with disciplinary actions, much better have them removed from their post. They don’t deserve the post they have. Government officials and other public servants should always be at their best etiquettes, behaviour and public service should be delivered in a manner where people will compliment them instead of complaining them. Honestly, I’ve been to many countries and comparing the way those countries served me, totally different. They are very polite, they will explain everything to you even a hundred times without complain nor showing of irritability or being annoyed. These people should be eradicated coz they are a huge disgrace and a total humiliation to our Nation. – Joey S. Manalang we will support you for your action. that ignorant Carlo Salazar from BI should be oust. hindi lang yan ignorante, for sure magnanakaw din yan. kagaya lang yan ng naglagay sa kanya sa position. nakakahiya ka Carlo Salazar. tyak kinahihiya ka rin ng yung pamilya. Carlo Salazar isa kang demonyo. – people of cebu
Are you kidding me? Magnanakaw (thief)? Aren’t we getting ahead of ourselves? Just because you had a bad experience with a public servant doesn’t mean that Carlo Salazar is indeed the reincarnation of evil. And in the same way, just because some foreigner was mercilessly ripped off by a Filipino doesn’t mean all Filipinos are thieves. I know people tend to be emotional about their experiences – I am too- and tend to think that , if it happened to me, it can happen to others. True. But if we don’t want to be labeled after one person’s (alleged) wrong behavior, then please avoid doing that to others – whether they are your countrymen or not is beside the point. Remember : it is alleged, yet to be proven. It doesn’t matter how serious the allegations (or charges) are, they have to be proven true first. Believe me, I’ve had my fair share of bad public service – both back home and here in Japan (Read: Job Hunting in Japan : the horrors of Hello Work. Alternative job sites? )- but I would definitely not accuse anybody anything whose side of the story I personally don’t know. I try to accord each one a clean slate because everyone deserves it – because this is not North Korea, right, where people are guilty by association?- and because everyone deserves to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and because there’s always at least two sides to story and we’d have to hear both of them before jumping to conclusions. Yes, I am asking you to consider breaking the norm:Innocent until proven guilty and not the other way around. I didn’t get Carlo’s side directly, and I have to refrain from saying anything I heard about what he said, to respect his wishes. [screen cap deleted] From another witness :