Why mess with Ces Drilon on Twitter?
MANILA, Philippines - Here's a lesson for social media practitioners.
A staffer of senatorial candidate Bayan Muna Rep Teddy Casiño was at the receiving end of Twitter criticism after making snide remarks against ABS-CBN senior journalist Ces Oreña-Drilon, who had retweeted questions about Casiño's alleged links to communists.
On Twitter last Wednesday, February 13, Drilon asked Casiño about his platform when other netizens joined the conversation and posted their own questions through her.
Before Casiño could even reply, his legislative officer in the House of Representatives, Vince Borneo, jumped in -- angrily. Borneo asked Drilon: "What's your beef against Teddy Casiño?"
@cesdrilon that is the problem mam. U assume these things are legit when u don't read more on it outside of your teleprompters. :(— vince borneo (@vince_borneo) February 13, 2013
You accuse me of labeling but label me as a Teleprompter reader?— Cecilia Orena-Drilon (@cesdrilon) February 13, 2013
The questions are asked over and over again, why not just answer? Such areelections and there are always new voters.— Cecilia Orena-Drilon (@cesdrilon) February 13, 2013
@teddycasino do you feel that by RTing followers' Qs, I was labeling&red baiting? Will await YOUR reply,not those who claim to speak for u.— Cecilia Orena-Drilon (@cesdrilon) February 13, 2013
The conversation turned ugly when Borneo posted some remarks, which netizens said were uncalled for.
Casiño apologized to Drilon -- also on Twitter -- within the day. Borneo apologized to her a day after, Thursday, February 14, and has since deleted his posts.
With the apology accepted, Drilon put the issue to rest.
'Not a communist'
What netizens asked Casiño through Drilon is something that has hounded the lawmaker for years.
As representative of the progressive party-list Bayan Muna, Casiño's alleged connections with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) have been raised against him and his party.
Casiño has repeatedly denied any connections with the communist underground. He further explains his stand on his personal website.
In a senatorial debate at the Ateneo de Manila University Friday, February 8, Casiño went on the record to say that Bayan Muna does not have any connections with the CPP-NPA although he recognized that many leaders of the organization had come from the underground.
On his website, he explained:
While I do not espouse the armed struggle, I acknowledge that the conflict stems from age-old grievances that have not been properly addressed by previous and present governments. To simply denounce the CPP-NPA-NDF as a bunch of criminals and terrorists is to ignore the political and revolutionary nature of that movement and to downplay the legitimacy of their grievances.
I would rather take the more constructive road of dialogue and engagement, especially peace negotiations that, for all its weaknesses, is the only viable way to peacefully resolve the conflict.
With regard to their alleged atrocities, the CPP-NPA-NDF has pledged to abide by international human rights humanitarian law standards and conventions. If there are any proven violations, I hold them accountable and demand proper corrective action from them.
Some netizens pointed out that the issue had already been addressed in the past.
But others found Borneo's comments out of line.
@duey_guison hindi lang lecture. Thanks for feedback.— Teddy Casiño (@teddycasino) February 14, 2013
Borneo said he got a "stern reprimand" from Casiño after the incident.
He acknowledged he learned a lesson or two from it. And perhaps so did the rest who watched it real time.