MANILA, Philippines – With little over two weeks left before the elections, it is crunch time for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and his supporters, and one of them hopes the presidential bet will not give up with the end so near.
Andrea Carigma posted a letter on her Facebook page in the hopes it would reach Duterte.
In the letter, she told the mayor to not let the criticism online get the best of him.
Carigma said Duterte’s recent responses to negative comments gave her the impression that the online discussions were finally taking a toll on the usually tough-talking candidate.
“Honestly, I (and a dear friend) think that he is already having too much of all the crap thrown at him on a daily basis, and all his retorts are getting worse by the day because he is just so tired of getting bashed non-stop. His criticisms won’t stop because he is a strong contender,” she wrote in the Facebook caption.
“Mayor Duterte, you represent what we want – what we are hungry for,” she said. “I believe that you have it in you.”
She also asked supporters to rally behind Duterte, without showing the same kind of negativity. “NO MORE NEGATIVE REMARKS, because sometimes, SILENCE IS SHARPER THAN A BLADE THAT CAN KILL,” she wrote in the letter.
“You want Duterte as president? Prove it. Show the world you are capable of being disciplined. You want the Philippines to get better? Well, you are a Filipino – a part of the Philippines as a whole. This is the first challenge for you,” she added.
She posted the letter in response to an article written by Jessica Zafra.
In the piece, Zafra said Duterte was the embodiment of Filipinos’ gut response to different issues and the thoughts people would normally temper or leave unexpressed because of social norms.
Duterte is famous for having unfiltered reactions. His speeches are peppered with curses – which never fail to entertain his supporters – and he frequently pokes fun at his opponents. (READ: 12 elements of a Rodrigo Duterte campaign speech)
However, it is this no holds barred approach that has drawn criticism. His recent remarks about rape have caused an uproar both in the country and abroad. When the Australian and American ambassadors criticized him for his rape joke, he told them he would cut ties with them. (READ: Duterte to Australia: ‘Stay out’)
He has also called the pope a “son of a bitch” for causing traffic during the visit. This drew criticism online and from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines for the vulgarity.
People have also castigated his supporters for their online bullying, particularly in the case of a University of the Philippines-Los Baños student. (READ: A leader of bullies)
After the student interrupted Duterte during a forum, his family received threats and a page even appeared online calling for his death. (READ:#AnimatED: Online mob creates social media wasteland)
As of posting, there is no word yet whether the letter, which has more than 600 shares and 1,000 reactions, has reached the Duterte camp; but if it did, will the mayor heed her call? – Bea Orante/Rappler.com
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