'We're also human,' says Ejercito defending Gatchalian over Twitter cussing

MANILA, Philippines – Senator JV Ejercito defended Senator Sherwin Gatchalian's heated tweets on Twitter on Tuesday, January 2.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Ejercito said that the Twitter incident shows that public servants are also human.

"[T]he incident involving my co-seatmate Senator @stgatchalian goes to show that we are also human, we get hurt and affected too," the senator tweeted.

In the incident involving my Co-Seatmate Sen. @stgatchalian, goes to show that we are also human, we get hurt & affected too. What is scary is if we public servants become immune from bashing & attacks from rabid haters, then we become insensitive & are like political robots. — JV Ejercito (@jvejercito) January 2, 2018

Ejercito added that not being able to reply to "bashing and attacks from rabid haters" suggests that they have become political robots.

The senator also said that the "bashing" barrage made him work harder as a public servant. "Those bashers, haters and rabids make me work even harder! They keep me on my toes! I thank them because I have become a repsonsible and hardworking Senator because of them!" he added.

Gatchalian replied to Ejercito's words of encouragement with, "Thanks, bro. For 17 years in public service, I only focused on one objective – how to serve the people better every single day."

Ejercito further replied that both of them have "proof" of what public service is about:

We both have proof of what public service is all about, both San Juan and Valenzuela progressed and developed economically under our respective administrations! That is concrete proof of how we were able to uplift living conditions of our constituents! — JV Ejercito (@jvejercito) January 2, 2018

On Tuesday, Gatchalian told Rappler that he got pissed from those who kept criticizing him on Twitter, which led him to cuss on the social media platform. (READ: Gatchalian blames bashers for his meltdown on Twitter)

'Not an excuse'

Meanwhile, netizens were disappointed at Ejercito's move. Some netizens reminded them that they are still public servants and should "know how to behave in the public sphere." (READ: Netizens slam Sherwin Gatchalian over 'Ulol, Gago' tweets)

Yes you are humans who should know better. Is is too much to ask that our elected officials speak (and write) with a modicum of civility? — Fronteros (@fronteros) January 2, 2018

Really? Have you forgotten your position? You as a senator should know better how to behave, at least in public sphere. If you dont, quit, you're in the wrong job. Dont take your frustrations out on the person who is simple highlighting your unacceptable behaviour. — Grace (@gcarinowlk) January 2, 2018

We all need you to remain human especially with all the things happening to our country. But we also need you to be beyond human in showing how to handle those against you and be good examples to every Filipino, being firm when appropriate. Also being humble, if needed. — Saul de Jesus (@unSauLicited) January 2, 2018

This is a scarier statement of yours, Mr. Senator. If an ordinary employee tweeted those harsh statements, he will be subject to appropriate actions or more likely, be fired. It is about courtesy. It is about accountability. And we pay our taxes religiously hence we deserve more. — JP Tanyag (@dumidyeypee) January 2, 2018

Gatchalian responded with "Gago ka! (You're stupid)" and "Ulol (deranged)" to criticisms on New Year's Eve on Sunday, December 31. Netizens slammed the senator for his choice of language. – Rappler.com


Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.