Filipinos online curse Senator Bong Go after NBI probe into critics’ posts

Netizens took to social media to curse Senator Bong Go after he asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate social media posts critical of him.

"We wrote letters to the NBI requesting them to conduct investigations on certain social media posts that may fall under possible violations of the cybercrime law, particularly libel, and other applicable laws," Go said on Thursday, July 16.

Several subpoenas were sent by the NBI to individuals all over the country, one of whom is a college student. The NBI Cybercrime Division also confirmed the student's case was filed by Go.

#TanginaMoBongGo topped Twitter’s trending list Friday morning, July 17, a day after Go confirmed reaching out to the NBI.

Filipinos online were quick to ridicule Go for his thin skin. Others made memes taunting the NBI.

Many netizens used the hashtag sarcastically, pretending to defend the senator, only to use the hashtag several times in an effort to make it trend even more.

A number of K-Pop fan accounts also posted fancams, or videos of Korean idols, with the hashtag. Some of the fancams involved idols dancing in front of Twitter screenshots of Philippine news updates. (Propaganda machine meets its match: Celebrity fandoms)

Other users compared Go to other public officials who, despite receiving criticism, choose not to ask the NBI to issue subpoenas to critics. These include Vice President Leni Robredo and the late former senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

Here’s what other people had to say about the senator:

Gaby Baizas

Gaby Baizas is a digital communications specialist at Rappler. Journalism is her first love, social media is her second—here, she gets to dabble in both. She hopes people learn to read past headlines the same way she hopes punk never dies.