The Wikipedia page of Mayor Joy Belmonte was defaced on Friday, March 20.
For about two hours on Friday afternoon, a number of anonymous edits were made to Belmonte’s Wikipedia page, mostly to insult her for being “incompetent” and to add misogynistic remarks. (READ: No total lockdown in Quezon City? Belmonte says police lacks manpower)
There were 27 revisions in all, including reversions to previously published clean edits of the page. While Wikipedia’s editors are able to reverse the malicious changes, these remain saved on Wikipedia’s edit history.
The first edit slammed her for alleged incompetence, saying she was “an incompetent Filipino politician” with “a pea-sized brain.”
About an hour after, a revision replaced the statement with more outlandish, misogynistic remarks.
“Joy Belmonte Alimurung is a fictional/non-character from Dragon ball series. (Dragon ball, Dragon ball Z, Dragon ball GT, Dragon ball Super). In the series, her main objective is to make babies in every planets and universe in order to revenge her family’s death. She is also known for celebrating her birthday while everyone is dealing with the coronavirus situation, and also likes hiding from the public like some scared kid,” the revision said.
This version was reverted to a clean edit about 5 to 6 minutes later.
The most recent edits to the story apparently slammed Belmonte for not actively helping out in the effort to stave off coronavirus infections in Quezon City. Aside from naming her “Jhoy Belmonte Alimurung,” she was also called “a lazy Filipino politician, na hindi kusang tumutulong sa kapwa tao (who does not help her fellowmen out of her own volition).” The defacers also removed her photo from the page.
The last decent version of Belmonte’s Wikipedia page prior to the malicious edits was on March 5, where the opening line read, “Joy Belmonte Alimurung is a Filipino politician currently serving as the 11th Mayor of Quezon City since June 30, 2019. She previously became Vice Mayor of Quezon City and presiding officer for the 18th Quezon City Council from 2010 to 2019.” The Quezon City mayor is married to Raymund Alimurung.
As of posting, the Wikipedia page defacements have been undone, though a full history of revisions is archived here.
Quezon City is the most populous city in the Philippines, with around 3 million residents as of 2018. Among the local governments across the country, it has the highest number of cases of coronavirus infection at 34 as of Wednesday night, March 18. Belmonte has refused to put the entire city on lockdown, citing limited police manpower.
Belmonte has declared a state of calamity in Quezon City so quick response funds can be used, while also setting up a disinfection drive in barangays, as well as coordinating the creation and distribution of food packs and supplies for those affected by the lockdown and curfew. Most of these activities are documented on the Quezon City government’s Facebook page.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s order for a Metro Manila-wide lockdown, later a Luzon-wide lockdown, has trained the spotlight on how mayors are responding to the crisis. Netizens have taken to comparing how some mayors in Metro Manila would refer to their initiatives in the third person plural (“Our healthworkers” or “We are making the rounds,” for example) – while Belmonte would post on Facebook in the first person singular (“I’ve decided to distribute” or “My projects,” as shown by screenshots being shared online). – Rappler.com