THE fundamentalists of the “revgov” movement have been relentlessly attacking me for being an infidel to their cause. More popish than the pope, they have decontextualized and misinterpreted all my statements in such a way that I could be portrayed as an enemy to be destroyed.
My public lynching started when their calls for revolutionary government failed during the Palit Bise rally in April 2017. Drei Toledo, one of the fundamentalist believers, wrote her conspiracy theory insinuating that RJ Nieto of Thinking Pinoy and I were sabotaging “the plan” of President Rodrigo Duterte to establish a revolutionary government. Lying through her teeth, Toledo said that she got “military intel” that RJ and I were moles of the Liberal Party.
In June 2017, I was invited by a DDS group in Madrid, Spain to facilitate their forum on the issues of overseas Filipinos there. A Filipino based in Spain, Gerard Dacudao, another fundamentalist believer, attended the forum.
After asking the audience to identify the issues of overseas Filipinos in Madrid, I divided them into several groups and assigned an issue for them to parse and suggest solutions to. Dacudao was part of the group that dealt with constitutional reforms.
During the group discussion, Dacudao had a heated discussion with one of his group mates, Christopher Gacasan, one of the founders and current chairman of United DDS Germany. Dacudao wanted to establish a revolutionary government, while Gacasan preferred following constitutional processes.
When their group was already presenting, I bridged the gap between the two positions, as any facilitator would. I recognized Dacudao’s frustration that change would be slow when coursed through a normal route. He had lost faith in the current system. Meanwhile, Gacasan found the revgov solution to be illegal and not yet necessary.
They wanted the same ends: constitutional reform; yet, their means were different. So, I suggested that we must continue drumming up pressure for constitutional reform, and when Congress wouldn’t heed the voice of the people, that’s the time we call for revolutionary government. Their presentation ended on a good note.
A lot of people witnessed how I synthesized the two approaches. The event had a video recording. Yet Dacudao, in a Facebook post, ranted and badmouthed the event. By repeatedly using “Sass’ group,” his post insinuated that I was Gacasan’s “leader.”
His rant got circulated by his fellow fundamentalists, including Toledo and actress Vivian Velez, the spokesperson of Network Revolution, one of the groups advocating for a revolutionary government.
On the road to the November 30 event of the revgov folks, my readers asked me about my opinion of revolutionary government. In my column of November 28 “#RevGov: Will we be like Thailand or Myanmar?”, I wrote about my major worry. My main concern was the “international backlash the Duterte administration would invite once our beloved Old Man concentrate all the power to himself and the military.”
In response, Dacudao wrote a post calling me “Mister Sasot,” then proceeded to dismiss me as a mere fearmongerer. When I defended myself, the transphobic assault from their camp intensified.
These fundamentalists told me that I should have just shut up. That I should not have written publicly about my objection to their cause. That I shouldn’t have fought back against the transphobic tirades of these fundamentalists. Is this a preview of the revolutionary government?
In the face of his dissenters, Duterte has always adopted the attitude of Voltaire who would fight to the death for the right to speak of those who don’t agree with him. What happened to the children of the revolution Duterte started when he ran and trashed the political establishment?
Velez is my new lyncher. She released the same black propaganda materials the Liberal Party has been using against me. One of them was a fake conversation between an anonymous person and me, which was first circulated by one of Mar Roxas’ campaign pages, “Oras Na, Roxas Na,” in January. In that fake conversation, I was recruiting and offering to pay people to blog for Duterte. Pompee La Viña was supposed to be the bankroller.
When I assertively pointed out that it was a lie, instead of acknowledging that she’s fooling the public with that fake conversations, Velez unleashed a transphobic attack against me calling me “Mr He/She” and appending her posts with #HeShe.
In a recent post, Velez said: “The idea of reasoning with the enemies within, without force is naive.” Since she’s the spokesperson of one of the groups advocating for revgov, this to me indicates that for them I’m no longer someone they disagree with whom they must win over through the force of reason, but an enemy they must destroy by any means necessary.
Sociologist Zygmunt Bauman once warned about the “religionization of politics.” Like religious fundamentalism, religionization of politics is the tendency to treat conflicts of positions “as an ultimate showdown between good and evil” from which “only one could emerge alive.” Those who religionize politics don’t see the need to find a common ground. They see objections as an existential threat.
But as Velez said it’s naive to reason with the enemies. Thus, just like religious fundamentalists, revgov fundamentalists like her chose to cast terror into the hearts of the infidels rather than win them over through reason.