“The barrage of online sentiments shows how government inaction over consecutive crises leads to mass unrest and protest.”
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – Many Filipino netizens expressed their outrage against the government’s handling of a major public health problem after the Department of Health has just confirmed that a patient was tested positive of the 2019 novel coronavirus.
#OustDuterte trended on social media, particularly Twitter, not only in the Philippines but also worldwide as of 1 a.m. of Feb. 1. The hashtag was trending since the morning of Jan. 31.
Netizens are particularly furious for the belated travel ban for those coming from China. Just a few days ago, government officials including President Duterte are reluctant in temporarily preventing the entry of flights from China.
However on Jan. 31, Duterte has finally order a travel ban for those coming from Hubei province in China which is the epicenter of the novel coronavirus.
#OustDuterte is trending. Duterte prioritizing diplomatic relations with China over the interest of public health has exposed him further as a puppet of foreign powers. Kalusugan ng mamamayan bago ang interes ng dayuhan! #coronavirusPH
— Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite (@CongFerdieGaite) January 31, 2020
#OustDuterte AND HIS ALLIES! WE DON’T DESERVE THIS KIND OF TREATMENT WHERE OUR PRESIDENT CARES ABOUT HIS RELATIONS WITH CHINA THAN THE WELFARE OF HIS OWN CONSTITUENTS!
— Rickkz ? (@RickkzL) January 31, 2020
How to prevent corona virus from spreading:
— Ann Jane Santos (@httpannjane) January 31, 2020
From what I see here, Duterte don’t care about his fellow. To him, the relationship of the PH with China is more important from the lives of the people. I hope , Duterte will do something and he MUST do something. Otherwise, #OustDuterte
— #OustDu30 #SaveLumadSchools #StandWithWorkers (@rllgrbsnmd) January 30, 2020
I just want you take the responsibility you’re ought to abide and be accountable for this health threat among the Filipinos.
How come our own leader have chosen diplomacy over Filipino’s safety???? Help me fathom this incomprehensible resolution. #OustDuterte
— sai (@rodauntless) January 30, 2020
“may sour the diplomatic relations with China” so ano na lang gagawin? patayin lahat ng pilipino para lahat ng chinese dito na sa pinas? inuna pa talaga yun over the safety of the citizens in the Philippines #OUSTDUTERTE
— latina (@louiseashtonxx) January 30, 2020
There are also Duterte supporters who expressed their frustration online and used #OustDuterte which surprises many netizens.
Saw a Reddit thread calling me an “ex-DDS.” Yeah, I campaigned for Digong. I’m an ex-DDS now calling for Digong’s ouster. Tama na ang kaululan na ‘to. Let’s #OustDuterte.
— Jerry B. Grácio (@JerryGracio) January 31, 2020
amp I really want Duterte before as a president and yes he did so many things, but now? He can’t even protect his own people, wtf!!!
— shareigne.szeiwai (@szeiwaiiiyy_) January 31, 2020
Those who are critical of the Duterte administration also said that it only takes a virus for people to “realize how incompetent the Duterte administration is” in handling issues confronting the Filipino people.
It was in December 2017 when urban poor group Kadamay called for the ouster of Duterte. The group laments that Duterte failed to address the change he once promised during the campaign period saying that they are still suffering from extreme poverty, homelessness, job insecurity among many others.
Nakakatawa na maraming ngayon lang nare-realize ang pagka-inutil ni Duts. 2020 na po. ? #OustDuterte
— JC Punongbayan (@jcpunongbayan) January 31, 2020
people be realizing right now how fucked up this government we have when he already failed to prove ‘change is coming’ in his previous years of being an incompetent pr*sident #OustDuterte
— ???? ??????? (@88fucks) January 31, 2020
I hope that #OustDuterte won’t just be a trending hashtag because of his sheer incompetence during this outbreak (which I really hope is an eye-opener after all his what-the-fuckery these 4 years). We should really push for this to happen. It’s about damn time!
— Katrina Pallon (@katrinapallon) January 31, 2020
IMPEACH DUTERTE, I CANT BELIEVE YALL HAD TO WAIT FOR THIS OUTBREAK TO EMERGE BEFORE YALL REALIZE HOW FVCKED UP HIS ADMINISTRATION IS #OustDuterte
— c r i s t y (@TaylorUnicorn13) January 31, 2020
Can’t believe it took 4 grueling years and a freakin deadly virus for people to come around but still, right direction. Sana hindi hanggang trending lang. #OustDuterte pic.twitter.com/zA8O5Ixn8B
— ??????????????? (@IsThisMean) January 31, 2020
I now realize that the coronavirus issue is a defining moment in his presidency. It takes a virus for people to realize that they have been forsaken by the president they have voted for. #OustDuterte
— Kyle Victor Jose (@Smartteaser192) January 31, 2020
The heck that y’all needed a virus outbreak to give up on Duterte huh. Btw, we appreciate the change of hearts. ? #OustDuterte
— #OustDuterte (@beibeigurl_) January 31, 2020
#OustDuterte not a mere hastag
Meanwhile, for some netizens the #OustDuterte is not a mere hashtag but an opportunity to make that rage online translate to the mobilizations in the streets just like #MillionPeopleMarch during the administration of President Benigno Aquino. People also expressed their rage online after the anomaly surrounding the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) was exposed. This led to the massive protests which was dubbed as #MillionPeopleMarch.
Let us not let #OustDuterte be a mere trending Twitter hashtag. Get organized. Join mobilizations. Resist with on-ground collective action.
— Philip Jamilla (@pmjamilla) January 31, 2020
Let’s translate our anger into action. Join national democratic mass organizations!#OustDuterte#OustDuterte#OustDuterte#OustDuterte#OustDuterte#OustDuterte#OustDuterte#OustDuterte#OustDuterte#OustDuterte#OustDuterte#OustDuterte#OustDuterte#OustDuterte
— jerico (@pangungulila) January 31, 2020
#OustDuterte now trending with 25.5k tweets!!! Never let this die down and let this translate in our organizing on ground! The people are angry! The time is ripe for the ouster of yet another dictator!!! pic.twitter.com/XkdjHIBQA6
— Lica #ActivismNotACrime (@licanthropic) January 31, 2020
a fight that has been long overdue. but it’s not yet late. we can still make it happen. be mad, people. we should stop our suffering under this fucking administration. we deserve better. we deserve to be protected in our own country. we should be heard. keep raging!#OustDuterte https://t.co/n2bcr9N1kF
— jasper | #SOGIEEqualityNow (@jasperrrs) January 31, 2020
are grounded to the masses’ struggles. It is rightful to be vocal of your dissent to the government and its repressive policies, but please do not stop there. Join future mobilizations! Join mass organizations like Anakbayan and LFS! Arouse, Organize, Mobilize!#OustDuterte
— hannah (@hana_anonuevo) February 1, 2020
Meanwhile, Anakbayan Spokesperson Alex Danday said “The barrage of online sentiments shows how government inaction over consecutive crises leads to mass unrest and protest.”
“The government is suggesting that we improve our resistance to avoid catching the virus, but we believe that to resist diseases means to resist government negligence,” Danday added.