MANILA: Netizens on Tuesday criticized an organization from the University of the Philippines Los Baños over an alleged “fake” death threat received by one of their volunteers, amid a surge in calls online to junk the proposed anti-terrorism bill.
Netizens, including students of the same university, slammed the group “Defend UPLB” and expressed their disappointment on social media.
Twitter user @kikocorpuz called the group’s action “reckless.”
“Ang tanga naman ng Defend UPLB na ‘yan. Sobrang reckless (Defend UPLB was stupid and reckless). So now we get to watch the entire cause get invalidated by the bill’s proponents and defenders. You shouldn’t make this shit up, (because) these things are lived realities for some,” he said.
Twitter user @kimbapunnie expressed worry that all UP students will be affected by the incident.
“Nakakahiya talaga ‘yong ginawa ng Defend UPLB. Sirang-sira na credibility niyo pati buong ‘peyups’ nadadamay. Tapos ‘yong online petition tuloy naging isang malaking joke. (This is so embarrassing. Your credibility went down the drain and the UP community is affected. The online petition has now become a big joke,” she said, referring to a petition made by the group to junk the anti-terrorism bill.
Defend UPLB, in a social media post, claimed to have received a death threat but the message turned out to come from their own contact number.
The post comes on the heels of online protests and petitions for lawmakers to reconsider their positions on the measure.
Twitter user @jairotuazon said issues of death threats should not be taken lightly and that everyone should be vigilant.
“I understand the severity and the need for vigilance regarding the issue of death threats but I think it is only fair that we demand from Defend UPLB accountability as much as we hold gov’t officials accountable for their actions. We cant use the other legit threats to let this go,” he said.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Mon Cualoping, meanwhile, slammed the hypocrisy of individuals calling out the government.
“Purveyors of fake news are roaming around, wild and free. Some are in Los Baños, Laguna. When called out, they play the victim card. And blame the Duterte administration. Enough said,” he said on Facebook.
Defend UPLB has already taken down their tweet which shows the picture of the alleged death threat sent to their member.
In their social media account, the group said it is “investing its utmost manpower for further investigations.”
A certain Vani Ann, however, commented: “How is it misguided exaction of accountability? It was clearly your page and your number (as indicated in your pubmats). How then can people hold you accountable if you even took down the post? Hypocrites. You call for justice pero di niyo rin naman maharap pag kayo gumawa ng masama (but you cannot face it when it is you who is at fault).”
“We demand to be informed of the results of your ‘investigation.’ We demand a better explanation. As students and alumni of the university you keep in your title, we have the right to,” she added.
In another post, Defend UPLB categorically denied that they have manufactured the “fake” death threat.
They said that they only received the report from one of their volunteers and as a matter of standard procedure, they urgently released the post.
The organization also gave an assurance that they will do a thorough investigation of the case.
(PNA/ Marita Moaje/ SRNY/ SRP)