One of the country’s premier novelists, Lualhati Bautista has clapped back on a troll who accused her of being a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) — and not only has that person apologized, he also shut down his social media account.
Word of advice: next time you come after the veteran writer, be sure to pack the balls for it.
The online scuffle started last night when Bautista called out one Jefferson Lodia Badong for spreading false rumors about her online. Bautista told Badong, “I have already taken a screenshot of your picture and your profile so I will have something to show just in case you suddenly deactivate your account. Because I had already talked to my lawyer and he said it is possible to file [a] cyber libel case against you if I want to go that far. So please be hereby advised.”
The 74-year-old author posted a photo of the said screenshot where Badong alleged that the novelist is a member of the New People’s Army (NPA), a rural-based armed wing of the CPP.
“Do you know Lualhati Bautista? She’s an NPA, yes. She even wrote herself into her novels. Google isn’t my only source. I learned to read a book before you learned to use Facebook. Don’t teach me facts,” Badong wrote.
Jefferson Lodia Badong, I have already taken a screenshot of your picture and your profile so i will have something to…
After being called out by the novelist, an apparently regretful Badong privately messaged Bautista hours later, asking for her forgiveness, and claiming he was a fan of her work.
“Good evening Ma’am. I apologize if I was compulsive in my comments and for involving your name in the comments section. My comments read differently and I know it displeased you,” Badong wrote.
“I am an avid reader of your work and I had no intention to smear your name. I deleted my comment and will post an apology on my timeline to retract what I wrote. I hope you take it into consideration,” the offending fan wrote.
Bautista took a screenshot of the apology and asked her supporters to settle down and not attack the compulsive “truth”-teller. However, Badong’s apology was nowhere to be found later that night.
“Jefferson’s public apology was lost, he deleted it. He also changed his name and profile pic. Probably couldn’t handle the bashing he took…Thank you, everyone, I’ve proven that I’m much nicer than you. Hahaha!” Bautista wrote.
Ok na. Huwag n'yo nang sabihan ng masama. All is well that ends well 'ika nga.
Red-tagging or the act of harassing a person by calling them a communist or have suspected communist affiliations, is a notorious practice in the Philippines that many rights groups consider dangerous and life-threatening. The Human Rights Defender Protection Act also prohibits people including the government from red-tagging individuals. Despite this, many believe that the practice is especially dangerous now with the passage of the Anti-Terror Law which allows the warrantless detainment of suspected terrorists.
It doesn’t help that President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly expressed public hatred towards the country’s communists, even offering a PHP2 million (US$39,700) bounty on their heads, and threatening to bury them.
The multi-awarded Bautista —known for books like Gapo, Dekada ’70 and Bata, Bata…Pa’no Ka Ginawa? — has written heavily about social activism and the plight of the middle class during the Marcos era. She is explicitly against the Anti-Terror Bill.
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