April 17, 2018: Sereno Supporter with Pro Marcos Volunteers
This morning, in the pro-Chief Justice Sereno rally, there were also pro-Bongbong Marcos volunteers who were there calling for the manual recount of the votes for Vice President. Everything was peaceful until---I am not sure who started (though different camps are easy to claim that it is the other)---I heard noises of pro-Sereno and pro-Marcos campus ridiculing each other, exchanging cusswords and expletives, calling each other “bayaran,” and there were even those who cursed the nuns and other religious ministers there, including Sister Mary John Mananzan. The Marcos’ volunteers were also offended by what director Joel Lamangan said, and this could have been avoided if the call to support CJ Sereno has been consistent and that the speakers did not sway from one issue or personality to another.
It is hard to concentrate on what is happening and what is being said if the noises would continue. There were more people from the crowds who were joining the undiplomatic verbal exchanges. Then, I heard the following words again: bayaran, dilawan, tuta, diktador, sinungaling, and et cetera.
This is the usual narrative we hear in the news, read in the papers, and observe in social media. But the centrist inside me intervened because I know this is not the whole story.
I still believe that there are Marcos supporters who are pro-CJ Sereno as well. I know this for a fact because I have a pro-Marcos friend who is a sympathizer of Sereno, democracy, and rule of law. I also know of a Marcos supporter, a former student, who is very upset with President Duterte.
This call for this morning’s rally was to proceed with the impeachment case in the Senate, and not to remove Chief Justice Sereno by a quo warranto case. The main convener of the rally was the “Coalition for Justice.” The color was purple, not yellow. The call was to gather the supporters of Chief Justice Sereno, and this is why there were those who were upset when the speakers brought in the issues concerning Leni Robredo, Risa Hontiveros, and Leila de Lima. Personally, I was upset when there were those who shouted, “Duterte! Ibagsak!”
I went there to support CJ Sereno, not to call for the ouster of President Duterte.
Anyway, here are my notes on what I said and what I heard from the pro-Marcos volunteer I interviewed:
1. I am not “bayaran.” They are not “bayaran.”
2. The call for the manual recount of the votes for Vice President is still in accordance with our laws and democracy. I mean, even if I don’t adhere to ultra-democracy and the excesses/permissiveness of liberal democracy, the so-called pro-democracy framers of our Constitutions and laws agreed that a manual recount can be legally possible. The camp of Bongbong Marcos is simply using the benefits of the democracy they made.
3. If there are two different rallies in one location, better not to exchange expletives and cusswords. It is true that the atmosphere was peaceful until there were noises shouting cusswords, satire, and ridicules.
To the pro-Marcos volunteers, thank you for welcoming me in your tent even if I told you a couple of times that I am anti-Marcos, that I never campaigned for him, and that I never voted for him. After my interview with them, there was one who requested for us to simply focus on the CJ Sereno issue, and that’s okay for them. I promised to upload this unedited version of the interview, and I am keeping it.
To my fellow CJ Sereno supporters, let’s stick with the message and issue on CJ Sereno. We do not need to create more enemies that, at first, were not even hostile to us. We do not need to inherit the personal conflicts that our leaders have. It does not follow that the supporter always carries all the battles, conflicts, and problems of his/her leader.
This video is an addition to the narrative that may be reported on the rally that happened today. I hope the voices of us---centrists---who can protest with diplomacy would also be heard.
I support CJ Sereno not because I defend democracy. In fact, I believe with what the late Lee Kwan Yew said that our country needs more discipline than democracy. I went there to help put things in their proper perspective, even if I know that there are extremes, ideologies clash, and not every person can understand the virtues of centrism.
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