14 August 2012

Online Storm: PM Executive’s Assault on MMDA Enforcer

The power of social media is incredible, to say the least. The way it is used reminds me of the direct democracy as it was practised in the ancient Athenian city-state; but within the context of modern states. Opinions are expressed instantaneously and one can even keep count of the running commentaries. One sort of wonders why governments even go to great lengths to purchase electronic voting systems when there are ubiquitous sites like Facebook and Twitter. Said tongue-in-cheek, of course…

Sometimes, though, opinions as they are said can be expressly overboard – as it was in the unfortunate case of the former law student and now lawyer Christopher Lao of the “I should have been informed” incident. The online storm against Lao ranged from the derogatory to the vicious.

Well, there is another ongoing online storm again, this time against a certain Robert Blair Carabuena, allegedly an Ateneo graduate and a Philip Morris executive who was caught on video assaulting an MMDA traffic enforcer. The video was apparently shown on Channel 5’s T3 program featuring the Tulfo brothers which I do not get to watch because my TV set’s reception of the channel is next to non-existent.

I first heard of the video on social media, of course; and watched the excerpt on YouTube. The video appears incriminating; but I am reserving judgment until after I know more. After all, the video does not show what went on before the assault. I would like to know what provoked it; although it goes without saying that I do not condone the assault at all.

This has not stopped others from passing judgment quickly, of course – and hence the online storm. As with the Lao case, this storm is equally vicious. I hasten to state that the comments I will post below are not my own but instead cut and pasted from the social networks. I took the liberty of editing where appropriate.

It is noticeable that there were more below the belt comments on Facebook than Twitter; albeit that can probably be explained by the latter’s character limits. Personally, I am also somewhat alarmed by how social media can be used as a medium for half-baked opinions.

I understand that the poor feller – if you can call him that – has already deactivated his Facebook and Twitter accounts. Just as well when you consider what people are possibly hurling at him. To be perfectly fair to him, nobody has heard his side yet.


“Ateneo ka pa naman, napaka-respetadong eskuwelahan tapos ikaw ganyan? Asan ang mabuting asal? Payô ko sayo, bawasan ang pagkain ng tabâ at bakâ mauna ka pa sa MMDA Enforcer na binatukan mo!!!!!”

“Wow... May pix agad... Kalâ ko pa man din pulitiko ka... Kung makaasta ka kala mo kung sino... Hoyyyy ungas... hina-hunting ka na ng T3... Kapal ng mukhâ... May bodyguard ka pa... Patay ka kanselado na lisensya mo sa LTO... Kuyog ka kapag nahuli ka ng mga MMDA... Kilala na nila mukhâ mo... isang para lang sa ‘yo sa EDSA o kung saan man... Gagawin kang pulutan n’yan...”

Akalâ mo kung sino at kung nakapang sindak at nakapanakit... Yung isang lalaki naman akalâ mo umaawat pero tignan n’yo kung makahawak kay manong MMDA para hndi makawalâ... Calling government officials at Philip Morris Philippines officials, anu pô bang aksyon ang gagawin n’yo dito kay Robert Blair Carabuena...”

“Subukan n’yang gawin dito sa lugar namin yung ginawa nyang yan. Am pretty sure hindî makukuntento ang mga tao dito na basta patayin lang ‘yan =)) Nasobrahan sa yabang :))”

“Sumunod tayo sa batas trapiko, hindi ‘yung tayo pa ang matapang ‘pag nagkamalî. We take consequences of our own actions. Magbabayad ka sa batas, kahihiyan, Atenista ka pa naman, hindi porket mayaman ka eh akalâ mo boss ka na at magagawâ mo lahat ng gusto mo. Nilagay mo sa p’wet at tabâ mo ung pagiging Atenista mo.”


“Why wasn't that bully Robert Carabuena arrested right there and then for assault by the @MMDA?”

“The nerve! Mr. Carabuena u don't hav d right 2 humiliate, degrade & physically assault dis MMDA Traffic Officer. Tsk! Tsk!”

“Okay so ngayon ko lang napanood yung video nung guy na nang-assault nung MMDA officer. D’yos ko angas angas ang tabâ naman.”

“To Blair Carabuena, for whatever unjust reason the MMDA officer did to you, I don’t believe it gives you any right to assault him. #MoralAscendency”

“Yes you’re rich but you're not in any position to assault an MMDA officer.”

“MMDA enforcers should also be trained to defend themselves in case of physical assault such as this.”

“Uy kadirî ‘tong si Blair Carabuena ha. Direct assault ampotah. File na!!! @MMDA”

“That guy abusing the MMDA should be charged with assault. Hinampas n’ya and sinapak pa. Kawawâ naman the MMDA.”

For those who have not seen the video:

Quotes from:

Christopher Lao, Unwilling Celebrity
Online Storm Against Pacquiao His Own Doing




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