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Bullying backfires; voter changes mind

16 April 2016

It may have been just an attempt to poke fun at presidential candidate Mar Roxas, but the joke went out far and wide, before coming back to haunt the person who sent it out through Facebook.
Early on Apr 4, barely a day after Roxas and his running mate Leni Robredo were mobbed by crowds of overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong, a picture was posted on Facebook of the presidential bet sitting alone, hunched and looking forlorn.
The picture was shared by Peter Lavina, spokesperson of another presidential bet, Rodrigo Duterte, with the caption: “Mar was in for a real shock after finding out for himself that indeed Duterte has captured almost all OFWs.”
“Nilangaw ang rally doon ng tuwad na daan. The visibly disoriented, demoralized Mar was a picture of defeat,” the post said.
Almost immediately, The SUN contributor and OFW leader Marites Palma came out to disprove the claim. She posted an unedited version of the picture, showing Roxas surrounded by a number of people, including her. She said Roxas was actually listening intently to the stories she was sharing at that time.
In her post that immediately went viral, Palma said: “Ako po yung nakasuot ng blue shirt [sa larawan]. Maling mali naman po ang caption ng kuhang larawang ito.”
“Matama pong nakikinig sa aking hinaing si Mar Roxas tungkol sa aking naging karanasan noong inuwi ko ang aking pinsan, na may malaubhang sakit dito sa Hong Kong. Yung hinaing ko tungkol sa taxi driver sa airport na nangotong sa amin from airport to the terminal papuntang Isabela,” she said.
Palma’s disclaimer immed-iately shut up the other camp, even if the cropped picture was shared extensively by its members on social media.
Palma, who the founding president of the Roxas (Isabela) Group of Migrants, said she couldn’t keep silent amid the unfair criticism hurled at Roxas, who had given her precious time during his visit to Hong Kong.
Although unnerved by the bullying she has received from some Duterte supporters after stepping up to disprove the lie, she said the incident opened her eyes to the seamy side of politics. It has also made her decide to turn her back on her earlier choice for president, and support Roxas instead. – Daisy CL Mandap

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