Just for kicks, I decided to dig up my previous Facebook posts many, many years ago criticizing the Noynoy Aquino administration, and I have to admit that a lot them were so vicious, I’m wondering now if I posted them while I was under the influence of bathtub gin (not an impossibility). There were quite a few vicious posts as well, coming from me, which were directed at Jejomar Binay, who was the vice president at that time.
Come to think of it, it was normal to read negative posts back then that targeted both PNoy and Binay, which always included a common slur directed at PNoy alluding to the possibility of him having intellectual disability and a common slur directed at Binay that made fun of the color of his skin (and one even comparing him to a species of ape). I never stooped that low, however, and never used slurs (so far, to my knowledge, although there’s no accounting for the times I was under the influence of alcohol) in my criticisms of both the former president and vice president.
What’s the difference between the ad hominem attacks against Duterte and Bong Go today and the ad hominem attacks against PNoy and Binay years ago? Nothing, really. One difference, though, is not in the attacks themselves but on the originators: the people railing against criticisms directed at Duterte and Bong Go today were actually the ones who loved to insult and make fun of PNoy and Binay years ago.
Another difference is that PNoy and Binay weren’t thin-skinned. They could take both legitimate criticisms and ad hominem attacks. The same can’t be said for Duterte and Bong Go, with the former using that oft-repeated line by DDS trolls in one of his press conferences to address his critics: “Bakit, ano ba ang naiambag n’yo?” As if criticizing the government has suddenly become illegal nowadays. And the latter? He actually asked the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate social media posts that were critical of him.