Watch out for paid bloggers

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide - The Freeman

I was a young boy when I saw the film of the fight between Auburn Copeland and Gabriel “Flash” Elorde. The Filipino World Junior lightweight champion (130 lbs.) retained his belt after 15 grueling rounds. The fight was held in Manila. At that time, there were no televised coverages that reached distant parts of the country like the remote town in Bohol where I was. Neither were there cable television channels that could carry the event to our homes. More so, the internet was unheard of yet. But the fight was recorded in a celluloid and the film was shown in a cockpit in Guindulman, Bohol which was the venue of many boxing cards then. My seat was in front of the screen. Even if the motion picture was set in black and white, I was probably in a position to view the boxers better than the judges.

At present, there seems to be events on the social media platforms, mostly FB posts, of the worrying kind. I treat these scenes not unlike boxing because they display the intensity of the 15 round Copeland-Elorde encounter. So, I view them with the total discernment of boxing judges looking for clear, solid and telling blows. But there are two groups of fighters which for purposes of this article we label as Kid Auburn, for the first group and Flash Gabriel, for the second. In my discernment, the popular nom de guerre Maharlika and Sass belong to Kid Auburn. That they air false names is already red flag. On the other hand, I wrap Esguerra and Toritorgo (which are not fictitious names) in the label of Flash Gabriel.

The protagonists do not wear Cleto Reyes gloves which are known for knockout performances. Kid Auburn and Flash Gabriel use no hand protection to ply their trade but only avail of microphones and digital connections. Their jabs, straights, hooks and crosses are not delivered by their arms because what they throw are all verbal in nature although unleashed with more venom. What is glaring is that while they are the supposed warriors their punches are not aimed against each other. It is clear that they appear to hit the face of some persons behind them respectively.

In other words, they are the popular bloggers turned proxy warriors. It is not their personal conflict. It is the war of their principals. Maharlika, for example, in adopting the word “polvoronic” which she would prefer as a substitute for powdery illegal drugs, wanted to tell us that the president not the Flash Gabriel bloggers is a user of narcotics. Honestly, I like her style but I want proof beyond her words. Esguerra, on the other hand, brought in a former senator who talked about the possibility of a warrant to be issued not for the arrest of Maharlika, but of her purported patron, a former president. To compare, Maharlika uses innuendoes but Esguerra speaks with facts and figures.

The reason I write this article is to alert all of us to the clash of our country’s leaders. I dare to identify them as the Dutertes and the Marcoses. From what I continue to hear from Kid Auburn and Flash Gabriel, these leaders espouse different less idealistic goals and in pursuit of which they battle against each other. We ordinary citizens need to discern so we can judge, later on, who deserve our collective trust.

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