It just started out as a blog post like any other. I read the articles about the Pork Barrel Scam on the Inquirer and Rappler and decided to put my two cents in on the matter.
The blog then triggered a maelstrom of information posted Anonymously as comments and the blog post took on a life on its own.
As the number of viewers climbed and good-hearted commenters have advised me about security, I scrambled to delete names on posts, change my usernames and take out personal photos as precautionary measures.
It was a rush to see so many people care about an issue that I felt was so important to discuss and deal with as a country. But it was also a little scary. The blog started as therapeutic hobby for me — a venue for discussing parenting and family experiences and issues, very safe and mundane topics. All this attention on a controversial topic was brand new unknown territory for me.
Commenters took control of my post while I opted to keep quiet as I realized I was the only one there that wasn’t completely anonymous and was a little worried about putting my family at risk in any way even though the information and opinions generated from the comments were obviously not mine.
I watched as commenters passionately discussed next steps. Some commenters took it upon themselves to preserve the blog and the comments section by posting it on their own sites. Some have compiled the information from the comments section and made a commentary of their own. Some have made anonymous Facebook pages to consolidate the information on the comments. All this has spread the means of getting the information which can only help in arousing interest and awareness in this issue.
I can’t help but breathe a little easier as more and more sites are now providing information on the PDAF scam , which takes a lot of pressure off me.
I am happy with the teeny tiny role that I played in bringing this issue to the mainstream. At the same time, I am also looking forward to the day I can once again blog about parenting regularly.
What happened over the weekend was a completely unique experience. I never aimed to be controversial. All I did was speak my opinion which is my constitutional right. Nowhere in my blog did I claim to know more than I did. I can’t even claim the credit for the blog’s short-lived “viral” status. I have no idea why Anonymous chose my blog to speak out. My blog was just a small spark that triggered a fire and the fire burned brightly.
I come out of this with a wonderful realization. It’s possible now, with social media, for regular people to become watch dogs of the community and the country.
In the past, wars were considered exciting and people leapt at a chance to go into battle… young men signing up excited at the prospect of an adventure and honor only to die horribly in the battlefield or be handicapped by unspeakable trauma. The dawn of television and photos in newspapers which brought the horrors of war right into people’s living rooms changed all that. By the time of the Vietnam War, people were holding peace rallies in the effort to stop the war and families were hiding their children in other countries in efforts to avoid the draft because they knew what war was really like… horrific.
We are now at a new dawn of a social revolution made possible by the ability of everyone to become their own publisher. Through the internet anyone can take information or their views and share it to the world. Although the internet is not without its dangers, it can be a powerful tool if used correctly. Gone are the days that the news are the only source of information. It is already the case that sometimes the news reports even rely on what’s trending on social media (remember Robert J. Carabuena and Amalayer?). It’s also possible that one day, outrage over possible corruption or injustices will trigger the “powers-that-be” to change things or be changed.
Is it possible that change has begun with the hold order on Janet Napoles and her brother? Who knows.
The use of internet still has a lot of maturing to do. More people need to get easy access to the internet. And some policing might be necessary to ensure there is no abuse. But the possibilities are endless.
And that’s the last I’ll say on this issue. I hope the fire against corruption and desire for good governance will keep growing bright.
I have compiled a list of the groups created by various proactive commenters for easy access to readers.
Anonymous Incorporated Against PDAF (on Facebook) — where you can also get the compilation of the comments, various news and updates
Petition to President Pnoy for Transparency in Liquidating PDAF — online petition
Petition to Office of the Ombudsman to investigate Grave Misuse of PDAF – online petition
Citizen Action Network for Accountability (on Facebook) — non-specific government watchdog group
Citizen Action Network for Accountability Website — non-specific government watchdog group
We can’t change the our past but we can do something about the future. The important thing is not to give in to despair.
MommyJ … over and out.