MANILA – Vice President Jejomar Binay has thanked US tech giant Google after it took down a blog that listed ways to harass Singapore's Filipino population.
“I thank Google for not allowing itself to be a platform for prejudice and ethnic discrimination, and I laud everyone from Google for leading the drive in keeping the world wide web free from bigotry and intolerance,” Binay said.
Despite the post of the anonymous "Blood Stained Singapore" blog, Binay said, “Singapore and its citizens are our good friends and partners in the ASEAN, and host tens of thousands of our workers, to the mutual benefit of both our nations.”
“It is obvious that the blogger, in choosing to hide behind the veil of anonymity, knew he would be held liable for what he wrote under Singaporean law against hate speech. And even as we condemn hate speech, we Filipinos reiterate our well wishes for the people of Singapore,” he said.
Last Thursday, police said they are investigating the anonymous blog, which suggested Singaporeans should refuse to be served by Filipinos in restaurants, or "accidentally" shove them in crowded places.
In a post titled "Filipino infestation in Singapore -- 5 point guide to showing displeasure without breaking the law," the blog also advised Singaporeans not to help Filipinos involved in traffic accidents.
The blog, which surfaced on Google's Blogger platform in May, was no longer available by late Thursday.
While the blog had triggered indignation among Filipinos at home and abroad, Binay reminded overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) facing discrimination to always hold their heads high.
“Taas-noo nating ipagmalaki na tayo ay Pilipino. As Carlos P. Romulo once wrote, in our blood runs the immortal seed of heroes – seed that flowered down the centuries in deeds of courage. Let us be proud of our culture and heritage, but at the same time, let us also be examples of tolerance, respect, and acceptance,” he said.
“A shining example of Filipino talent and determination is Xyza Cruz Bacani, an OFW in Hong Kong whose stunning photos have been featured in The New York Times. She did not let her humble background get in the way of her pursuing her passion for photography, which she now plans to use to advance the cause of her fellow OFWs,” he added.
The Filipino community in Singapore is estimated at more than 170,000, many of them professionals seen by some Singaporeans as rivals for jobs -- a sharp change from a decade ago, when most Filipinos there worked as domestic helpers. – with Agence France-Presse