Gatchalian blasts trolls, won't apologize for Twitter profanities

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 04 2018 10:50 AM | Updated as of Jan 04 2018 11:06 AM

MANILA - Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday said he will not apologize for using profanities in his social media posts recently, explaining that trolls pushed him to his limit.

The neophyte senator on Monday replied with Filipino curse words to Twitter users who criticized his statement that "The nation already lost its soul in the last 6 years" as they noted that the former local executive used to support the Aquino administration.

"These are paid individuals, robots that are designed to destroy you and bring out the worst in you. So why will I apologize (to) these people who are designed to bring out the worst in you?…I will not issue an apology," he told ANC's Headstart.

Gatchalian said he was not drunk when he posted those statements in the microblogging site, recalling that he was having coffee with his father while they were vacationing in Las Vegas then.

He said his response was "a compounded emotion and it happened before."

"Before, I would engage but talagang nagtitimpi ako to curse or nagtitimpi ako to say more things—I just ignore and engage as much as possible. But hindi mo ma-engage eh. If there are 50 different accounts coming in, barraging you with insults, profanities, paano mo ie-engage sila?," he said, adding that the same scenario happened to several other politicians.

"What really hurt me was that they were only capturing one aspect of my opinion and turning it into a big lie and throwing it at you, which is not correct naman," he said.

Gatchalian said he replied "The nation already lost its soul in the last 6 years" to an online article about the Liberal Party, to which former President Benigno Aquino III belonged, because he and his family suffered "selective justice" under the previous government.

"This selective justice also happened to us, our family, my brothers, and this is from my personal experience. And hindi lang sa akin ito ha, marami ring naka-experience nito. This is a lengthy debate, a lengthy discussion, but that’s my top of mind, those words came in my mind when this article came out," he said.

The lawmaker said he does not regret his outburst on his critics, since there are "organized teams and organized groups that are targeting public officials and public servants," but he will now find ways to tune them out.

"This is really a sad part of social media and the free market of ideas and comments because this arena now became a weapon (of) mass destruction for public servants and against public officials," he said.