OFW 'abused' after mistaken Facebook post on Ondoy


Posted at Sep 29 2009 06:21 PM | Updated as of Sep 30 2009 08:15 PM

A controversial statement allegedly made by a Filipina overseas worker in Dubai that mocked Filipino victims of tropical storm Ondoy sparked negative reactions among many Pinoys here and abroad.

Jacque Bermejo has been the target of hate threads from Filipinos after someone used her identity to post a very offensive statement against Pinoys affected by the onslaught of tropical storm Ondoy on social networking site, Facebook.

“buti n lng am hir in dubai! maybe so many sinners bak der! so yeah deserving wat hapend (sic),” the comment read.

The said statement generated more than 1,000 responses from Filipino Facebook users.

The comments included hate messages, accusations and threats from fellow Filipinos.

A user named “Ondoy” posted on September 28, 2009: “Hambalusin na yan!”

Anonymous said: “don’t worry dadalaw tayo sa burol ni jacq bermejo. titingnan natin kung talagang patay siya! (sic)”

Jay-ar said: “meron ba kaung pix ng taong yan? baka kasi makasalubong ko sya mabigyan lang ng mag asawang bitch slap! grrrr...!! (sic)"

Srub09 commented: “sana sya na lng ang inanud ng baha!!porke nakapunta na ng ibang bansa.kung sino na makapagsalita...sipain ko yang mukha mo! (sic)”

Pusa said: “naloka ako sa mga comments sa kanya sa multiply... kasi naman in times like this we should all unite and do our best to help and we don’t need negative thoughts. (sic)”

Alyssa stated: “she's pathetic and lacks good moral. dummy.(sic)”

Several new accounts on Facebook were also created under her name by irate users.

‘A victim too’

However, in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau, the person behind the controversial name maintained her innocence.

Bermejo denied posting the insulting remarks on Facebook. The marketing executive is saddened by the comments she receives from fellow Filipinos for something she says she did not do.

“Pero naman kung ako siguro ang nakakita sa post na yun, mag iisip naman ako na, bakit naman niya gagawin iyan. Bakit niya ilalagay ang picture niya? Bakit niya ilalagay ang real identity niya? Parang bine-bait niya sarili niya na, 'Ok, kill me',” said Bermejo.

She explained that someone hacked her Facebook account and manipulated its contents two years ago. This prompted her to deactivate her account.

Furthermore, she brought the incident to the Dubai Police who advised her to just open another account.

She also revealed that accounts under her name in other social networking sites like Multiply and Friendster were not hers.

The hacker continued to manipulate the said sites often posting negative comments against her friends.

The last post that insulted people affected by the typhoon alarmed her. She said that after the post, many people started issuing threatening statements against her.

“Pero after this, itong post na ito, unang-unang ginawa ko kagabi umalis ako sa bahay ko. Doon ako natulog sa bahay ng mga kapatid ko kasi natatakot ako,” she said.

Her close friends could not help but feel sorry for what happened to her. They said their friend is clearly an innocent victim. They also appealed to fellow Filipinos to put an end to the issue.
“Gusto ko naman ma-clear yung (name) niya dahil hindi naman ganun si Jacque. And, kung sino ang gumawa nun, he is, something talaga is wrong sa kanya, dapat sana stop na yung mga ganung things eh,” said her friend “Mel”.

‘Official statement’

A Facebook user posted Bermejo’s alleged official statement dated September 29, 2009 in the hopes of clearing her name.

She said that an unidentified source created the accounts using her name, her personal details, and pictures.

“Because of these incidents, I reported such abuses and sent my credentials to the administrators of such sites, particularly Facebook. I have been abused and am still being abused online in social networking websites such as Facebook, Friendster, Multiply etc,” Bermejo’s statement said.

Her friends called her up and informed her about the cruel “shoutout” on the Facebook account and the numerous comments from other users.

“These malicious statement(s) which are posted under account names Jacque or Jackie are not of my doing. It is unfortunate that such statements were maliciously attributed to me and I do sympathize and understand the adverse and somehow verbally violent reaction that has been elicited by such insensitive statements or posts. Rest assured, I have taken every legal step that can be done in this regard,” the statement added

“I am devastated and shocked at the extent my character, my personal information and private space have been violated,” she stated.

Bermejo has taken legal steps to address the problem. She sought the help of the Philippine Consulate in Dubai and the National Bureau of Immigration to identify the motive and person behind the moves to discredit her. Reports from Dindo Amparo, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau Chief, Dubai and abs-cbnNEWS.com