“And through all of these days, I challenge you to point a single finger at me, calling me out for not having done the best that I could do for Cebu because I know that I have a sacred duty to serve the people of Cebu.”
This was the response of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on the statement released by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) about her alleged “public shaming” and divulging of the real identity of a netizen who is a resident of Carcar City in her virtual presser.
A netizen complained about Cebu Province's transition from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ) and called government officials corrupt and other degrading names.
In its statement, CHR expressed alarm about Garcia's remarks and reminded the governor that public officials are “bound by high standards of ethics in public service.”
Garcia on Friday, May 22 said calling out netizens who easily castigate the government and public officials for the false belief of being ineffective is done to stop this kind of practice.
The governor asked why she was singled out when such human rights apply to her as well, not just the netizen, making her wonder whether CHR is applying double standards in this situation.
“Well it works both ways diba? If that is a right then that should work both ways. And you think tawgon mig kurakot, tawgon mig bogo, tawgon mig nagkiat, well wa sad mi na persecute?” Garcia expressed.
“Kay for every Filipino, whether you are a netizen or a public official, every Filipino is entitled to the same human rights. Kung gusto sila mu air sa ilang grievances by calling us bogo, tawgon mig kurakot, tawgon mig nagkiat, usahay pamalikason pami sa pinakaluod na nga mga termino kay mao man kaha na ilahang paagi pag-express sa ilang grievances, well ang akong pamaagi pag express sa akong grievances mao ra gyud ni, ako ra ning i-presentar sa mga Sugbuanon,” she said.
Garcia then asked the CHR whether public officials are not humans entitled to human rights and whether it is okay for them to suffer from unjustifiable name-callings.
“You have two sets of standards for us who are both humans? Human right man kaha ni, human man kaha ko? Puros mi human. Isn’t everyone equal before the law?" she added.
CHR also pointed out Garcia's act of divulging the netizen's real identity during the virtual presser, to which Garcia asked if CHR supports fake accounts.
“Does that mean that you support fake accounts? You do know that there are certain laws that protect the reputation and names of people. And so magpataka ta dihag yaw-yaw libelous nana, slanderous nana imung statements, you hide behind a fake account, that’s what you want? You’re supporting trolls? Mao diay na imung gusto, kay nahasol man ka nga akong gisulti ang tinuod nga ngan sa nanawag namog kurakot and bogo,” she stressed. (Mylen Manto)