The Gist


PSA: We can make a point without resulting to the use of derogatory terms and nasty insults when engaging with haters and internet trolls.

/ 31 March 2021

Last weekend, the government put Metro Manila and 4 neighboring provinces back under stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the hopes of curbing the alarming number of new COVID-19 cases in these areas. Filipinos have dubbed the current quarantine situation as “ECQ Season 2”, a nod to this time last year, when the lockdown was first implemented in these areas.

Actor Albie Casiño was one of those who were very vocal about what they thought of the ECQ. In an Instagram post, he shared a photo depicting his reaction to the announcement, with a caption stating “vote wisely sa 2022”. The post urges everyone to consider the government’s response in the current pandemic when choosing our next leaders.

Understandably, many people like the young actor were upset with the lockdown as it seems like the only solution we have to the pandemic is quarantine after quarantine, with less urgency for mass testing, contact tracing, and vaccine roll-out. More than that, ECQ protocols would cut off the livelihoods of so many Filipinos already struggling to get by with industries temporarily closing down, and stricter rules in operations and logistics for the select businesses allowed to open.

Because of this, many people commended Casiño for voicing out the importance of voting in 2022, but the general approval stops there.

It’s no surprise that the post would garner a lot of attention from netizens, both supporters and bashers alike. A lot of people who disagreed with his sentiment took it to the comment section to voice out their opinions, and openly bash the young actor. Casiño responded to the particularly harsh comments with savage ones of his own, stirring up mixed reactions from the internet.

While some people applauded the way Casiño fiercely handled his bashers, many also did not appreciate the words he used and the general way he talked down on them. For starters, he used terms like “retard” and “bobo” (stupid), which are derogatory insults against one’s intellect and mental capacity. He also brought up income a lot, further offending his bashers by stating that he’s making more money than them.

As one of the country’s top trending topics of the day, the internet was in full discussion about the appropriateness of Casiño’s clap backs against his haters. One side praised him for not backing down, and for coming up with some “witty” and “savage” responses to shut them up. The other side, however, believes that his choice of words were uncalled for, and it shows toxic characteristics of elitism and ableism.

The reactions were split in half:


At the end of the day, in a political and social climate where it’s crucial to educate one another to truly progress as a nation, we must do so without relying on insults and internet violence to get our point across.

Although Casiño had some valid points on voting and registration, it does not give him the free pass to bash someone else’s mental health, financial status, and social class. Moreover, in using these arguments, it only pushes trolls even further away from society, instead of making them realize and empathize with other people’s political and social views.

In this time of political unrest and social divide, we must all give our best efforts to understand one another and learn how we can build a society that caters to everyone’s needs and best interests. We can’t achieve this by verbally assaulting each person who disagrees with us.