In a span of 3 days, a viral video featuring a Grab driver delivering “lugaw” (porridge) was stopped by a “barangay tanod” (also called BPSO or Barangay Public Safety Officer, the lowest level of law enforcement officers in the Philippines, according to Wikipedia) stopped him from delivering the “lugaw” to the paid customer in Muzon, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan citing that there was an ECQ ordinance that they have to uphold and that “lugaw” was not essential.
This broke the internet as netizens posted, reposted, reacted, tweeted, and posted their commentaries and parodies of the said incident with videos reaching almost 300,000 viewers bashing the female barangay tanod and celebrating the young Grab delivery man for his courage and humility in this very challenging situation.
Consequently, other stories of heavy-handed implementation of the law were given the limelight. The female barangay tanod took down her Facebook page due to the harsh comments of people who have seen the video (this was later on refuted by saying that there were many fake accounts that were created of the tanod). This was immediately followed by official statements from the Palace saying that food deliveries were not to be hampered during the ECQ. The Philippine National Police even encouraged “victims” to report experiences like this should be reported to them.
The reaction was fast and the escalation was immediate. That is the power of social media.
However, that concerns me a bit. Although there is no question that the fbt’s handling of the situation was terribly harangue and uncalled for, I am concerned with how people just jumped into the bandwagon of berating her on social media. It was like she was the volunteered lamb for the slaughter and people hasn’t stopped slaughtering her. Again, I’m not defending her. I feel that compassion should’ve played a better arbiter in understanding the gap found in the system by which she was a part of. Which makes me wonder:
- What kind of training do these supposed public safety officers undergo before their supervisors “release them into the wild” so to speak?
- Are they taught proper communication skills and not to sound condescending and abrasive like she was?
- Is there a gap in the cascading process and interpretation of ordinances which later on are passed on to these personnel for implementation?
- Are these people given the chance to defend themselves or have the support necessary to help them understand their mistakes and learn from it?
- Would it have been different if she were a man?
- Masama lang ba talaga ugali niya? Is there such a person?
- Or was she so bent on doing a good job that she went overboard?
- How can she miss that? Did she have to do it because she was so scared to make a mistake?
Something to think about. Does anyone have the right to tell someone that they should die? Though she needs to answer clearly and responsibly, doesn’t human emotion get factored into the scenario? What would you have done if you were in her shoes? Are we all growing into a nation of haters?
Tell us what you think.