4. March: #BigasHindiBala
As if sexist slurs and airport blackouts weren’t enough, 2016 decided to have one of the most eventful first quarters to happen to the country, capping off with the Kidapawan crisis that intensified at the end of March.
Cities like Davao, Cebu, Iloilo and North Cotabato (where Kidapawan is located) declared themselves under a state of calamity due to the intense onslaught of El Nino that has all but put farming on hold. The effects of El Nino was the reason why over 6,000 farmers from Kidapawan rallied in front of their local NFA office to demand aid for their survival.
These farmers were starving. You know something’s wrong when the very people who make our food are going hungry. Let that sink in. And let the fact that the NPA used firearms on unarmed farmers (who refused to end their rally when the Governor of Kidapawan refused to give them their promised 15,000 sacks of rice) alarm you even further.
Stupid Governor Mendoza of North Cotabato refused to accept rice donations supposedly for the farmers from Kidapawan.
Posted by Magnetizen on Friday, April 1, 2016
The clash between the farmers and the authorities resulted in three deaths and one policeman in serious condition. But really, this is just the start of the story. Seeing what was happening in Kidapawan, some kind souls donated supplies for the farmers. But the donations never made it to the hands of the farmers because their local government thought that the donations were an insult to her leadership. Hence the hashtag #BigasHindiBala, which has blown up the internet ever since.
3. March: The COMELEC site hack
If we’re talking about breaking the internet, then the guys in Anonymous Philippines who hacked the COMELEC website took it way too literally. Last March 27, the COMELEC’s site was defaced by Anonymous Philippines, a hacking activism organization that has already admitted to hacking 39 government websites late last year.
“What happens when the electoral process is so mired with questions and controversies? Can the government still guarantee that the sovereignty of the people is upheld? We request the implementation of the security features on the PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines,” said Anonymous PH. They also warned that they will closely monitor how COMELEC will be conducting the 2016 elections.
The COMELEC site was back to normal the day after, save for the precinct finder, video demonstration and search function of the site. A searchable website was then discovered, containing sensitive information like the names, birthdays, fingerprint information, parents’ full names, complete addresses, passport numbers and more of over 70 million voters. The site was already been taken down by the NBI on April 22.
Almost a month after the hacking, two of hackers of the COMELEC site were arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation. One is Paul Biteng, a 23 year-old IT graduate, who admitted that although he did participate in the hacking, he had nothing to do with the release of the voter’s information. He also said that he didn’t do it for the money, but only because he was bored and for the bragging rights.
2. April: The NAIA-3 blackout caused by “bad luck”
If you were left in the dark about this issue, so were the people stuck in NAIA. The five hour blackout left thousands stranded. Some were stuck on the tarmac and 82 domestic flights were cancelled. Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Jose Angel Honrado said the blackout was caused by bad luck and the poor maintenance of the airport’s 10 standby generators.
NAIA-3 was dubbed as a “national shame” by senatorial candidate Roman Romulo. Presidentiable candidte Mar Roxas called out “those responsible [be] fired, punished and reprimanded.” Vice Presidentiable candidate Alan Cayetano also called out Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, saying, “DOTC ineptitude is so meteoric that it borders on the criminal. Worse, it not only victimizes our people but our foreign guests as well. It’s a continuing international embarrassment.” This is just the tip of the iceberg of hate caused by the issue.
SORRY GUYS BUT HEARING THE NEWS ABOUT THE NAIA BLACKOUT WHEREIN ITS CAUSED BY BATTERY FAILURE! IF TRUE WOW AYAW PA RESIGN SI HONRSDO +@%£€¥₩
— scimla (@scimla7) April 6, 2016
PNoy meets with buddy and cousin re: NAIA blackout. He asks them to try and prevent another one. Wow! So decisive!
— Mr Policarpio (@policarpio722) April 5, 2016
1. April: Duterte’s rape joke
As if it weren’t enough to be called a womanizer and a foulmouthed thug, Duterte had to add ‘rape apologist’ to the many, many adjectives used to describe the Davao City mayor and presidentiable candidate.
Verbatim: “Nirape nilang lahat ng mga babae so ‘yung unang asolte, kasi nagretreat sila, naiwan yung ginawa nilang cover, ang isa doon yung lay minister na Australyana. Tsk, problema na ito…Pag labas, edi binalot. Tinignan ko yung mukha, t*** i** parang si… parang artista sa Amerika na maganda. “P***** i**, sayang ito. Ang nagpasok sa isip ko, nirape nila, pinagpilahan nila doon. Nagalit ako kasi nirape? Oo, isa rin ‘yun . Pero napakaganda, dapat ang mayor muna ang mauna. Sayang.”
The cringe-worthy video of the mayor received local and international backlash, adding more fuel to the already-raging bonfire started by his many controversial statements. International publications like The Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC, ABC all gave very interesting perspectives on the issue.
Duterte “apologized” for his statements saying, “”I am sorry in general. I am sorry for the Filipino people. It is my style. It is my mouth. I said that in the heat of anger. But listen to the story behind.” You would think it would affect his poll rankings, but his performance has remained stable.
What other things have broken the internet on your end? Sound off in the comments!