BAGUIO CITY – Netizens raised an outrage in the social and mainstream media over the alleged discriminatory remarks of Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong against elders where he claimed that they allegedly surpassed their glory days and that they need not to be consulted on whatever matters concerning the affairs of the local government.
The said unsavory remarks was pronounced by the local chief executive during the forum on regional autonomy organized by the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC) that was geared in eliciting the support of aspiring candidates for various elected local positions.
While it is true that the said remarks were meant to empower the youth to speak out and air their respective positions on matters of public welfare, netizens claimed that the mayor should not have displaced the elders whom people owe so much because they were the ones that established the foundation of what they are at present.
Further, the netizens pointed out that the mayor’s statements was not taken out of context but his handlers and troll armies are simply trying to gain the sympathy of the people to be on their side since what is evident is that the said remarks were recklessly issued as if trying to imply something about some candidates seeking elected positions in the upcoming May 9, 2022 synchronized national and local elections.
According to the netizens, it is very difficult to patch up what had been already publicly stated against the elders as the same had already become viral and the inflicted damage is that enormous that could not be cured overnight.
The netizens also questioned the mayor for immediately issuing a public apology to the family of Vice President Leni Robredo for the alleged heckling that was done by a resident against her daughter when they visited the city public market without first verifying the facts but failing to apologize to the elders who were deeply hurt by his reckless remarks that tend to have belittled their contributions to the growth and development of the society.
Instead of apologizing and insinuating that his statements might have been taken out of context, the mayor’s public relations team continued to veer away from the fact that the elders had been sidelined by what he had publicly stated which is now going viral in the various social media platforms.
They claimed that the respect for elders is an inherent Filipino virtue that had been passed on to the people by their ancestors that is why they deserve to be accorded the similar treatment by the youth even if they have their own positions in various issues confronting the society but what is important is that the younger ones still continue to defer to the wisdom and knowledge of the older ones when confronted with difficult situations that they encounter en route to success.
Most of the netizens stipulated that the said reckless remarks deserve a second look and it is also worth apologizing because the same is a grave insult to the older ones who taught us to give due respect to the older ones because they were able to achieve success without suffering from tremendous difficulties that is why their experience have taught them how to survive and become stronger decision-makers in the future.
With regard to the issue the camp of the Mayor stated in their social media page that mayor’s statements was taken out of context, “It is really disappointing how some people can go as low as splicing this video and intentionally taking Mayor Benjie’s words out of context merely for black propaganda.”
The question during the forum.
“The governance landscape in the region has significantly changed over the past years, along with the changes that occurred on the national and global scale. What innovation should be done to ensure that the drive for regional autonomy is not just government-led but also citizen-initiated?”
Part of the response of the mayor as posted in their social media page.
“Nakakalungkot lang sa atin dito sa Cordillera na we always refer to elders. We always refer to elders but it’s already past their lifetime. Tama na yun, tama na yun. Tututkan na natin yung mga kabataan natin ngayon. Sila na ngayon ang i-educate natin. Because at the end of the day, hindi sila yung others. Kasi nangyayari everytime we talk about development, we talk about planning, sila lagi yung nasa others. Tama na yan. They are critical and they are an integral part now of development and growth.”