Tricia Robredo calls out people who use nutribun and red-tagging for jokes

May 22, 2022 0 comments


In a now deleted account, a netizen shared a screenshot of a comment in the livestream of Jillian Robredo’s graduation rites. The comment is from an account who appeared to impersonate Tricia and commented: “Aiks, gusto mo bang maging nutribun tayo (Aiks, do you want us to be nutribuns)?” Netizens are making fun of nutribun in which they fear that those who criticize the government will become nutribuns or nutribun spread.


Nutribun, red-tagging, and soldier jokes have recently circulated online. A post-election discussion after the late dictator’s son, Bongbong Marcos Jr. won the 2022 presidential election. 


Why are nutribun, red-tagging, and martial law jokes aren't funny?


In September 1972, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. declared Martial law, wherein it resulted in killings, several human rights violations, abuse, and injustices. It is one of the darkest chapters in the Philippines history. However, due to the continuous spread of disinformation in social media, a lot of netizens are being misled with fabricated information and tend to forget the past. 


Nutribun


The controversial 2022 national elections made Marcos Sr.’s legacies resurface online and one of his so-called legacy is the Nurtribun. Supporters of the Marcoses insist that it was the late dictator’s project and that it fed millions of Filipino children during 1970’s. Nutribun was introduced to the Philippines as a "ready-to-eat and full meal" to fight malnutrition. However, contrary to his supporters' belief, Nutribun was a program of the United States Agency for International Development, not the former president's project. It is one of the projects that was credit-grabbed by the Marcoses and their supporters. 


Red-tagging


One of the most controversial and sensitive issues today is red-tagging. Some netizens fear that red-tagging will become worse once presumptive president Marcos Jr.’s seat is secured in the Malacañang. What is red-tagging? It is the practice of blacklisting a person or groups that are critical of the current administration in the government. Groups and persons who are subjected to it are "tagged" as either communists or terrorists. It also resulted in several human rights violations which mostly victimized student activists in the Philippines.


Truly, martial law atrocities are not something to be taken lightly as it killed thousands of Filipinos during that time. Making fun of nutribun and red-tagging somehow reduces the severity of the crime committed by the Marcoses and helps historical revisionism to succeed. Most of all, it is disrespectful and painful to the victims of Martial law who experienced the abuse first-hand. With this in mind, we should be careful in making jokes online–drawing the line between jokes and disrespect.  



━━ Written By Shanna Grace Hebron


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