Evangelize, condemn brutal drug war through social media—Caloocan bishop

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Caloocan Bishop Virgilio David speaks during the 6th Catholic Social Media Summit last Nov. 18.

SOCIAL media should be used as a tool to evangelize and enlighten Filipinos on their wrongdoings, such approval of extrajudicial killings in the Duterte administration’s war against illegal drugs.

Speaking on the theme “Inspire: Dispelling the Darkness in Social Media,” Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David encouraged the attendees of the 6th Catholic Social Media Summit to utilize social media in promoting the culture of truth and empathy.

“God works also through the social media and it is indeed the forum of truth and empathy,” David said during his inspirational talk at Siena College of Quezon City last Nov. 18.

David said President Rodrigo Duterte’s “sound bites,” which try to defend and validate the drug war, must be countered by Filipinos through social media.

“[T]hese sound bites […] are [now] taken as gospel truths by people. If we just listen to them and not react to them, these will become gospel truths because the people who say them are in authority. The sound bites are quickly accepted if they are unquestioned,” David said.

David cited the “Lord Heal Our Land Sunday” Mass and march last Nov. 5 as a proof that social media could be used to promote the value of life.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) used social media as their platform in urging Filipinos to join the national healing march.

Ang panawagan namin ‘stop the killings, start the healing’ then you’ll find [people] walking with you. Ganiyan katindi ang epekto ng social media. [W]hen you’re able to move their consciences, they will come out of their homes and they will walk with you,” he said.

Ang problema ay mas matatapang at mas malalakas ang loob ng mga nasa kabuktutan, nu’ng mga nasa katiwalian, at mga mamamatay-tao. We should not allow that,” David added.

Battling with the trolls
Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, director of the CBCP Media Office, said people behind trolling were using social media  for black propaganda.

“Naging propaganda machine rin [ang social media]. Ito ‘yung nakakatakot. ‘Yung mga trolls […] ay iisa lamang ang intensyon dati. Away lang [dati], ngayon, may agenda. The agenda is itatawid kung ano ang kanilang, mostly, political agenda,” he said.

Family life advocate Michelle Alignay advised social media users to ignore the trolls who post and share “fake news.”

The Catholic Social Media Awards took place after the summit. Santisimo Rosario Parish was nominated for the Best Parish Facebook Page award, while the Young Thomasian Professionals-Lay Dominicans was nominated for the category Best Catholic Organization Website.

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