By Tara Yap
Iloilo City—The student body and other organizations of the University of the Philippines (UP Visayas) are decrying the online harassment they are receiving over a viral video of a satirical cheer dance competition at UPV’s main campus in Miag-ao town, Iloilo province.
A unity statement released by the UP Visayas Student Councils and Organizations slammed the cyber threats coming from President Duterte’s supporters who were reacting to a line from the cheer dance of the Skimmers, an academic organization under the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).
The Skimmers, whose concept for the October 16 competition was a satirical news broadcast, had a segment where they said “Kill the president” while retorted with the urban slang “Charot!” to connote it was a joke.
The campaign with the hashtag #HandsOffSkimmers addresses the barrage of online threats and cyberbullying, especially after Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Executive Director Mocha Uson shared it on her personal page.
“We strongly condemn the blatant acts of doxing and harassment targeting the Skimmers. We will not and will never tolerate any kind of harassment or unjust behavior—whether we are facing a single troll or the whole Duterte administration. We won’t let this go unanswered,” they wrote.
The Skimmers also tackled other issues including the Rice Tarriffication Law, the removal of teaching Filipino, the West Philippine Sea, and the mandatory return of ROTC in their 15-minute performance.
Because of this, they were also attacked by pro-government supporters and accused them of having a link with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed group the New People’s Army (NPA). The unity statement also condemned this continuous red-tagging.
Meanwhile, the UP Visayas community has also drawn support from other Filipino netizens and even left-leaning Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)-Panay.