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“Parliament of the social media” emerges

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(BY: ATTY. BATAS MAURICIO) LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS:“… What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God…” (1 Corinthians 2:12, the Holy Bible).

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STREET PROTESTS NOW OUTMODED, PASSE: Philip Lustre Jr., a journalist par excellence who stands shoulder to shoulder, with a mind of his own, among the country’s great writers, re-posted an article he wrote about “the prevalent tendency of local political activists to resort primarily to the so-called parliaments of the street… when protests and street rallies… are getting… outmoded”, in response to my column entitled “Lack of alternative doomed people power”.

With Philip’s permission, I am reprinting here various portions of his article, aptly entitled “It’s parliament of social media, stupid”. Read on:  “(N. B. This essay is mainly a reaction to the prevalent tendency of local political activists to resort primarily to the so-called parliaments of the street. They hardly know other avenues of dissent. I have decided to put this essay on My Notes for posterity. For my new friends, please care to read.)

“Those protest demonstrations and street rallies that cause horrendous traffic jams and loss of precious man hours are getting passé, outmoded, antiquated, or anachronistic. They have become unnecessary aggravations imposed by people, who think they have the divine right to define for the people what should be agreed, asserted, and fought before the arena of public opinion.

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“PARLIAMENT OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA” EMERGES: “The so-called `parliament of the streets’ is no longer attuned to the modern times and, in its stead, the `parliament of the social media,’ has emerged to become the new venue of what could be regarded an ongoing social and political revolution. In the battle for sound bites (or `teledemocracy’ as political theorists aptly call it), the street is a poor arena.

“It is suited for Arab nations, where the information superhighway, or Internet, has yet to take a deeper root. But for modern and emerging democracies, or a restored democracy like the Philippines, the street represents a passing era, or just one of the stages in the dynamic process of strengthening their democratic institutions and processes.

“Nontraditional media, particularly social media, has emerged as the better venue than those streets. Issues are better discussed and debated in major social networking sites. Public resolve is developed on the pages of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedup, among others. Signature campaigns are better pursued in social media than in the streets.

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“MASS ACTIONS NOW SENSELESS”: “Even the first Million March Rally attracted at least 100,000 netizens in the Luneta Park, when the issues were defined and tackled in social media. But the next rallies fared poorly when netizens showed doubts on their authenticity and integrity.

Pressure politics could hardly be pursued by holding frequent protest demonstrations in the major thoroughfares of Metro Manila and other major cities.
“The `parliament of the streets’ hardly serves as a barometer of the people’s pulse.

At best, the ‘parliament of the streets’ is being resorted by groups and people, who have lost touch with political realities, or those with dubious agenda, thinking they could best express their advocacy by shouting on top of their voices, brandishing placards, and scuffling with law enforcers.

“It is senseless for the leaders of those protest demonstrations to call those mass actions, if they could not mobilize at least tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people to express their views on certain nagging issues or press the political leadership to listen to their advocacy. Their effectiveness could only be measured by drawing huge crowds… What we now have is the parliament of the social media, stupid.”

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PLEASE LISTEN: “Tambalang Batas at Somintac”, jointly aired at DZEC, 1062 kHz in Manila, 1080 kHz in Dagupan City, 711 kHz in Naga City, 1260 kHz in Lucena City, 1224 kHz in Davao City, and at www.eaglenews.phMondays to Fridays, at 6 a.m.; at 801 kHz on the AM band (Panay Island), Mondays to Fridays, and at 92.7 Smile FM, San Francisco, Agusan Del Sur, simulcast at 10 a.m.; and at 107.5 Win FM, Roxas, Isabela (Saturday, 5:30 a.m., and Sunday, 7 a.m.).-30-




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