A Facebook user has deleted his public apology and changed his profile picture and name after receiving backlash for red-tagging a Filipino novelist on Tuesday.
Jefferson Lodia Badong made a public post where he apologized for accusing acclaimed writer Lualhati Bautista of being a part of the New People’s Army (NPA) in a since-deleted Facebook comment.
“Kilala mo si Lualhati Bautista? NPA ‘yon oo. Maging siya sinulat niya sa aklat niya. ‘Di lang google source ko. Natuto ako magbasa ng aklat bago kayo matutong magfacebook. Wag mo ‘kong turuan ng facts,” Badong said.
© Jefferson Lodia Badong’s Facebook Page
Badong retracted his accusation in his apology, stating that he has no substantial proof to link Bautista with the NPA.
“Sa lahat pong mga tao na nasaktan ko sa aking komento kung saan naidawit ko ang pangalan ni Ma’am Lualhati Bautista, ako po ay humihingi ng patawad na naging madali para sa akin ilagay sa alanganin ang pangalan na nakilala natin sa larangan ng panunulat at pelikula,” Badong said in the post.
He would end his Facebook post stating that he understands those who are airing their disdain over his original comment.
“Sa lahat po ng mga nagbigay ng kanilang sentimyento naiintindihan ko po kayo at karapatan niyo iyan. Maraming salamat po,” Badong said.
The apology was deleted minutes after it was posted, with netizens rebuking Badong’s red-tagging and coming to Bautista’s defense in the comments section.
He also changed his profile name to Juliet Echo Tango and replaced all photographs of himself with black squares. His account has since been set to private, with Facebook users no longer able to view his former posts or send him messages.
Badong made his apology in response to Bautista posting a screenshot of his comment. The post went viral on Facebook, with netizens siding with the novelist.
“Trolls! Naglipana ang trolls, kasing demonyo ng Covid (coronavirus disease 2019)! Ang lakas talaga ng dating ko sa mga trolls,” she said in the screenshot’s caption.
Bautista then made a second post where she threatened Badong with a cyber libel case.
“Jefferson Lodia Badong, I have already taken a screenshot of your picture and your profile so i will have something to show just in case you suddenly deactivate your account. Because I had already talked to my lawyer and he said it is possible to file [a] cyber libel case against you if I want to go that far,” she added in her second post.
Minutes after the post gained traction, the veteran writer then posted a screenshot of Badong’s private message to her, who came to personally apologize for his statement. She also shared his public apology.
“Ok na. Huwag n’yo nang sabihan ng masama. All is well that ends well ‘ika nga,” Bautista urged.
When asked to comment on the incident, Bautista told PressOne.PH that she no longer wants to remark on the incident. She said that she no longer plans on filing a cyber libel case against Badong now that he has apologized.
“Naku, hindi na. Humingi na nga ng paumahin yung tao,” she said.
Bautista would then make one last post where she commented on Badong deleting his apology and changing his profile name.
“Hindi na siguro kinaya ang bashing na inaabot niya, tinalo pa ang Ondoy sa lupit tsk tsk. Salamat sa inyong lahat. Napatunayan ko na mas mabait ako sen’yo,” Bautista quipped. Carlito P. Topacio