Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian started the new year on the wrong foot, drawing the ire of netizens after trading barbs with some of his followers on social media and throwing cuss words like “gago” (dumbass) and “ulol” (crazy).
The bitter exchange began when the first-termer commented on a news report using his personal Twitter account @stgatchalian, saying “the nation already lost its soul in the last six years.”
His online comment on the Liberal Party’s New Year message that 2018 might be the “fight for the nation’s soul” did not sit well with some netizens.
Gatchalian said “it’s probably a fight to bring back the nation’s soul.”
Some Twitter users called him “trapo” (traditional politician) and “ingrato” (ingrate), while others brought up his old tweets praising then President Benigno Aquino III and his anticorruption efforts, and branded him as “balimbing” (political turncoat).
Gatchalian, who appeared to have welcomed the new year in Las Vegas, Nevada, replied “Gago!” and “Gago ka!” to netizens who called him “trapo,” and “ulol” to one who described him as “ingrato.”
Twitter user @JerrickGo commented: “Disappointing, Mr. Senator. Has power gone to your head? Or have you always been like this?”
Netizen @mannycatabas asked: “Enjoying yourself in Nevada senator? Seems to me you’ve lost yourself in the merriment of affluence and decadence.”
Most of the netizens expressed disappointment, saying his remarks were unbecoming of a public official, with some even vowing to ditch him in the next elections.
A few, however, gave him the benefit of the doubt.
On her Twitter account, social media activist Gang Badoy Capati wondered if the senator’s account had been hacked.
But Gatchalian confirmed that it was him. “Ako ’yan” (That’s me), he replied.
His remarks were a complete turnaround from the New Year message he posted earlier, urging Filipinos to usher 2018 with “hope, positivity and love.”
Sen. JV Ejercito on Tuesday came to Gatchalian’s defense, advising his colleague to just ignore his bashers online.