Davao-based American writes open letter to netizens, priests who celebrated in the middle of the flood & fire tragedies that struck Davao City

An expat living in the Philippines, slammed the netizens and a priest who celebrated the misfortunes happened in Davao City.

Jonathan A. Watson, a writer working in Davao City, expressed his anger towards the people that spreading ‘toxic comments’ on the twin tragedies happened in the said city by writing an open letter addressed to them.

Amid the mourning of the whole Davao City on the death of their fellow Dabawenyos, Watson read several comments from the netizens who hated President Rodrigo Duterte, celebrating and laughing over the victims of NCCC Mall tragedy.

The expat said that he don’t know the victims personally, but he cried after reading the statements from the relatives of the call center agents who got trapped inside the burning building.

In his open letter, he said that while the President was waiting patiently together with the families of the NCCC fire victims, the anti-Duterte’s were only sitting behind their computers while ridiculing and celebrating the tragedy happened in Davao City.

Watson’s post became more interesting after he mentioned a Davao-based priest who made a laugh emoticon over an article about the NCCC Fire.

He didn’t named the priest, but he hinted that the priest taught at Ateneo, but originally living in Manila.

This is his whole open letter:

Dear people outside of Davao,

I understand some of you hate Duterte. If that’s your opinion, okay, that’s fine. But all of us are mourning right now over the flood and fire, and we do not appreciate you laughing at him for crying over the victims. Just because you perceive someone to be a bad politician, doesn’t mean that he/she doesn’t have a sense of human empathy. All of us Dabaweynos mourn in solidarity. Could they be fake tears like you say? Sure, let’s call your perception a possibility, but do you really think it’s the time to do that? I’m not a Leni fan, but I wouldn’t even do that to her.

I don’t even know these victims and I cried reading after the statements of their loved ones. I found out all about it after working from midnight to six this morning helping pack relief goods for the flood evacuees. When I woke up, I was sore, not just from working my arse off to at least help do something, but sore inside from all the toxic comments. While some of us are doing something about the problems that hit our city- even Duterte, who didn’t have to be there- you sit behind your computers and laugh. I know for some of you it’s just concerning him, and not the victims, but we’ve also gotten people laughing at anything tragic that happens to us merely out of hate for a leader out from our land. If you can’t pack goods, put out fires, console evacuees and victim’s families, then I advise you to shut up. It’s Christmas and we don’t need anymore of your negativity.

I was also appalled to see a certain individual make a laugh emoticon over the article- someone who taught at Ateneo here but is originally from Manila. He’s a priest. For the sake of mercy, the greatest Christmas gift given to us by our Lord, I won’t reveal names. But you know who you are. I’ve no problem with you disliking the President, but if you’re going to be a priest, act like it. Please.

That being said, to all of those making fun of the President, the situation, or both, I don’t hate you. I believe you can turn around and stop. And I hope you all have a lovely Christmas. But please, for our sake here, stop with the negativity.

God bless, and Merry Christmas.

The post of Watson received thousands of reactions and shares from the netizens who were also shocked and disturbed on how the anti-Dutertes reacted on the tragedies happened in Davao City.

“Wow!i can fully understand some trolls for hating the president but a priest?!!can’t believe a priest can do such thing!!what happen to catholic priest in the philippines??instead of uniting the people, they are a source of hate and division in our country..unbelievable” Netizen Ivy Garcia said.

“Some people forget that if a tragedy happens to another city, Davao is always there to help!
We will rise again!” Rizza Pioquinto-Sabid remarked

“Hindi ko inilahat but sana nman mga taga manila respetuhin nyo kaming mga taga mindanao wag niyo kaming ilolookdown na parang hindi niyo kami kalahi iba-iba language natin pero pareho tayong mga pilipino. Respect us tulad ng pag respeto namin sainyu pag dumayo kayo dito sa mindanao. Porket taga mindanao presidente natin gaganyanin na ninyu? Why? Duterte is a filipino too hindi porket ang manila ang capital city ng pilipinas dapat taga diyan rin nakatira ang magiging presidente. I’m not saying this sa lahat ng taga manila this is for those who disrespect us for being a “taga mindanao.” Donica Dela Torre Rivas wrote.

The year-end celebration of Davao City was cancelled by two tragedies, first is the typhoon Vinta that ravaged Mindanao and second is the NCCC mall fire which killed 37 people.

On Tuesday President Rodrigo Duterte promised to get the truth about a blaze in his home city.

“I assured them… that the truth will — let the truth come out,” Duterte said. “That is what they are asking for. Just the truth of what happened.”

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