I have been fighting trolls in Facebook. They are faceless. But this time this person wrote me revealing his name. But I want him to remain anonymous.
“Dear Father,” he began. “How I wish I could see you and personally share with you my anguish, but I cannot. I am working here in the Middle East and my family awaits monthly my salary. I just wish to share with you my anguish.
“Though I am working here as an electronic technician, my job is really that of a troll. I was recruited two years ago, with a promise to work as a salesman. But when I arrived, I was informed that I have to manufacture fake news and be online to support the entries of my fellow trolls who are situated in many parts of the world.”
“This is to say that the followers of Duterte are not just in the Philippines but all over the world. I got to know that my real boss was Mocha Uson. Good thing that she is now out of the government. I was receiving 80 thousand pesos a month just inventing fake news, to attack those who had been identified as critics of the Duterte government; I write comments on the entries of my fellow trolls.”
“I justified what I am doing by thinking of my wife and children who need my support. But my conscience bothers me because I know that this money comes from the taxes of our country. I am really doing nothing of value writing these things.”
“Lately, my group has been employed by the Marcoses and our only job was to praise constantly Imee and Bong Bong Marcos, attacking their opponents especially the vice president. My father who was an activist during the Marcos regime told me about the many horrible things that happened to the country and to him ━ he was imprisoned.”
“I really find myself stupid and exploited at this moment of my life, and I am ashamed of the money that I am sending to my family.”
“What shall I do Father? Shall I continue to do this job? I am afraid that my family would go hungry.” ━ Manny
Thank you for writing me. I still remember you because you wrote me a threatening letter when I criticized Mocha Uson. But I know that behind every troll is a human being who cannot live telling lies. That your conscience is bothering you is already an act of grace; of God entering into your inner-most self to remind you that life is not all about money.
Truth sets us free and the moment we live telling and inventing stories to destroy others and change history, as Duterte and the Marcoses want to do, you will not be in peace.
Thank God that your conscience is still functioning. You are actually on your way to change. Do not be afraid to lose that job as a troll. That is actually a way of stealing money from the people. You are not doing anything productive and have become instrument of the prince of lies who is the devil himself.
Resigning that job and looking for something noble and good should be the best decision you will do. Inculcate in yourself a love for your country, for its history and remember the courage of your forefathers.
Your father was an activist. Imitate him. It is good to sleep at night when you know you have sacrificed something of yourself for others, your country and God. Money has no value if it means doing away with these virtues. Believe me if you leave that job, God will surely take care of you. You have talents for computer and design. You can find a better work that will give you peace of mind and heart. This is what matters.
━ Fr. Tim Melliza