At the onset of the national crisis caused by the exposure of President Estrada's alledged extortion racket on October, 2000, the eLagda (literally "e-signature") initiative was launched by a certain Vicente "Enteng" Romano consisting of discussion groups in a mailing list and messageboard format and a pitch to concerned Filipinos to accumulate a 1 million e-signature petition for President Estrada to resign.

As of this writing (2-3 weeks after eLagda's launch), the sign-up count was still to breach the 100,000 mark. The more interesting outcome of all this, however, is the insight one could glean from the nature and quality of the discussions among the different members.

A few participants in the discussion had the proper attitude to this repeat "People Power" phenomenon:

"[Original Message]
From: alvin dy alvin.dy@w...
Date: 11/5/00 8:00:07 PM
Subject: Re: [eLAGDA-forum] We are the audience, trapos the actors.

Hey Art. That's the problem. What we need is a more educated public, not just the voters, but the youth. If we continue to subscribe to what our flawed culture dictates us to do, the less chance we have of ever getting over voting for trapos and all... I was just wondering who here voted for Erap.

Art Domingo wrote: What you state may be possible. That is why the fight here is not only to oust Erap but a fight to stop graft and corruption in the government. To get rid of people who bleed the country dry. They are all in a conspiracy to fool the people. "

My contribution to the discussions focused mainly on attempting to put into perspective the vicious attacks made on a handful of participants who provided counter-insights to the general euphoric and sometimes militant sentiment of the group.

Although good rebuttals were posted, the exchange of opinion along these discrussion threads was dominated by shallow and crude remarks. However, no generalisations can be made as to how much of middle-class opinion they accounted for. The fact remains that these people had access to the Internet (which is a luxury for the average Filipino) which speaks of the supposed educational level of Filipino middle class.

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People Power II (back)

Visit the eLagda Discussion Board
The discussion forum in messageboard format.

Sign-up with the eLagda Forum on e-Groups
The discussion forum in mailing list format.

See some notable samples
of Filipino debate at its finest from the eLagda Forum!

Click here for your good deed for the day!