The so-called surprise burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos' remains on Friday, November 18, sparked street protests and a flood of social media posts.
There's no doubt Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB)—which was approved by a 9-5 Supreme Court vote amid protests of martial law victims and their families—has polarized the nation.
Heated debates were expected in light of the controversial burial. A disturbing trend came to light, however.
"Online criticism is considered par for the course when you're an engaged netizen. But among the social media posts most viciously attacked through the weekend until Monday, November 21, were those of anti-Marcos protesters, mostly women in their early 20s," reports Lara Tan on CNN Philippines.
The report noted: "The comments against the female protesters were lewd, sexually graphic, and life-threatening."
Among the Facebook users who indulged in rape comments was Eric Voltaire de Leon, who wrote this about a woman against the Marcos burial at LNMB: "Ganda nito ahhh (This one is so beautiful). Future pornstar. Sarap putukan sa bibig (It'd be nice to ejaculate inside her mouth). Come to papa, I'll fill your mouth, and your pockets, too. #LOLOLOL."
De Leon, who appeared to have been further fired up by his supporter, replied, "Gang bang with busal para walang ingay at 'di mangagat (She should be gagged while being gang-banged so she wouldn't make noise and couldn't bite)."
It wasn't just these two commenters who engaged in rape diatribes. There were so many others.
The flood of rape comments prompted lawyer John Molo to offer his legal services for free to any of the female protesters who want to sue those who think that rape threats are normal.
In his Facebook post on Tuesday, November 22, Molo revealed that so many other lawyers are offering their services to the women who got attacked with rape threats. Based on his online statement, there are already over 100 volunteers from as far as Agusan, Bacolod, and Laoag to go after online trolls. To quote, "So if you are thinking of sexually harassing a student, better think twice. Because we will be coming for you and we will find you."
Meanwhile, most (if not, all) of the commenters who issued the rape threats seem to have deactivated their Facebook accounts.