August 28, 2016 (2:50 PM)

3 min read


Screengrab from Twitter

Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) President Fr. Joel Tabora received various criticisms on Twitter after his alleged support on Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘War on Drugs,’ resulting to heated exchange of tweets from both Tabora’s critics and defenders.

On Aug. 25, the Presidential Communications Operations Office posted in their official Twitter account a photo quoting the University President. It reads: “If some have said ‘thou shall not kill,’ one must also apply that to the 3 million who are being killed not only individually but in their social lives and their families by this illegal drug trades.”

Retweeting the photo, a netizen with Twitter username Santo Santiago criticized Tabora by tweeting: “Sounds like you’re again justifying the EJKs [Extrajudicial Killings], Fr Tabora! Shame on you! #StopExtrajudicialKillings.”

More criticisms followed when on Aug. 27, the University president described in his tweets Philippine Daily Inquirer’s (PDI) sensationalism as “disservice to society” because of its inaccurate reporting. This was after PDI published an article whose headline was criticized by Tabora.

“Du30 didn’t say, ‘Junkies are not humans.’ He asked, ‘Are drug users human?’ to provoke thought,” he tweeted, referring to PDI’s Aug. 28 front cover.

A number of netizens yet again poured scorn on Tabora’s statement, describing the University president “an embarrassment to the Jesuit community”, a “Duterte worshipper”, and “disgrace to the Ateneo community”, among others.

A netizen even expressed, “I won’t be surprised if he changes the name to Ateneo de Duterte University,” to which Fr. Tabora replied jokingly, “Hahaha. Better than Ateneo de Drogista!”


In a thread started by a netizen with an account name Dean Bocobo, who said that both the university president and Peter Lavina are “in the thrall of politically-induced moral confusion”, Tabora clarified that he opposes drugs and extrajudicial killings.

“The drug problem is real. We must cooperate to address it,” he added in his tweet.

Furthermore, in his recent tweet, Tabora wrote, “No, gov’t acts to restore law and order – with an imperfect police force. EJKs cannot be all attributed to govt.”

While there are those who continue criticizing the University President, some, especially AdDU students, defend Tabora, accusing critics to have put words in his mouth, describing them as “trolls”, “stupid rugrats”, and “self-righteous.”

End the silence of the gagged!

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