by HANNAH BEATRISSE OLEDAN
THIRD YEAR journalism student Mark Geronimo went viral on Twitter on Thursday, Jul. 29 after using “Twitter Bhie Bhie Gurl” as his petition name for the #RampaSaKorteSuprema movement that aims to counter the implementation of the newly enacted Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
Geronimo is one of the 19 petitioners collectively called “Concerned Online Citizens” who filed the 21st petition against the new law.
In an online interview with The Flame, he explained that he decided to go with “Twitter Bhie Bhie Gurl” after knowing that he could describe himself without being formal. He said he did not want to label himself as an influencer, but rather just a regular Twitter user and a university student.
“[T]his name is for every millennial na makalat, maingay and pabebe sa Twitter, pero at the end of the day, the substance at kung ano yung pinaglalaban ko as citizen of this country [is there].” he added.
The #RampaSaKorteSuprema movement is asking the Supreme Court to abolish the implementation of the anti-terrorism law, as it believes it will be “weaponized” to suppress dissent and undermine human rights.
“Ang laki ng role, duty and ng obligation,” Geronimo said, explaining why he did not want to be labeled as an “influencer” because the word itself is already big for him.
“Nasasabi lang talaga ng mga tao na influencer ako kasi ang tingin nila pag nag bigay ka ng opinion, marami kang followers influencer ka na agad,” he added.
The junior journalism student also clarified that he is not refusing, but he just does not want to be labeled as such, so people would not expect bigger things from him.
“I don’t want to pressure myself and ayoko rin na ma-disappoint yung mga tao sa paligid ko once na may ’di sila naintindihan sa akin,” he told The Flame.
On initiating the movement
Mark Averilla, also known as MacoyDubs, started the main hashtag #RampaSaKorteSuprema followed by the other two — #SueTheTurtle and #COCBlockAntiTerrorLaw — which they all agreed on, according to Geronimo.
“Naisip din namin na mag-come up sa ganitong catchy and very relevant na hashtag to represent everyone’s urge to fight this anti-terror law,” Geronimo said.
He added that as a member of the LGBT community, a student, and a Filipino citizen, it is time to make a move on things that significantly affect the lives of the public.
“Ito ang aking ambag,” he said when asked what made him join the petition.
What’s next after #RampaSaKorteSuprema?
Geronimo anticipated that there would be plenty of acts and movements to come after #RampaSaKorteSuprema.
“Pwede kaming ma-invite sa mga hearings and join the other petitioners. As of now, yun pa lang, pero alam namin na nagsisimula pa lang ang laban na ito,” he said.
Geronimo shared that he is very fortunate to be on a platform, where he has 45,000 followers, which is why he feels the need to use his voice in the best way he can.
“[K]asama ang lahat ng kabataan sa laban na ito. At bilang isang estudyante, tinatanong tayo ng matatanda kung ano ang ating ambag sa lipunan na ito. Kaya naging motivation ko ito. Ever since naman, I am very vocal about issues, lalung lalo na kung ano ang nangyayari sa Pilipinas,” he said.
‘Be proud, stand for what is right’
Geronimo said he is happy to see that there are people who show resistance on issues both physically at rallies and virtually through social media.
“You are a liberal [arts] student,” he said, adding that Filipinos should always be proud and stand for what is right.
“Some may not feel voicing out and using their platforms, and I respect that, pero sana kahit onti, may pake kayo and wag dumating [sa point] na maging apathetic. Everything is political, and we are all connected to it. Laban lang, Artlets. Kayo pa ba?” he said.
As of Saturday, Aug. 1, the Concerned Online Citizens (COC) has not made any announcement yet regarding its next step to have the anti-terror law repealed.F