Jokes are all good and fun until someone crosses the line. This very incident happened when an Instagram user posted an IG story on his account showing him in a wheelchair mimicking seizures and spasms that most persons with disabilities (PWDs) suffer.
An incensed netizen, who follows the Instagram user, shared the video on Twitter which has now reached 4.3 million views and 29 thousand re-tweets, with netizens replying to the post that they were enraged over the original poster, now identified as Raz Cyrus Elbert’s “ignorant” and “ableist” actions.
The latter term, which is in conjunction to “ableism,” is a form of discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities and/or who are perceived to have disabilities.
The Twitter user wrote on March 30: “This guy I follow posted this video on his Instagram stories, of him mocking people with disabilities, for him and his dumbass friends to laugh. I’m disgusted.”
This guy I follow posted this video on his Instagram stories of him mocking people with disabilities for him and his dumbass friends to laugh.. I’m disgusted pic.twitter.com/xES2xB5INK
— VERSACE HOE (@visionsofdanis) March 29, 2019
Other netizens condemned the guy’s friends who partook in the video and can be heard laughing in the background. One Twitter user even identified the girl on the video, exposing her to be a cabin crew member of a low-cost carrier airline, and has messaged the social media account of said budget-carrier to inform them of their supposed employee’s behavior.
— VERSACE HOE (@visionsofdanis) March 31, 2019
One netizen shared her sister’s condition and was also upset by the video. “This is my sister, Trinity. She has LGS which is a deteriorating and terminal form of epilepsy (seizure disorder). She also is nonverbal and has frequent muscle spasms. Also, I’ll beat the fuck out of this guy since he thinks he’s so fucking funny.”
This is my sister, Trinity. She has LGS which is a deteriorative and terminal form of epilepsy (seizure disorder). She also is nonverbal and has frequent muscle spasms. Also, I’ll beat the fuck out of this guy since he thinks he’s so fucking funny. pic.twitter.com/1l3qlD4IMy
— Hannah Banana (@hannah_bbanana_) March 29, 2019
It is against the law to deride and mock differently-abled people. Section 39 of Republic Act 9442 defines “public ridicule” as “any act that makes fun or a mockery of, or contemptuously imitates PWDs because of their impairments, whether in writing, in words, or in action, such that it causes them embarrassment and lessens their self-worth.”
This law adheres to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons. It has now been amended into Republic Act 7277, where additional privileges and prohibitions are stated to uphold the dignity of PWDs.
Any person who infringes on the law will be fined. First-time violators will pay not less than P50,000 but not exceeding P100,000 either. They may also be imprisoned not less than six months but no more than two years, or both, at the discretion of the court.
For any following violations, the fine will be doubled and imprisonment is said to be not less than two years but not more than six years, or both, based on the court’s decision.
It may be remembered that former Palace Communications assistant secretary Mocha Uson and blogger Drew Olivar released a now-deleted video that made fun of sign language.
Back in 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte who was only a mayor at that time, was described having violated Republic Act 9422. Speaking to an audience in Kalibo, Aklan, then mayor of Davao City mimicked the half-paralyzed movement of a stroke victim, according to ABS-CBN News.
“Iyong isa doon, classmate ko pa. Eh na-stroke, paganoon-ganoon… Gusto ko sabihin, ‘Pakamatay ka na lang’,” he reportedly said.
“This has blown out of proportion and even though I’m glad it did so people can learn their lesson, please stop sending death threats to these people, regardless of what they did, everyone makes mistakes. I’m pretty sure they learnt their lesson by now,” added the Twitter user to clarify that his stance was not to spread mindless hate on Elbert.
This has blown out of proportion and even though I’m glad it did so people can learn their lesson, please stop sending death threats to these people, regardless of what they did, everyone makes mistakes. I’m pretty sure they learnt their lesson by now.
— VERSACE HOE (@visionsofdanis) March 31, 2019
Elbert has yet to release a statement and instead has now deleted or deactivated all of his social media accounts after the incident.
TAGS: differently abled people, IG user mocks PWDs, Magna Carta For Disabled Persons, persons with disabilities, PWDs, Raz Cyrus Elbert, Republic Act 7277, Republic Act 9442, United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Posted last January 23, Perry Punla’s Facebook account showed pictures of a man on a priority lane inside a grocery store; and also showing the dialogue of the cashier and the customer.
“Cashier: Sir Priority lane po ito for PWDs, seniors, at buntis.
Customer: Pulis ako, basta kapag pulis, priority yan.
Wala ng nagawa yung cashier. Hindi rin makapagreklamo ang mga buntis at seniors sa pila.”
The post has already 151 comment and 9.3k shares. But most of the reactions that it received were negative comments. One comment was saying, “Sa mga nag sasabi ng pwedeng gawa gawa ang kwento. Andoon na tayo…maari nga naman Pero naisip nyo rin ba asa lane sya na di para sa kanya? Doon palang wala ng disiplina Na dapat sila nangunguna kasi tagapag patupad sila ng batas.”
And most of the comments are asking that the incident be reported to PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde for using his abuse in authority.
Under Republic Act No. 9257, known as Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003, Sec. 4 provides for the privilege of Senior Citizens stating about the “provision of express lanes for senior citizen in all commercial and government establishment; in the absence thereof, priority shall be given to them.” This priority is also given to Persons with Disabilities (PWD’s) under Republic Act no. 7277, known as the Magna Carta For Disabled Persons.
As evidence to the privilege entitlement, the PWD must present the following documents:
(I) An identification card issued by the city or municipal mayor or the barangay captain of the place where the person(s) with disability resides;
(II) The passport of the person(s) with disability concerned; or
(III) Transportation discount fare Identification Card (ID) issued by the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP).
On the laws mentioned above, there are no provisions states that a policeman or any other civilian has the authority to use the priority lane, if they are not senior citizens, pregnant women, or a PWD. In this case, the act of the police officer is not appropriate and should not be tolerated.
But one of the netizens, who happen to know the wife of the policeman concern, posted a comment explaining the side of the police officer.
“Appeal to everyone… The wife had message me airing their side and had asked the Puregold management to help clean their names… Paunawa sa lahat …. Hindi lahat ng disability ay visible… Meron hindi kapansin pansin like mental disorder and the like… May mga doctor po akong nakatrabaho na may mga PWD card din pero kung pag mamasdan ay parang walang kapansanan…. Kahit magtanong po kayo sa mga specialists…. Sana wag po tayo maging mapanghusga…. I called Albayalde attention to shed light and give the spouses chance to explain… Again, hindi lahat ng kapansanan ay visible…”