Teased by trolls, Chel Diokno sinks his teeth into the taunts and owns it

Coconuts ManilaSeptember 16, 2021

The campaign season hasn’t even started yet, but as hopefuls for the 2022 national elections begin to announce their candidacies, things are predictably beginning to get nasty.

Chel Diokno, who formally announced yesterday, September 15, that he was seeking a seat in the Senate, has been besieged by online trolls — many of whom like to make fun of the human rights lawyer’s teeth.

But instead of crying foul, it seems like the Team Diokno campaign has decided to live up to their own #ChelLang philosophy, whole-heartedly embracing — and co-opting — the dental taunts.

Even political cartoonist Tarantadong Kalbo has released his contribution: a one-panel comic featuring Diokno and the motto “NGIPIN FOR THE WIN!”, along with the hashtags #ChelLang and #TwentyTwentyTooth. Elsewhere on the internet, people have also been marking their posts with punny hashtags like #TheToothWillSetYouFree and #NgipinNgBatas.

It’s a master stroke in dealing with trolls — and real-life bullies, according to our mothers — who will now have to find something new to insult the senatorial candidate with.

In November 2020, if you recall, Colourette Cosmetics CEO Nina Cabrera also pulled off a winning cyber-jujitsu move when she took online bashers’ #boycottCOLOURETTEcosmetics and used it to publicize a donation drive for typhoon Ulysses relief efforts.

By taking over the same weapons used to attack them, Chel Diokno and Nina Cabrera have effectively disarmed their enemies and turned their weaknesses into strengths. If haters truly are going to hate, then might as well use their predictability to your advantage.

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