‘Rude’ UPLB Student Receives Death Threats: Colleague Writes ‘He Was Taken Out of Context’

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Stephen Villena, the UPLB student who has been recently under fire for allegedly “being rude” to presidential candidate, Mayor Duterte, during an academic forum in UPLB is now receiving death threats.

A fragmented video surfaced online that showed his exchange with Duterte. The video showed the short Q&A portion of the forum where Villena asked Duterte a question regarding education vs. defense.

Duterte mentioned during the forum that education would be his top priority if elected.

(From the video) When Duterte did not answer Villena directly regarding his question, Villena asked the mayor to answer it directly “para makauwi na kayo” (so you can go home now).

Villena’s statement from the video angered some Duterte supporters who found him “arrogant” and “rude” towards their presidential bet.

Angel Trocio, a colleague of Villena, posted on her Facebook page an update regarding Villena’s condition and well-being. She said that Villena was forced to leave social media because of cyberbullying and death threats. She writes about their brief conversation on the phone. She tells her Facebook friends that Villena was taken out of context during the forum and that the fragmented video which surfaced did not show all the details regarding his exchange with Duterte.

She noted that Duterte wanted to go home because it was already getting late but they requested him to answer a few more questions. Villena’s “para makauwi na kayo” comment was for the Mayor’s request.

She writes:

Just ended my phone call with Stephen Villena. He deactivated his social media accounts because of the (death) threats he and his family have been receiving from anonymous people. He called to tell me that he is fine right now. He also shared to me the real side of the story, as opposed to the biased and fragmented video mainstream media has shown. In fact, UPLB delegates to the said forum can attest to these facts. Hence, in his temporary absence I am compelled to share this information to you.

1. The said forum were attended by UPLB students and Duterte supporters. Unlike Binay’s previous visit, Duterte was able to gather a lot of supporters.
2. We’ve seen in the video that Stephen asked Duterte to directly answer the question so that Duterte could “go home”. This conversation sparked an impression that Duterte was humiliated and Stephen was being arrogant. 
3. However, what truly happened was this. Duterte said he wants to go home but realizing that UPLB students still has more questions to ask, UPLB USC Chairperson Ronald Gem Celestial asked Duterte to entertain more queries. It was granted. So Stephen, who was next in the line at that time, was given the privilege to ask the legitimate question. However, Duterte was running circles in answering the questions. While Duterte was speaking, the organizers of the said forum pleaded to Stephen to tell Duterte to wrap up his answer so that they can finish the forum on time.
4. To help Duterte answer, Stephen reiterated the question and added “gusto ko po ng direct to the point na answer wag na sanang paligoy ligoy, para makauwi na po kayo.”

Now, who is being arrogant and bastos right now? You be the judge.

Villena, the student in question, has already released his statement on his Facebook page.

The Philippines has an anti-cyberbullying law. Cyberbullying can be characterized by “Repeatedly sending offensive, rude and insulting messages” and “Repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm to cause fear on victim’s safety.”

Penalties of Cyberbullying:

  • Php 50,000- Php 100,000
  • Imprisonment of 6 months to 6 years

Source: Congress.gov.ph

After reading both sides, what do you think of this issue? Was Stephen being “rude” to the Mayor or was it taken out of context?