House Senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” A. Marcos and Agimat party-list Rep. Bryan Revilla spent the first day of their congressional Lenten break condoling with the family of John Paul “JP” Espiritu Pabalan, a former youth leader of the BBM-Sara campaign, who died March 17 after a bout with chronic illnesses.
Marcos and Revilla visited Pabalan’s wake at Governor’s Drive in Bancal, Carmona, Cavite Thursday and handed over to the youth leader’s parents, Melchor and Mayumi Pabalan a financial aid from President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. and Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.
“Nakikiramay po tayo sa pamilya ni John Paul Pabalan, a 25-year-old leader ng BBM-Sara Campaign sa Cavite, na namayapa kamakailan matapos ang pakikipagbuno sa matagal nang karamdaman,” Speaker Romualdez said in a message to the grieving parents.
“Masakit sa amin ang pagkawala ni JP. Malaki ang naiambag niya para mapag-usapan at matigil ang pinsala na dulot ng bullying at bashing sa social media. Maraming salamat, JP. Saludo kami sa iyo,” Speaker Romualdez added.
Pabalan’s story gained the attention of social media during the last presidential campaign after he was bashed by supporters of rival candidates for supporting Bongbong Marcos.
“Naging BBM supporter po ako noong 2020 Marami po akong inatendan na orientation via Zoom para makapasa as BBM Youth Advocate. Una ko pong ginawang activity noon ay ‘yung Bring Back Marcos,” Pabalan said in a video posted during the last campaign.
“Nag-enjoy po ako sa activity na ‘yon kasi ipinakita ko iyung pagmamahal ko sa aking inidolo, iyung pagsuporta ko kay BBM at ganon din po kay Ms.
Sara Duterte na ‘yong mahirap hindi ka ganoon kaliit,” Pabalan said.
The bashing prompted Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) party to launch the #StopTheHate campaign in the social media as part of initiatives to discourage bullying between supporters of rival presidential candidates.
Pabalan, 25, will be laid to rest today.