Duterte dispels speculations on Cambridge Analytica’s services

Published April 13, 2018, 1:50 PM

by iManila Developer

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has dispelled speculations that he used the services of Cambridge Analytica to supposedly boost his presidential campaign in 2016.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his arrival speech at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City on April 13, 2018, announces that his visit to China has yielded an estimated investment value of around $9.5-billion which could generate some 10,000 jobs for Filipinos. JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The President insisted that he ran a “simple” campaign in the last national elections without the British data analytics firm, which has been accused of improperly harvesting personal data from millions of Facebook users.

“Wala man akong alam. Hindi ko man kilala ‘yan. Honestly, hindi ako bilib diyan sa survey-survey (I don’t know anything about that. I don’t even know them. Honestly, I don’t believe in surveys),” Duterte said during a press conference after arriving in Davao City from his four-day journey to Hong Kong and Hainan, China.

“Wala akong Cambridge-Cambridge, Oxford, basta ‘yung akin, kampanya, simple lang (I don’t have any Cambridge or even Oxford. My campaign was simple,” he said.

Duterte recalled that during a Luneta political rally two years ago, he told the crowd to simple choose between heaven with the priests or hell with him.

“Sabi ko, kayong lahat na naniwala sa pari, naniniwala sa Diyos, at ayaw ninyo ng patayan sa mga droga, gusto niyong buhayin niyo ‘yang mga p***** i**** ‘yan, diyan kayo (I said, those who believe the priests, God, and oppose the drug killings, you want to keep those sons of b*tches alive, go with them),” he said.

“O, tapos, sabi ko, “gustong magpunta ng impyerno, patayin na natin ‘yang durugista, dito kayo.” O, see what happened. Ba’t ako Cambridge-Cambridge ka pa diyan (Then I said, ‘Those who want to go to hell, we will kill the drug addicts, stay with him. See what happened. Why would I tap Cambridge for?),” he added.

Malacañang earlier said President Duterte won the 2016 elections fair and square, denying allegations his campaign team tapped the data analytic firm to boost his chances of victory.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque issued the clarification after Alexander Nix, the suspended boss of Cambridge Analytica, reportedly met with some members of the Duterte’s campaign team back in 2015.

The London-based research firm is in the center of a global firestorm amid accusations it might have harvested personal data about Facebook users and might have influenced elections in some countries. Filipino Facebook users were reportedly affected by the data scandal.

Roque said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the former treasurer of Duterte’s campaign, declared “he did not pay anything to Cambridge Analytica nor did he transact with them.”

“We should respect the President’s landslide victory, which was a result of the trust and confidence of the Filipino people, and not undermine it with unsubstantiated allegations,” he said.