PH citizenry divided by trolls, says Robredo

Published March 4, 2021, 2:01 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo has lamented that hired trolls on social media are pitting Filipinos against each other, and that this has led to a divided nation.

Vice President Leni Robredo

Speaking on “The Mangahas Interviews” on Wednesday, March 3, Robredo said the trolls have caused division among the people, thereby hampering efforts to attain national unity.

“Alam natin na ang dami-daming social media na trolls na obviously binabayaran. Hindi natin alam kung sinong nagbabayad—maraming mga speculations (We know many social media trolls are obviously being paid. We don’t know who is paying them—there are many speculations),” she said in an interview during the GMA News program aired on Facebook.

“Pero dapat sana hindi ito hinayaan, kasi ito iyong nag-divide sa ating lahat (But it should not be allowed, because this is what divides us)… Iyon iyong (That is the) missed opportunity to unite the people,” Robredo added.

She also pointed out how the country has been drawn into conflict between “dilawans,” a term used to call those deemed to oppose the government, and the Duterte Diehard Supporters or DDS.

“Hindi mawawala iyong alitan, pero hindi sa level na masyadong polarized (The infighting won’t go away, but not to level we are so polarized),” Robredo said. “Dapat sana hindi ganoon. Dapat iyong pinag-aawayan iyong issues (It should not be the case. They should fight over issues).”

Asked if she has a troll army herself, Robredo replied with a hearty laugh, noting she cannot afford to hire one.

She has observed that her supporters have started to fight back against the medley of fake news and personal bashing

unleashed against her on social media.

Still, the vice president lamented that it is not right for Filipinos, even her supporters, to attack each other.

“Bakit ba tayo mag-aaway, na whether we like it or not, in the succeeding years, tayo din iyong magkakasama (Why are we fighting when whether we like it or not, in the succeeding years, we’re all together anyway)?”

The vice president has her own communications team but what they do is report on the progress of our advocacies, and not to troll anyone on social media, Robredo explained.

On the other hand, the troll army that apparently favors the administration capitalizes on fake information.

“But this one, (as) you can see, they have a devoted army to troll. The bad thing here is that they use fake news. They capitalize on fake information,” she said in Filipino.

Robredo added that these groups “take advantage” of the nature of social media where one can post and comment anonymously.