The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo believes the progression of people’s campaign will “turn the tide” against the proliferation of fake news and disinformation in the run-up to the May 2022 polls.
Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez said the concerted efforts of the people would lead to intensifying their fight against perpetuators of malicious attacks against the Vice President on social media.
He was reacting to the false reports that alleged Robredo was preparing to cheat in the coming May polls via collecting voter’s information through her Bayanihan E-Konsulta free medical teleconsultation program, “hacking” the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) servers, meeting with officials of tech company Meta, which runs Facebook, and vote-buying.
Trolls have also spread lies about her on social media. They spliced videos of her statements and interviews to make her look intellectually inferior and they claimed that the aid she brought to victims of typhoons were actually from her rival, former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
These false reports, according to Gutierrez, only confirmed how Robredo remains the top target of fake news and disinformation since she assumed office in 2016.
“But these malicious attacks have only strengthened her resolve to keep fighting for the truth and for the Filipino,” he said in a statement.
Acknowledging the growing support for Robredo, her spokesman thanked those who are standing up to the “infrastructure of lies that has been constructed by her opponents on social media.”
“More Filipinos are now calling out fake news, fighting disinformation, and standing up for the truth, and we are confident this will slowly but surely turn the tide,” he said.
Robredo, a presidential aspirant, has admitted in past media interviews that disinformation and fake news remain the biggest challenge to her presidential campaign.
She said the negative issues that are being thrown at her stemmed from misinformation, as facts and details about her statements have been twisted to criticize her or put her in bad light.
Appearing at CNN Philippines’ presidential debate on Sunday, Robredo also pointed to this was among her reasons why she broke her promise not to run for president.
“Pero ‘yung 2016 until 2021, nakita natin kung papano niyurakan ng fake news, ng disinformation ang propaganda ‘yung mga paniniwala, mga mindsets ng napakaraming Pilipino (But from 2016 until 2021, we saw how fake news, disinformation and propaganda wrecked the beliefs and mindsets of so many Filipinos),” she said.
“At dahil disinformation propaganda ‘yung namayani, talagang ‘yung threat na ‘yung pagbabalik ng klase ng politika na puno ng korupsyon, ‘yung klase ng politika na nagdala sa atin ng (And because disinformation propaganda prevailed, there is really a threat of the return of the kind of politics full of corruption, the kind of politics that brought us) plunder in the past,” she added.