MANILA - Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Thursday blasted a satire page on Facebook for using his photo for a political meme.
The satire page, Malacañang Events and Catering Services, posted a photo of Panelo taken from a Palace briefing on Wednesday, when he showed the media the supposed "matrix" linking personalities to an "ouster plot" against President Rodrigo Duterte.
Instead of the "matrix", the photo listed down names of the senatorial candidates of the opposition.
In a statement, Panelo denounced the "malicious use" of his image for what he calls black propaganda and political mudslinging.
"It is for this reason that I strongly denounce the malicious use of my image for black propaganda and political mudslinging. This is nothing but false news dished out by the supporters of the political opposition which by its reckoning is headed for a resounding debacle," he said.
He also said the political meme is a sign of "extreme desperation" from supporters of the political opposition.
"Some supporters of the political opposition are showing signs of extreme desperation as D-Day or the Election Day, May 13, approaches," Panelo said.
"While we understand that the post is a political meme, which is the norm in this campaign season, the same however amounts to a defamatory imputation. It is a given fact that there are still netizens who believe in what they see or read on the internet, including images that have been obviously altered, edited or photoshopped," he added.
According to Panelo, the circulation of memes using his photo is a sign that he is effective in his job.
"The attempt at maliciously misleading the voters by circulating on-line the bogus endorsement, shows that this representation has been effective in neutralising the black propaganda spread against PRRD, his family and this Administration, which the purveyors of the false news hope to succeed in impairing the credibility of the presidential spokesperson," he said.
Malacañang on Wednesday accused the Liberal Party and the Magdalo group of "conspiring" to oust Duterte and to boost the candidacy of opposition senatorial slate Otso Diretso.
Some political personalities tagged by Panelo to the supposed conspiracy are Otso Diretso senatorial bets Bam Aquino, Gary Alejano, Florin Hilbay, Mar Roxas, opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, and Edwin Lacierda, who served as spokesman of former president Benigno Aquino III.
Communist leader Jose Maria Sison, Olympian Hidilyn Diaz, and television host Gretchen Ho were also linked to the alleged conspiracy to discredit President Duterte.