Pacquiao to boost social media presence to fight online trolls

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 20 2022 09:37 PM

MANILA - Supporters and volunteers of presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquiao will start to engage social media trolls soon, to address false information being spread against the retired boxing champion, his camp said.

Team Pacquiao campaign manager Salvador “Buddy” Zamora disclosed this to ABS-CBN News, as he acknowledged the heavy social media trolling on Pacquiao. 

Zamora admitted that the trolling has affected the PROMDI standard bearer's standing in the presidential race.

“We are recruiting real persons who may help to handle the social media,” Zamora said.

“We will be addressing these (social media contents) in the coming months. Such as that come May, we hope to overtake everybody,” he added.

Pacquiao will also become more visible in social media, addressing the people’s queries or post materials that will show his traits that the public has yet to know, Zamora said.

“Just like what he posted (in Facebook) yesterday. He was doing the piano and was singing. We will be doing more of that,” he said.

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Zamora said they would not hire "trolls” but real people who believe in Pacquiao’s advocacy to correct false information or allegations being hurled against him.

He believes that Pacquiao’s popularity rating would be higher, if only those “fake news” against him are immediately and properly addressed.

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Recent presidential race surveys have placed Pacquiao on the third spot, next to former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., and Vice President Leni Robredo.

But a closer look at survey results would indicate that Pacquiao is “statistically tied” with Robredo, Zamora said.

People flood the streets and fill up venues in every activity of Pacquiao, which critics claim are only brought by his dole outs. 

This was disputed by Zamora, citing their initial visit in Batangas and other areas where the senator did not give anything to the people.

Zamora admitted that all of them in the team are actually against Pacquiao’s gift-giving activities, but the senator was persistent, since part of his life and advocacy for years has been to distribute aid.

These activities will stop when campaign formally starts on Feb. 8, he said.

For their kick-off rally on the said date, Team Pacquiao is considering either the Luneta Grandstand or Bulacan to ensure that they will have a big space to accommodate their throngs of supporters, Zamora said.

Aside from meeting various groups via Zoom or social media platforms, regular campaign rallies will be staged provided that COVID-19 cases dipped, he said.

Their camp, according to the officer, will also intensify political advertisements in TV and radio and social media platforms, with Pacquiao, his running mate House Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza, and their senatorial candidates being introduced as team.

But one discipline that they will keep while wooing voters is not to engage in bashing of other candidates or the sitting administration.

“We don’t do bashing. As I’ve told you before we’d rather do the campaign on a high note. It is my Christian belief that let the people decide on our merits rather than bashing. Because bashing is usually done by trolls,” Zamora said.