MANILA - Election watchdog Kontra Daya is “calling out” presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his team for the “disinformation” that is allegedly being used to propel him and his family back to the seat of power.
“Allow me to just explain briefly why disinformation is so massive,” says Prof. Danilo Arao, Convenor of Kontra Daya during the Public Forum on the 2022 Philippine Elections organized by IBON International and Council for People's Development and Governance.
“The Marcoses have prepared for this since 1989- that was the time they made a comeback from their exile in the United States and they slowly inched their way into the so- called people’s hearts by running at the local level initially to reconsolidate the ‘Solid North’, and eventually the brother and sister tandem got in the Senate. The brother ran in the Vice Presidential elections and almost made it, and now the dictator’s son is making a go for the presidency, somewhat confident that the network of disinformation will work on his favor,” he explained.
But he is confident that Marcos won’t benefit from this.
“We hope that the outcome of the May 9 elections will turn the tide to the truth,” Arao said.
Reports show that Marcos Jr. is benefiting from the misinformation campaigns, while his closest rival Vice President Leni Robredo is “reeling” from the negative messages.
The former senator has repeatedly denied spreading fake news.
"Iyong kredibilidad ko ang pagagandahin ko kasi unang-una, wala kayong naririnig na fake news (mula) sa akin. Ang dami sinisi sa amin, pinapalitan namin ang kasaysayan. Tingnan niyo kasi kung saan nangyari iyon. Wala naman kami na sinasabi na ganoon," he said on Saturday.
(I will improve my credibility because first of all, you don't hear any fake news from me. Many have been accusing us of trying to revise history. But look at where those information come from. We're not saying anything like that.)
But experts say otherwise, noting that the Marcos camp is using social media to sanitize history. Journalists and data analysts have reported on false and misleading content across social media platforms to whitewash martial law atrocities.
While Kontra Daya is a non-partisan organization, Arao said they are “comfortable” in calling out the Marcoses.
“We cannot allow that to happen, aside from the fact that tyranny and impunity are the order of the day with regard to allowing the Marcoses return to power,” he said.
What is also “unique” about 2022 elections, Arao added is sectors who used to be non- partisan are now taking a stand.
“Even election watchdogs like the Kontra Daya and even the Catholic Church which used to be a little bit quiet with regard to the elections are now taking a stand against tyranny and impunity, which have become anti- Marcos in character,” he added.