MANILA-- Filipinos are smart enough to discern information online, Malacañang said Monday as it sought to allay Vice President Leni Robredo's concerns that networks from China could influence the 2022 elections.
Filipinos don't easily believe all the information online, President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesperson Harry Roque said as he downplayed concerns that Filipinos could be swayed by propaganda networks.
"Ang mga Pilipino naman po, napakatalino natin. Hindi po lahat ng nababasa sa Facebook ay pinaniniwalaan," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
(Filipinos are smart. We don't believe everything that we read on Facebook.)
Robredo earlier expressed concern that networks from China were trying to get involved in the Philippines' domestic affairs after Facebook took down propaganda networks.
"Anong ginagawa ng China sa domestic affairs natin? Ito, kailangan tayo dito matakot. Kasi bakit? Ano ang interes ninyo sa eleksyon?" the Vice President said.
(Why is China getting involved in our domestic affairs? This should frighten us. Why? What is their interest in our elections?)
"Nakakatakot ito kasi may kinalaman ito sa soberanya natin."
(This is worrisome because it concerns out sovereignty.)
Facebook last week took down several pages due to "coordinated inauthentic behavior." Some of the pages taken down were in support of President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies.