Robredo camp: As misinformation mounts, public must call out ‘fake news’


Posted at Nov 21 2020 10:15 PM

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MANILA — The camp of Vice-President Leni Robredo on Saturday called on the public to report all forms of misinformation, days after officials accused Robredo of free-riding on a C-130 plane during relief operations that turned out to be false. 

Robredo’s spokesman, lawyer Barry Gutierrez, said while their camp has gotten used to being attacked on social media, they do not take so-called “fake news” sitting down.

“ ’Yung ingay, batikos, pambabastos, paninira, hayaan na lang muna natin. Ang exception lang dito kapag fake news. Ang natutunan namin sa 4 na taon nitong nakaraan, na laging tinitira si VP Leni ng kung ano-anong fake news. Kailangan kapag fake news i-call out agad,” Gutierrez said in an interview on Teleradyo. 

(We can ignore the brickbats, but fake news is an exception. We learned this during the past 4 years when VP Leni was many times falsely accused through fake news. It should be called out immediately.) 

Filipinos have the responsibility to report false information to prevent other people from believing it, he said. 

“Kahit gaano pa hindi kapani-paniwala, kapag di mo sinagot agad mayroong naniniwala, mayroong naloloko. Kailangan i-call out agad. Pero aside doon sa pag-issue ng ganoong clarification, correction, ang focus talaga ay trabaho,” he explained. 

(Even if the lies are extreme, people can still be tricked into believing them when you do not call them out. But aside from issuing clarification, correction, our focus is getting our job done.)

Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Wednesday issued apologies to the Vice President after falsely accusing her of riding a C-130 plane to visit a typhoon-battered province. 

Robredo’s camp has called Panelo out for peddling “fake news,” and said the accusations against her were lies. 

This is not the first time that online misinformation targeted the Vice President's relief efforts. 

Mocha Uson, a deputy executive director of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, shared to her 5.6 million Facebook followers in January a blog post saying Robredo gave relief packs with only 5 pieces of "pandesal" and a bottle of water to survivors of the Taal Volcano eruption, an accusation Robredo denied.

Robredo said her office in previous instances prepared several complaints over fake news, but she backed down at the last minute because it was against her advocacy for the decriminalization of libel and cyber libel. 

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