Robredo regrets not standing up against fake news, trolls attacking her
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo has admitted that her decision to ignore fake news perpetrated by a propaganda machine against her – believing that it will eventually dissipate – was a mistake.
According to the Vice President, she gave orders to her staff during the early months of her term to resist from arguing with social media trolls that spread false information about her so as not to dignify such wicked scheme.
“‘Yong pagpasok namin ‘yong first months of my term saka siguro ‘yong first two years, parang parati ko sinasabihan ang office na kapag kasinungalingan, ‘wag nating papansinin,” Robredo said in an interview with DZMM on Friday.
“Kasi parang binibigyan mo lang, dini-dignify mo lang, mawawala din ‘yan kasi hindi totoo. Pero parang mali ako doon,” she added.
However, accusations that she was not doing anything – often in the form of memes and social media posts from allies of the Duterte administration – made her change her mind.
Robredo also confessed that it was naive of her to think that being modest about her office’s achievements would look good for her.
“Kasi noong una parang masyado rin kaming naive na inisip na makakatulong kapag modest ka all the way, pero ang problema nauunaahan ka ng propaganda na wala kang ginagawa,” she said.
“Pero (ngayon) sinisiguro namin na nakalagay sa Facebook namin, na may YouTube videos kami kasi isang paraan din ‘yon na naghihikayat ng partners na mag buy-in sa program,” she added.
Robredo, chair of the Liberal Party aligning with the opposition, has been a constant victim of dubious accusations, including one from Duterte’s son, then Davao City Vice Mayor and now Davao Rep. Paolo Duterte.
Paolo accused Robredo and other corporations – some linked to the Office of the Vice President’s anti-poverty program Angat Buhay – were part of a plot to remove his father from the presidency.
Robredo and the senatorial slate she supported in the May 13 polls, Osto Diretso, were likewise accused of facilitating the release of the Ang Totoong Narcolist video series, which tagged Duterte’s relatives and close allies in the Philippine drug trade.
Robredo and Otso Diretso candidates have denied these allegations numerous times.