NDF Bicol: Military resorting to fake news to desperately build image
LEGAZPI CITY — The military is so desperate to build its image that it has to resort to spreading fake news, disinformation and manipulate photo releases to the media, the spokesperson of the National Democratic Front (NDF) in Bicol said on Saturday.
Ma. Roja Banua, NDF Bicol spokesperson, said that “spreading fake news and photos would not improve their (military) image but it would further tarnish it.”
Banua was reacting to the issue of a manipulated photo attached to a press release by the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Battalion that earned criticisms from netizens since it was used by the media on Thursday.
The photo, showing the surrender of former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in a ceremony in Masbate City on Thursday, gained attention on social media when netizens pointed out that it was “manipulated” or “photoshopped” to add the image of people standing in line before a table full of firearms.
Banua said the presentation of the former rebels were “recycled” saying the story and the firearms surrendered were for several times have been presented to the media.
“In desperation they (military) have to engage in this kind of gimmickry and propaganda by fooling the people,” Banua said.
In line with the 51st Anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the military and police machinery launched on Thursday an Indignation Rally against the NPA in Bicol and the event in Masbate was meant to be another highlight in the government’s campaign against communist insurgency.
Banua said that aside from the government-sponsored rallies, it has issued press and photo releases to the media about the success of the government campaign against insurgency.
The NDF is committed to oppose President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 70, institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach in attaining peace and the creation of a national and regional task force to end local communist armed conflict, she said.
“The movement is steadfast to protect the freedom of the press and the people’s right to information,” Banua said.
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