Palace allays Robredo’s concerns on China-based pages
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday allayed Vice President Leni Robredo’s concerns of possible Chinese interference in the country’s domestic affairs, saying Filipinos are smart enough to discern online information.
“I have been a strong adherent for freedom of expression and the free market place of ideas; at ang Pilipino naman po, napakatalino na natin, hindi po lahat ng nababasa sa Facebook ay pinaniniwalaan,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said when sought for comment on the matter.
(I have been a strong adherent for freedom of expression and the free marketplace of ideas. Filipinos are smart. We don’t believe everything that we read on Facebook.)
Robredo has expressed alarm over Facebook pages traced to China possibly influencing the affairs of the Philippines.
“Anong ginagawa ng China sa domestic affairs natin? Ito, kailangan tayo dito matakot. Kasi bakit? Ano ang interes ninyo sa eleksyon?” she said during her weekly radio show.
(What is China doing with our domestic affairs? We need to be scared. Why? What is your interest in our election?)
Facebook has shut down China-based fake accounts and pages which were supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte and the possible 2022 election bid of his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
“Coordinated inauthentic behavior” was observed in the pages that were shut down which according to Facebook’s community standards, refers to the use of multiple accounts to “mislead people.”
In an earlier interview, Roque said supporters of the President whose pages were taken down would probably just migrate to other platforms.
“Prerogative ng Facebook iyan, sila may-ari noong negosyo na iyan, bahala sila. Pupunta na lang sa ibang medium iyong mga sumusuporta sa gobyerno at iyan naman po ang kuwento noong mga supporters ni Presidente Duterte na sa mula’t mula po humahanap ng alternative venue para ipakalat ang impormasyon,” Roque said.
(That is Facebook’s prerogative, they are the owners of that business. Supporters of the government will just go another medium and that’s what supporters of President Duterte have been saying. They are looking for alternative venues to spread information.) [ac]
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