All political groups must 'commit to a troll disarmament' -- Villanueva | Inquirer News
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All political groups must ‘commit to a troll disarmament’ — Villanueva

/ 07:53 PM July 12, 2021
“All political groups should commit to a troll disarmament,” Senator Joel Villanueva said in a statement issued Monday.

Sen. Joel Villanueva. Screen grab / Senate PRIB file photo

MANILA, Philippines — “I believe all political groups should commit to a troll disarmament,” so says Senator Joel Villanueva, who was among the 12 senators who sought for an investigation into the alleged state-funded “troll farms.”

In a statement on Monday, Villanueva described “troll farms” as “weapons of mass distraction.”

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“Organized trolls are weapons of mass distraction. The seeds of falsehood they plant ripen into hate ready to be harvested by those who are harmed by the truth,” he said.

“When they peddle anti-vaccine information, the repercussions are literally deadly,” he added.

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Further, the senator underscored the importance of exchanges “anchored on facts.”

“Democracy can only flourish under the free and frank exchange of ideas, that may clash as they often should, but always must be anchored on facts,” he said.

Villanueva and 11 other senators filed a resolution asking the appropriate Senate committee to conduct an inquiry into allegations that public funds are being used to operate “troll farms.”

“Filipinos should know why [the] government spends public funds on troll farm operators disguised as ‘public relations practitioners’ and ‘social media consultants’ who sow fake news rather than on COVID-19 assistance, health care, food security, jobs protection, education, among others,” the resolution read.

This comes after Senator Panfilo Lacson revealed that an undersecretary has allegedly set up at least two troll farms throughout the country to discredit critics of the administration and potential opponents in 2022.

JPV

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