Robredo says volunteers’ confusion about her personality proves black propaganda
MANILA, Philippines — It appears that volunteers who are not necessarily fans of Vice President Leni Robredo were in for a shock when they got the chance to work with her.
On the sidelines of a Vaccine Express program in San Fernando, Pampanga, Robredo said that it has become common for people and volunteers to tell her that she is mild-mannered and kind — in great contrast to what they expected due to some social media posts.
But if there’s another side to it, the Vice President said that the volunteers’ surprise also attest to how strong the propaganda against her is.
“Kasi halimbawa, iyong mga involved dito sa sa Vaccine Express na mga ano ito, mga volunteers, every time nakaka-kuwentuhan ko sila, very common iyong kuwento na, ‘mabait ka naman pala. So mabait ka naman pala. Hindi ka naman pala iyong pine-perceive namin before. Kasi iyong mga nababasa namin noon, sa Facebook, iba,’” Robredo told reporters on Friday.
(For example, those involved in this Vaccine express, the volunteers, every time I get to chat with them, the common response was that “you are kind, unlike what we have perceived before. Because based on what we have read on Facebook, you are different.”)
“So, iyon, ano iyon, pruweba na iyong propaganda talaga umiral. Hindi siya masyadong pantay, iyong opportunities, parang na-tilt in favor of those na mayroon means. Mayroong means to maintain itong mga social media armies,” she added.
(So that proves, that there is a propaganda against me. It is not fair, because the opportunities are always tilted in favor of those who have the means to maintain these social media armies.)
The Vice President was being asked by the media about her chances for the 2022 national elections — and the fear of her supporters that she would back out from the presidential race if her survey numbers do not improve.
While Robredo said that surveys are not the only consideration she is looking at before deciding if she will run for president, although she blamed her detractors’ propaganda for her low rankings.
“Sa akin kasi iyong survey isa lang iyon sa mga pamantayan. Kung naalala niyo, iyong laban ko noong 2016, ano ako noon, number six of six, eh. So sa akin, hindi lang naman sa survey iyong tinitingnan. Ang isang tinitingnan natin, makakabuo ba tayo ng as broad na coalition as possible,” Robredo said.
(For me the surveys are just one yardstick. If you remember in 2016, when I ran for vice president, I was the sixth out of six candidates. So for me, it’s not only the survey that we are looking at. What I am considering is the possibility of building the broadest coalition as possible.)
“Alam natin na iyong social media nag-play siya ng napakalaking role in the past six years […] iba kasi iyong social media sa traditional media. Kasi iyong traditional media, iyong accountability ng mga nagsusulat, mataas […] Sa social media, marami iyong mga anonymous accounts. Alam naman natin marami iyong mga troll armies,” she added.
(We know thatsocial media played a huge role in the past six years, as social media is very different from traditional media. Because in traditional media, there is high accountability for the writers. In social media, there are a lot of anonymous accounts. We all know that there are troll armies.)
A survey from Pulse Asia last July 13 showed that Robredo was only sixth among possible presidential candidates, behind Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, former senator Bongbong Marcos, Senator Grace Poe, and Senator Manny Pacquiao.
If elections were held on that period, Robredo would have received only six percent of the votes according to Pulse Asia.
Robredo then admitted that it was their shortcoming not to squarely face and address the accusations made on social media. But she maintained that she would not resort to fighting troll armies with troll armies, because that would not make her different from her accusers.
“Kapag tinapatan natin iyan, anong kaibahan natin sa kanila, ‘di ba? Papaano pa tayo magkakaroon ng moral ascendancy na sabihin na mali sila? Ang dapat, tapatan natin iyong kasinungalingan with the truth. So sa amin, kapag may mga nagvo-volunteer na mga supporters, ‘Kami po iyong sasagot online’, parati namin sinasabi na walang false information,” she added.
(If we used troll armies also, how would we differ from them? How can we have the moral ascendancy to tell them that it is wrong? What should be done is to fight lies with the truth. So for us, if people and supporters volunteer to answer for us, we always say it’s okay as long as there is no false information.)
Robredo is one of the candidates believed to be making a serious bid for the 2022 polls, although she has said in the past that she is willing to consider a wide array of options — running for president, for a local post, or retiring from politics — as long as it would benefit the opposition.
Robredo set a self-imposed deadline for her declaration, which would be at the end of September. However, she has not made any announcement, with her raising the possibility of making a decision early into October.
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