Fighting disinformation needs Catholic Church’s participation — Robredo
TALISAY CITY, Cebu — Fighting rampant disinformation amid the upcoming elections would need the help of the dominant Roman Catholic Church in the country, Vice President Leni Robredo stressed on Thursday.
Robredo, during an ambush interview, was asked why she has frequently talked about the church being a big factor in fighting disinformation, to which she responded that the Church, being spread across the country, has the machinery to advocate for making informed choices in May 2022, based on the truth.
“Ang Catholic Church kasi, sila ‘yung may machinery. Sila ‘yung may machinery on the ground na pwede talagang mas concerted ‘yung effort to fight disinformation. Hindi lang machinery pero ‘yung stature ng mga pari [The Catholic Church has the machinery. They have the machinery on the ground that can fight disinformation],” she told reporters on the sidelines of an event in St. Scholastica’s Academy in Talisay City.
Robredo also said that fighting disinformation does not only benefit her but other candidates as well especially those who are being targeted by misleading news or wrong information.
She explained that such a problem does not only involve her — even if some studies pinpoint her as the top victim of disinformation campaigns, and her opponent former senator Bongbong Marcos as the top gainer from misleading posts.
“Pero ‘yung call ko, hindi lang talaga sa Catholic Church pero lahat ng institutions na merong presence on the ground. Kasi hindi lang naman ito problema ko as a candidate, pero problema natin ito lahat. Kasi, if we are not able to successfully fight disinformation, the elections will be based on lies [But my call is for everyone, not only for the Catholic Church. This is not my only problem as a candidate but a problem of everyone. The elections will be based on lies if we don’t do anything to stop disinformation],” Robredo noted.
Robredo is in Talisay province for the Cebu leg of her presidential campaign. During her speech in front of young people and volunteers at St. Scholastica’s Academy, Robredo sought the help of young people, asking them if they still have the energy to fight disinformation.
The Vice President admitted that she is facing an uphill battle with a little over two months left before the May 9, 2022 polls, saying that disinformation is still her biggest problem aside from the COVID-19 protocols which make it hard for her to campaign, given that she prefers face-to-face engagements.
This is not the first time Robredo said that beating disinformation is crucial to her success in the upcoming elections: she said it last January, during a visit to Zamboanga del Sur. Then a day before she kicked off her formal presidential campaign, Robredo repeated her statements, saying that it is the biggest challenge for her.
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