Robredo may still sue fake news peddlers even after term | Inquirer News

Robredo may still sue fake news peddlers even after term

/ 12:46 AM June 21, 2022
Vice President Leni Robredo. STORY: Robredo may still sue fake news peddlers even after term

Vice President Leni Robredo delivers a statement in the early hours of Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (Photo from a livestream video on her Facebook page)

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo may still pursue cases against people who will continue to peddle misleading information about her and her family even after her term ends, her spokesperson, lawyer Barry Gutierrez, said on Sunday.

Robredo has been one of the most frequent targets of fake news even before the May 2022 national elections, Gutierrez said during the vice president’s weekly AM radio program, “BISErbisyong LENI,” which is co-anchored by broadcaster Ely Saludar on Radio Mindanao Network.

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“It’s being discussed with a group of lawyers – the filing of cases against those people who insist on continuing this and even against the platforms hosting these kinds of material, like the social media platforms that we have now,” Gutierrez said in Filipino.

“If we don’t act on this, Ka Ely, it will continue, right?” he added. “If this continues, there will be those who will continue to deceive, who will continue to malign. They will not stop this kind of discourse that is based on what if false and not what is true. We cannot allow this.”

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Lawyer Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson of Leni Robredo. STORY: Robredo may still sue fake news peddlers even after term

Lawyer Barry Gutierrez, legal adviser and spokesperson of Vice President Leni Robredo. (File photo from his Facebook page)

Gutierrez said fighting against disinformation would benefit not only Robredo but other people who have been the targets of disinformation campaigns.

“We need to start this. This is part of our legal initiatives, as you have mentioned. This is part of our advocacy. And we will have clearer details about this in the coming weeks, after the term of VP Leni,” he said.

A study done by an academe-based fact-checking initiative showed that Robredo has been one of the most frequent targets of disinformation.  During the election season, Robredo repeatedly said that battling — and defeating disinformation — would be key to her possible victory.

Throughout the campaign period, Robredo had to deny several accusations — about her being a part of the communist armed movement, about a destabilization plot should her slate fail to win, and about one of her daughters having a lewd video.

As of now, Gutierrez said that they are still monitoring incidents of disinformation campaigns against Robredo — despite her losing in the 2022 national elections.

Robredo ran for president but lost to eventual now President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos by over 16 million votes.

Gutierrez remained optimistic, however, especially since Robredo had vowed to fight disinformation even after she had stepped down from her post.

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“I can’t understand it,” Gutierrez said. “This s the only election I have seen where, though you have already won, I guess they feel like they did not win. They keep on maligning those did not get the most number of votes in the elections. So we’re already used to it.”

“It’s clear that VP Leni announced that, on July 1, she would start the Angat Buhay NGO,” he added. “Along with this, she also said that we will have movement against disinformation, especially on social media. That’s also one of the things that we’re talking about and planning for in the coming weeks, the coming months.”

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TAGS: Barry Gutierrez, fake news, Leni Robredo
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