Pro-government multisectoral group launched
What role would Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson and blogger RJ Nieto play in a group that promises to make social media a safer place?
Ask President Rodrigo Duterte’s eldest daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, and her newly launched progovernment multisectoral group, Tapang at Malasakit Alliance for the Philippines, which counts among its members Uson and Nieto, both of whom have repeatedly been called out for spreading false information through their respective social media pages.
But Public Works Undersecretary Karen Jimeno, the group’s spokesperson, maintained that allowing healthy discussions on social media on the various issues confronting the country would be one of the group’s goals.
“The good thing about this alliance, because there are bloggers accused of spreading fake news or maybe inappropriate behavior on social media, that’s something we will also seek [to address]. We’ll talk to them to make social media a safer place,” Jimeno said.
She pointed out that “extreme political partisanship is destructive to communal conversation that is part of politics.”
“We can exchange views, different ideas. But mudslinging, attacking or threatening [those who have a different view from us], that does not add anything [to the conversation],” Jimeno said.
“We will really try as an alliance to talk to our members not to be like that. And I hope that the people not part of the alliance can also adopt the same behavior,” she added.
Launched at a posh ballroom in Bonifacio Global City, the event was attended by government officials and key administration allies, such as presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. Chair Andrea Domingo, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos.
Call to the public
Duterte-Carpio pointed out that the group was not a response to the opposition’s #TindigPilipinas, but rather a call to the public to “unite and work together for our country.”
In fact, she added that members of #TindigPilipinas, whom she earlier called “power hungry,” are “welcome to be a part of the alliance.”
Despite her recent attacks on her father’s critics, Duterte-Carpio maintained that she “believes in dissent because it is a facet of democracy.”
“However, it is a different matter altogether if you lie just to oppose. If you paint a sad and hopeless Philippines [abroad], if it’s the [country’s] reputation that is being destroyed, that’s already wrong,” she said.
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