Disinformation respects no political color

There’s no let-up in the avalanche of fake, false, and misleading posts in social media rivalling in viciousness to the mysterious COVID-19.

Since Solicitor General Jose Calida filed the quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN February 10, the DDS trolls intensified and became more active during the Senate hearing on the leading broadcast media’s franchise which is set to expire May 4.

One of the posts that was shared over 6,600 times and could have reached more than 3.3 million social media users was a false quote card attributed to ABS-CBN president and chief executive officer Carlo Katigbak, who testified during the Senate hearing.

A fact check by VERA Files showed that “FB page Noel Landero Sarifa, named after its owner who describes himself as a ‘Dutertard’ or supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte in his About page, posted on Feb. 25 an image of Katigbak juxtaposed with text that read: “‘Netflix and YouTube are foreign owned. Why are they being allowed in the Philippines?’ – Carlo Katigbak ABS-CBN CEO.”

The post claims the statement — enclosed in quotation marks — was made directly by the television network executive.

False. Katigbak did not make the statement being attributed to him.

When many netizens called him out for his false post, Sarifa merely said, “the quote was a meme base (sic) on my (his) understanding.”

Top sharers of the post were to “Jail Noynoy Aquino” and public FB group President Rody Duterte Facebook Arm.

Read VERA Files’ Fact check on this post here:

It looks like the pro-Duterte groups do not have the monopoly ofonline disinformation.

VERA Files fact checked a quote card attributed to Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go saying “‘Eh ‘di bigyan natin ng Civil Service Eligibility ang mga (Then let us give Civil Service Eligibility to) Chinese workers to replace those whining government employees. I will propose that to the President.’”

The quote card, which was beside the senator’s photo used in his column in the broadsheet The Daily Tribune, carried the attribution: “Bong Go, Senator of the Republic of the PHILIPPINES speaking on behalf of Chinese nationals.”

VERA Files’s search yielded no such quote from the senator, who is known as the person closest to President Duterte.

The fake quote card on Go made the rounds three days after his statement was published on the Senate website. News about BI employees grabbed the headlines after the agency, during a Feb. 17 Senate hearing on online gaming operations, was accused of corruption by systematically allowing easy entry of Chinese nationals into the country in exchange for money. The bribery is now known as the pastillas scheme, describing the way money is wrapped in paper like milk candy.

FB page Confeermed’s fabricated quote card already got almost 5,600 FB interactions, and could have reached around 755,000 netizens. The page, plus public FB groups SEN TRILLANES POWER and VP Leni Robredo Angel Warriors International are the post’s top traffic generators.

Check out VERA Files ‘ fact check here.

Netizen Chesca Gabriela commented “Sabi ko na fake ito wala naman ako nakita at nabasa nito sa media. Mga ka warriors pasensiya na wag na tayo gumaya sa mga DDS. Kaya hindi ko ito pinopost eh. Kahit dami ko nakikita nagpopost nito (I sensed it was fake. I have not seen or read this in media. Fellow warriors, have patience, let’s not be like the DDS. That’s why I did not post this even if I saw that many were reposting it.)”

Of course, the DDS still dominate the disinformation landscape. But there’s no excuse to spread lies, regardless of political color.