An old clip of presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr claiming that he has an army of trolls made musician Jim Paredes on Tuesday and May 17 conclude that it was true.
The video was from the 2016 elections when Marcos ran for Vice President. He was defeated by the now outgoing VP Leni Robredo, who protested thrice.
“…Wala tayong makuha sa channel 7, wala tayong makuha sa Inquirer, wala tayong makuha sa PhilStar, binabanat-banatan kami ng Rappler.
“Eh sabi ko, the only option that we have is social media. Kaya doon kami nag-concentrate. Kaya nag-hire ako ng libu-libong troll army. Ipapakilala ko sa inyo ang aking troll army. Can you please show yourselves? Emerald, France, Gerald. Tatlo ang troll army natin, tatlo,” he said in a rally.
Although it appears to be a joke, Paredes then said on Twitter, “Umamin din. Good luck Philippines.”
Supporters of Marcos have peddled disinformation across various social media platforms. They “explained” how the Marcoses became wealthy and that the Philippines was a great country during Ferdinand Marcos Sr’s 20-year dictatorship.
There was even a video blaming Corazon Aquino as the reason for the country’s $50 billion debt.
But during the recently-held elections, Marcos, who is gunning to be the 17th President, denied that he commandeers a troll army.
In an interview with CNN Philippines, he insisted, “Yung sinasabi nilang trolls thousands of…Hanapan mo ako ng isa. Just one, find me a troll that’s working for us. They don’t exist!”
Marcos added, “You show me the place where the hundreds of trolls sitting in front of a computer spreading fake news. It doesn’t exist. Malakas ang loob ko kasi alam kong hindi nangyayari yun eh.”
But the social media platform Twitter earlier suspended more than 300 accounts linked to Marcos.
“We remain vigilant about identifying and eliminating suspected information campaigns targeting election conversations,” a Twitter spokesperson stated.
Marcos is set to become the Philippine President on June 30, with his running-mate Sara Duterte-Carpio as Robredo’s successor.