MANILA – The Duterte administration has no policy employing social media trolls to attack media giant ABS-CBN, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Monday night said.
The PCOO made this statement after a screenshot of a supposed “DDS Solid” chat group circulated online featuring a conversation between blogger RJ Nieto also known as “Thinking Pinoy” and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Deputy Administrator Mocha Uson.
Based on the conversation, Nieto supposedly responded to a question asking if the media giant would be the next target of troll attacks.
Nieto supposedly replied: “Oo, ABS tayo ngayon, bukas di [si] Leni ulit Target natin (Yes, ABS will be our target today, tomorrow we’ll continue attacking Leni).”
A certain Gon Frix responded by asking Nieto when he would be able to receive his salary for posting comments against the Liberal Party, which uses yellow as its brand color.
“Boss TP, pano po ako bagong join lang makaka sweldo po ba ako? Dami narin po akong na Post laban sa mga Dilaw, gusto ko sana mag recruit kaya lang Di ko pa po alam kung magkano talaga Bigayan (Boss TP, I’m a new member. Will I receive my salary? I made a lot of posts against the Yellows. I want to recruit more but I don’t know much we get paid),” Gon Frix said.
Uson supposedly replied by assuring them that PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar would pay them as long as they continued posting negative comments about ABS-CBN.
“Guys, wait lang natin yung advise ni Sec. Andanar para sa mga Troll natin. Wag kayong mag alala lahat meron basta wag lang kayo titigil. ABS naman banatan nyo ngayon (Guys, let’s just wait for the advice of Sec. Andanar for our trolls. Don’t worry, everyone will get paid as long as you continue working. Start attacking ABS now),” she said.
According to the PCOO, Andanar is “in no way involved or associated” in the said post.
“We vehemently condemn associating Secretary Andanar and the PCOO with such activities,” the agency said.
The PCOO pointed out that the administration will never employ such actions as a tool to discredit its critics.
“As part of our mandate, the Presidential Communications Operations Office continues to impose upon itself a tough stance against disinformation with our campaigns and programs, such as the ‘Dismiss Disinformation’ meant to stop disinformation by encouraging a culture of responsibility and discernment among the public in support of the existing laws against it,” it added.
On his own Facebook page, Nieto dismissed the screenshot as fake.
“This has been circulating according to some of my friends. Please don’t be stupid. Pages can’t participate in group chats,” he said.
On Friday (July 10), House Committee on Legislative Franchises junked ABS-CBN’s franchise bid in a 70-11 vote, permanently shutting down the country’s largest media network.
ABS-CBN has been off the air since May following the expiration of its 25-year franchise. (PNA)