Trolls critical of Vice President Leni Robredo are not being paid by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), its Secretary Martin Andanar said on Wednesday.
This, after Robredo’s spokesperson, lawyer Barry Guttierez, claimed that Robredo’s performance and trust rating in a recent Pulse Asia survey was lower than other government officials because she was being targeted by trolls.
Guitierrez also claimed that Robredo’s camp was hitting a “disinformation wall” and did not have the communication machinery to spread the work she had been doing.
In a statement, Andanar was quick to point out that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte had nothing to do with trolls that criticized the opposition leader.
“Although independent social media accounts remain critical of Vice President Leni Robredo and her role in our collective fight against the virus, which may have truly contributed to the ‘disinformation wall’ she is encountering, we assure everyone that the Duterte administration has nothing to do with these critical social media voices,” Andanar said.
He said the Duterte administration will never employ trolls “to divide our society.”
Andanar also pointed out that Duterte, like Robredo, also had to deal with the spreading of false information against him.
“The Duterte administration faces as well a disinformation wall, apart from the countless false information being spread online by entities and groups,” he said.
Andanar, however, acknowledged Gutierrez’s recognition of the role of the PCOO in disseminating the government’s policies, programs, and responses to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
He cited the PCOO’s “intensified efforts” that have helped keep Filipinos “engaged and informed.”
Duterte’s high rating
According to Andanar, Duterte obtained a 91-percent performance and trust rating in the Pulse Asia survey because the administration’s programs and policies have helped improve their lives.
“President Rodrigo Duterte’s outstanding approval, performance, and trust ratings are embedded in the consciousness of the majority of Filipinos because they feel the benefits of the government’s programs and policies,” he said.
He noted that people also recognize the administration’s comprehensive actions and responses against Covid-19.
In the same survey, Robredo acquired a 57 percent performance rating and a 50 percent trust rating, the fourth among the top national officials — behind Duterte, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said maybe Robredo’s lower performance and trust ratings were due to the fact that Filipinos do not want officials engaging in politicking.
Unlike Robredo, Roque said Duterte had the determination to slow down the spread of the virus without playing politics.