Pro-Marcos misinformation targets main rival Robredo

This composite image shows presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. greeting supporters in Batangas on April 20, 2022, and rival Vice President Leni Robredo joining a Comelec debate on April 3, 2022. 

MANILA — The son and namesake of the Philippines’ late dictator Ferdinand Marcos is on track to win Monday’s presidential poll, after a massive misinformation campaign whitewashed the family’s past and smeared his main rival.

Leni Robredo, the incumbent vice president, is the last obstacle to the controversial clan achieving their goal of returning to the presidential palace they fled in disgrace in 1986 following a popular uprising.

Social media groups supporting Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s bid for the top job have bombarded Filipinos with false and misleading posts about Robredo on platforms where they rank among the world’s heaviest users.

A string of doctored photos and videos viewed tens of thousands of times have sought to portray Robredo, 57, as stupid, unfriendly towards voters, and a communist.

Dozens of other bogus claims targeting her have flooded social media.

Here are the 5 most shared posts debunked by AFP: 

Pro-Marcos accounts that have sought to discredit Robredo as unintelligent and cold-hearted have had a huge impact online.

A clip from an interview with a Filipino journalist back in December 2016 shows Robredo looking baffled by a question over allegations she cheated Marcos Jr.

Robredo came from behind to narrowly beat Marcos Jr for the Philippines vice presidency that year — which he then spent 5 years trying in vain to overturn. 

The clip was posted on Facebook on Feb. 19, less than 2 weeks after the presidential election campaign season kicked off, and has been viewed more than 78,000 times.

Similar posts were uncovered by AFP Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok.

AFP fact checkers debunked the posts, reporting that portions of the original interview with news program TV Patrol had been omitted. 

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