Ogie Diaz has decided to blast the trolls of former vice president Leni Robredo after her feat of being chosen as a Hauser Leader by Harvard’s Kennedy School was bombarded was attacked.
On August 31, the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership (CPL) announced that for the Fall 2022 semester, Robredo will serve as a Hauser Leader—individuals described as “living examples of principled and effective public leadership.”
“A huge honor to be invited at Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership, as one of its Hauser Leaders for the Fall 2022 semester,” Robredo wrote on Facebook.
“I’m both thrilled and humbled (to) be given this space to share my advocacies and experiences, alongside this roster of distinguished leaders from various fields and sectors. What a blessing it is to be returning to Cambridge for this opportunity,” she added.
The CPL highlighted how Robredo “reinvented the Office of the Vice President of the Philippines (OVP), transforming it from its traditional role of performing purely ceremonial functions to an advocacy centered office” and her supporters were more than proud of the recognition.
However, trolls found a way to discredit Robredo, calling her “Madumb” and “stupid.” Mark Lopez, one of Robredo’s most prominent critics, joined in on demeaning her intellectual abilities.
“No amount of Harvard deodorizing can ever mask the stupidity and weak leadership skills of Madumb. Kahit gawin nyo pang dean yan, you are depriving students of real education kung yan lang boba yan ang magtuturo,” he wrote.
— Mark Lopez (@MacLopez769) September 4, 2022
Diaz defended Robredo from Lopez, saying that the propagandist probably lives a “sad life.” Lopez didn’t back down. He called Diaz’s attempt “pathetic.”
The saddest life actually is yours Mister Diaz. Why? Imagine super sikat ka pero nag effort ka pa sa tweet ko even if I am a nobody? Dahil lang sa barya na iaabot sa iyo ng mga handler ni Madumb? How pathetic di ba?
— Mark Lopez (@MacLopez769) September 9, 2022
Diaz no longer responded but instead went after the trolls collectively. He said the trolls are decreasing numbers due to not getting paid on time despite their efforts to malign the Robredos.
Balita ko, nagkakabawasan na raw ng paid trolls, dahil di na raw masyado kailangan ang “maintenance.” Yung iba, di pa nakakasuweldo, andami na raw nilang paninirang ginawa sa kalaban, waley pa din daw sweldo. Eh kasalanan nyo yan, sinimulan nyo sa mali.
— ogie diaz (@ogiediaz) September 12, 2022
According to fact-checking initiative group Tsek.ph, Robredo and Pres. Bongbong Marcos were the main targets of disinformation in the 2022 national elections. However, the fake news surrounding Marcos was favorable while those about Robredo were mainly negative.
“What is even more significant is how supporters of the Marcos-Duterte tandem have succeeded in further boosting narratives in their favor through an increase in the volume of negative messages against Robredo,” the group said.
“As of April 30, 92% of fact checks about Marcos were false or misleading information in his favor. The proportion of debunked false claims praising Duterte was even higher at 95%. On the other hand, 96% of disinformation targeting Robredo was negative. Pangilinan consistently received negative messaging among the fact-checked claims since November,” they added.
TikTok and Facebook were the top social media platforms used for political campaigning.
Before leaving office, Robredo’s team announced that they will actively seek out fake news spreaders and file charges.
“It’s clear that this kind of strategy is destroying democracy and destroying our capacity for proper public discourse,” Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said on a radio show. “It’s really too much — it’s as if lies and fake news are winning and we can’t let that happen.”