2022 PH presidential race

WATCH: Leody de Guzman wants ‘social media brigade’ vs disinformation, new ABS-CBN franchise

Jairo Bolledo
WATCH: Leody de Guzman wants ‘social media brigade’ vs disinformation, new ABS-CBN franchise

PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANT. File photo of labor leader Leody de Guzman, who is running for Philippine president in 2022.


Presidential aspirant Leody de Guzman says they seek to mobilize members of their party and supporters to become a 'social media brigade' against disinformation

Presidential aspirant Leody de Guzman said if he wins as president, he would support the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise that was denied under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. 

Oo. Dapat ibalik ‘yong prangkisa ng ABS-CBN kasi kahit sa mga imbestigasyon, wala namang mga lumabas na pagkakamali at mismong mga head ng ahensya, ng BIR, ng department of labor, ang nagse-certify na nagko-comply ang ABS-CBN,” the labor leader said in a Rappler Talk interview in response to questions.

(Yes. The ABS-CBN franchise should be renewed because even in the investigations, no lapses werefound on the part of the ABS-CBN. Even the heads of the agencies, the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Department of Labor and Employment certified that ABS-CBN is compliant.)

De Guzman is the standard bearer of Partido Lakas ng Masa with Walden Bello as his running mate. The tandem seeks to promote a pro-labor agenda and systematic changes in the government.

On May 5, 2020, media giant ABS-CBN went off-air after a cease and desist order was issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). The commission released the order following the expiration of the network’s congressional franchise.

 A House panel later rejected the grant of a new franchise for the network.

Ang totoo riyan, personal venganza ni Duterte doon sa kanyang akusasyon na hindi nilabas ‘yong kanyang ads. Eh kung ganoon, bakit kailangang ipasara? Dapat kinasuhan na lang ‘yung ABS-CBN nang sa gayon, ‘yung 11,000 na manggagawa ay hindi natanggal sa trabaho, may trabaho pa sila ngayon,” De Guzman said. 

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(The truth there is that was Duterte’s personal vendetta in relation to his allegation that his (2016 campaign) ads were not aired. If that’s the case, why shut down the network? Duterte should have sued ABS-CBN so the that the 11,000 employees kept their jobs, and they would have jobs till now.)

As early as 2017, Duterte already warned that he would block ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal. He claimed that ABS-CBN did not air his political ads during the 2016 campaign season, even though they were already paid for.

The Duterte government has accused the media giant of issues on taxes, labor practices, and even its Kapamilya Box Office pay-per-view service. However, the BIR, DOLE, and NTC cleared the media giant of all the accusations. 

Fight disinformation

The labor leader and presidential aspirant also stressed the need to fight widespread disinformation. 

Malaganap. Hindi na lang si Duterte, ngayon pati ‘yung grupo nila [Bongbong] Marcos ay promotor din sa pagpalaganap ng fake news. ‘Yan ay kailangang labanan ‘yan (It’s widespread. Not just Duterte, even the Marcos camp is promoting the spread of fake news),” De Guzman said. 

Dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., is also a presidential aspirant. According to De Guzman, they seek to mobilize members of their party to become a “social media brigade” against disinformation. 

Kaya nga ‘yung aming mga members ay kinukumbinsi naming ma-transform into a social media brigade para tapatan ‘yung mga bayarang troll ng dalawang kampong ‘yun (That’s why we are convincing our members to transform into a social media brigade to counter the paid trolls of the two camps),” De Guzman added. 

A 2020 study released by Reporters Without Borders revealed that supporters of Duterte act like “cyber-troll armies” and use hubs to disseminate fake and malicious content to conduct “targeted harassment campaigns” against opposition figures. – Rappler.com 

Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering the police, crime, military, and security.