What do Leni Robredo and Jollibee have in common?
(UPDATED) On Friday, December 7, screenshots of a list of personalities, civil society groups, and businesses allegedly behind a plot to unseat President Rodrigo Duterte circulated in mostly pro-administration social media pages and sites.
It came as no surprise that Vice President Leni Robredo was again mentioned in the list that was first supposedly revealed on the Facebook page of presidential son Paolo Duterte, and quickly shared by others.
In her weekly radio show BISErbisyong Leni on RMN-DZXL, Robredo laughed off the allegation but at the same time called out Paolo for releasing false information without even verifying its source, especially as he was a former public official himself.
"Napaka-iresponsible na mag-post ng isang bagay na, una, wala namang basehan. Pangalawa, hindi ko alam kung alam niya kung saan iyon nanggaling, kasi obviously iyong gumawa noon, hindi man lang nag-aksaya ng panahon para mag-research," Robredo said on Sunday, December 9.
(It's so irresponsible to post something that, first, has no basis. Second, I don't know if he knows where it came from because obviously, the one behind this did not even bother to do research.)
Robredo said she doesn't even know most of the people on the list, personalities who she's supposedly plotting Duterte's ouster with.
"Tinitingnan ko iyong mga kasama kong pangalan doon, parang karamihan doon hindi ko kilala. Ang kilala ko lang doon si Jollibee," the Vice President quipped. (I was looking at the names on the list, and I don't know most of them. The only one I know is Jollibee.)
Robredo made the statement two days after the former Davao City vice mayor posted screenshots of an Excel file that showed an "Anti Administration Group" plotting an "Oust Duterte Movement." Robredo was listed as the "leader of the united opposition."
The list also included other prominent opposition figures and groups; public officials; Catholic bishops including Bishop Julio Xavier Labayen, who died weeks before the 2016 elections; and Duterte supporter Carmen Pedrosa.
The list also had a section for "mutant/cause oriented groups" – was the pun intended or was this spell-check's fault?
Not surprisingly, the list also included media personalities, among them Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa, who has nothing to do with any ouster plot.
Paolo Duterte's post prompted instant fact-checks on social media. Netizen David Reyes, for instance, focused on the bishops on the list.
How true is the list? We can't find it on Paolo Duterte's Facebook page as of this posting, though screenshots of the alleged post have begun circulating. Journalist Ed Lingao, in a Facebook post, said: "Around a day later, probably realizing how stupid the list was (or is that giving him too much credit?), he took the list down. No explanation, no clarification, no correction."
On Monday, December 10, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said that while Malacañang was "not privy to the list issued by the former vice mayor," the latter "may have some reasons for issuing such a list we do not know."
Besides, he said, President Duterte himself "always respects freedom of expression."
Asked by reporters whether a presidential son should have been more responsible when making such grave accusations, Panelo said "anybody who feels aggrieved...can always refute the allegations contained in the list." – Rappler.com
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