Panelo blasts his meme endorsing Otso Diretso senatorial bets
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo has slammed those behind a meme , showing his picture endorsing opposition senatorial candidates with their names listed on a white cartolina paper, similar to the "oust Duterte" matrix he showed to the media in a previous press briefing.
In a statement late Thursday, Panelo challenged the "purported fact-checkers" of Facebook to do their job and "show their impartiality" over his meme.
"Some supporters of the political opposition are showing signs of extreme desperation as D-Day or the Election Day, May 13, approaches," he said.
"An Anti-Duterte Facebook page has posted today an edited on-line image of me taken from my news briefing yesterday (May 8) purportedly endorsing the slate of Ocho Derecho senatorial candidates and others. Perhaps, the purported fact-checkers of Facebook can do their job and at least show their impartiality," Panelo added.
In the May 8 press briefing, Panelo presented to the media various matrices or diagrams written on white cartolina papers, showing the names of some personalities and groups allegedly desperate to bring down the Duterte administration and to boost the candidacies of the Otso Diretso senatorial bets.
Among those tagged were the opposition Liberal Party, Otso Diretso senatorial candidates, and also Ellen Tordesillas of Vera Files and Rappler news website.
Vera Files and Rappler are said to be FB's fact-checkers in the country.
"While we understand that the post is a political meme, which is the norm in this campaign season, the same however amounts to a defamatory imputation. It is a given fact that there are still netizens who believe in what they see or read on the internet, including images that have been obviously altered, edited or photoshopped," Panelo said.
"It is for this reason that I strongly denounce the malicious use of my image for black propaganda and political mudslinging. This is nothing but false news dished out by the supporters of the political opposition which by its reckoning is headed for a resounding debacle," he said.
But Panelo hailed himself for being "effective" in neutralizing black propaganda against President Rodrigo Duterte.
"The attempt at maliciously misleading the voters by circulating on-line the bogus endorsement, shows that this representation has been effective in neutralising the black propaganda spread against PRRD, his family and this Administration, which the purveyors of the false news hope to succeed in impairing the credibility of the presidential spokesperson," he said.
"It is an alterable dictum that truth always springs in full splendour no matter how you embellish it or even if you cover it with the Rock of Gibraltar," said Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel.
Panelo's meme was posted on Malacañang Events and Catering Services Facebook page. Celerina Monte/DMS