Disinformation targeting Leni Robredo in the presidential election has increasingly focused on painting her as a communist terrorist collaborator. Tsek.ph has documented the imbalance of disinformation in the race for President of the Philippines, and reported that the disinformation is overwhelmingly positive towards Bong Bong Marcos and overwhelmingly negative towards Leni Robredo.
We have documented a vast network of profiles and groups on Facebook who have recently stepped up their red-tagging activity against current Vice President and candidate for President, Leni Robredo. The attacks are blatantly state sponsored and as such are clear violations of the constitution. Our report reveals exactly which Facebook pages are sourcing the harmful disinformation, which profiles are distributing it, and where it is getting distributed to.
These 136 unique pieces of content have been shared a cumulative 1,976 times. The network includes 737 accounts which shared red-tagging content targeting Leni Robredo, 77 pages which hosted this disinformation for people to share, and 1032 account destinations where the content was shared.
The dynamic graph below (you can move it around to explore) illustrates the extent of the troll army and how they share the same content back and forth.
The circles represent the accounts that have shared content that red tags Leni. The size of the circle represents how much content that red tags Leni they shared, and the width of the connecting line represents how many times the two accounts shared the same content that red tags Leni.
The President and NTF-ELCAC Publicly Sponsor Red-Tagging
The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) has expanded its charter to include a massive effort to brand Leni Robredo as a communist traitor. This clearly has nothing to do with “Local Communist Armed Conflict” and is a transparent attempt by the current administration to damage her presidential campaign.
Lorraine Badoy, Presidential Communications Undersecretary and National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Spokesperson, has recently gone public with her allegations that Leni Robredo is a communist. According to the former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, retired Major General Domingo Tutaan Jr., Lorraine Badoy is in charge of red-tagging those who criticize the government. President Duterte has recently publicly supported Badoy’s red tagging of the Makabayan bloc.
Badoy has called the Vice President a ‘virtual mouthpiece of the terrorist group’ and concludes that the Vice President ‘has betrayed us all.’
Badoy’s accusations are politically motivated, not evidence-based. “In all these accusations, no credible evidence was ever presented against the Makabayan bloc, except for innuendos and hearsays coming from perjured witnesses,” said House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate.
Badoy is facing multiple complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman calling for her immediate suspension. “[Badoy] alleges that Vice President Robredo is a supporter of the CPP-NPA, without offering any evidence except for expressions of support from groups belonging to the left side of the political spectrum and her willingness to resume peace talks with rebel groups,” the petitioners said.
“The use of the machinery of state media to disseminate electorally-motivated fake news is a glaring violation of the laws and the Constitution,” the complaint said.
Rival Politicians Red-Tag Robredo
Cavite 7th District Representative Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla and Panfilo “Ping” Lacson have joined the red-tagging effort, spreading rumors that Leni Robredo has “joined forces with CPP-NPA-NDF” and that she would form “coalition government with the CPP-NPA-NDF.”
The red-tagging has spread to the streets. On April 21, in the pre-dawn hours, masked men defaced Leni-Kiko tarpaulins throughout Baguio City with the spray painted letters “NPA,” the acronym for the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Who Is Doing The Red-Tagging Dirty Work?
As Robredo’s popularity has grown, so has the red-tagging that targets her. We reported a network involved in red-tagging activists in the Philippines in December, 2021. Since then portions of this network have shifted focus towards influencing the presidential race in the upcoming Philippine General Election on May 9, 2022.
Who Are The Top Trolls Sharing The Red-Tagging Content?
These are the top 6 accounts (profiles and pages) that pick up red tagging content targeting Leni Robredo and shared it, followed by the number of times they have shared it:
- https://www.facebook.com/Federal.Party.Philippines.E shared red tagging content targeting Leni 53 times
- https://www.facebook.com/francisco.esguerra/ shared red tagging content targeting Leni 40 times
- https://www.facebook.com/Camila-Pardo (“Maylin Pardo”) shared red tagging content targeting Leni 39 times
- https://www.facebook.com/nongpi4u.racket (“Nong Pi Pilipino Racket” aka 100051414461032) shared red tagging content targeting Leni 36 times
- https://www.facebook.com/100013921159717 (“Arjhay De Guzman”) shared red tagging content targeting Leni 31 times
- https://www.facebook.com/esperijon.ganac.9 shared red tagging content targeting Leni 16 times
Whose Red-Tagging Content Was Shared The Most?
The following are the top 5 primary sources ( the pages, profiles, and groups that the content was shared FROM) of the shared red tagging content targeting Leni Robredo, followed by the number of shares of that content from those pages.
- https://www.facebook.com/Makabayan-Exposed-104361362066530 had 760 shares of its content
- https://www.facebook.com/JUST-Philippines-105630324580719 had 161 shares of its content
- https://www.facebook.com/pnagovph (Philippine News Agency) had 110 shares of its content, reflecting the many statements Ms. Badoy has made against Leni Robredo as an official statement of the government.
- https://www.facebook.com/lenidoro had 105 shares of its content
- https://www.facebook.com/richardpoonph had 86 shares of his content
How Do These Trolls Spread Their Lies?
The following images illustrate the process that trolls use to infest the social media with their content:
Troll Accounts We Reported That Have Been Shut Down
These accounts formerly appeared on the troll list here. These accounts are now unavailable:
- https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100076273523272 (“Domingo Castillo”) shared red tagging content targeting Leni 202 times. Former number 1 on the list.
- https://www.facebook.com/100051465367460 (“Fernando Tolentino”) shared red tagging content targeting Leni 130 times. Former number 2 on the list.
- https://www.facebook.com/100011663080808 (“Tfn Calce”) shared red tagging content targeting Leni 52 times. Former number 4 on the list.
- https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100051051076697 (“Patricia Cruz”) shared red tagging content targeting Leni 40 times
- https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100051196522881 (“Clarence Dela Cruz”) shared red tagging content targeting Leni 36 times
- https://www.facebook.com/merida.mendoza.946 shared red tagging content targeting Leni 34 times
- https://www.facebook.com/mario.canlas.10236 shared red tagging content targeting Leni 16 times.
- https://www.facebook.com/winona.dailey.77 shared red tagging content targeting Leni 14 times.
- https://www.facebook.com/fernando.tolentino.1800721 shared red tagging content targeting Leni 6 times.
- https://www.facebook.com/WillieTheGreatPH shared red tagging content targeting Leni 4 times.
Download/View for Free
Download/View our report below to find out exactly which accounts and pages are spreading this dangerous disinformation in a desperate bid to stem the tide of Robredo’s growing support.
Available For Download/View:
- The 16-page Summary Report
- A csv (spreadsheet) of Facebook shares, with links to the content, the sharer, the site it was shared from, and the site it was shared to.