Miss International Philippines 2017 Mariel de Leon allegedly called her critics “ignorant” and “hopeless,” adding that she can do better than 90 percent of “war-happy president Rodrigo Duterte.”
The source? The website Okd2.com, which classified the article as “humor & satire.”
De Leon has been vocal in speaking up against the killings in the country, once tweeting “Bloody Philippines” in August 2017. She also tweeted, “It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that people are okay with murder because their leader says it is okay.”
When she failed to qualify for the Miss International 2017 Top 15, Duterte’s supporters called it “karma.” Even presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte called de Leon’s failure a “schadenfreude” moment for her.
In German, “schadenfreude” means deriving pleasure from the failure of another person.
According to Okd2’s “satirical” story on de Leon, she already considered being a candidate at the Miss International pageant, representing her country, as an achievement, based on her Instagram post on November 15.
This is what she said in her post:
“As tiring and taxing as it was at times, I enjoyed every moment and I will keep it in my heart forever. Thank you to my supporters (both in the PH and around the world for all the wonderful messages) filled with so much love and support! Thank you to my mentors for guiding me and supporting me since 2013. Thank you to my family and close friends for loving me sooo much and for being my rock(s) haha. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come, how hard I fought and how much I grew & transformed! Strong, empowered, and brave is the new sexy. 🖤 I still have my Miss International Philippines crown and now I can push my limits even more as to what else I can achieve and give to my fellow Filipinos! 👑 “I know that every time I step on the stage it’s a real gift, so I try not to take it for granted, and I try to make it an experience that the public can really participate in.” I gave my all and I know I did amazing therefore I have no regrets! To God be ALL the glory!”
While some of the lines Okd2 quoted from de Leon’s IG post are real, this part is made-up, where the satire part of the article comes in:
“I know I can do better than 90% of ignorant and hopeless supporters of war-happy president.”
Okd2 cited the story as satire, but this did not stop some blogs, such as bayangpilipinas.com and latestdutertenews.altervista.org, Facebook pages, and netizens from treating the story as a real one. De Leon posted on Instagram to mark the end of her Miss International journey, expressing it as an achievement, but she did not boast about doing better than most of Duterte’s supporters or called them “ignorant” or “hopeless.”
Many netizens went on to bash de Leon.
Facebook pages such as “Favradio FM,” “Duterte,” “Diehard Duterte Supporters,” “Duterte Bato: Partners for Change,” “Duterte Para sa Pagbabago,” “Philippine News Courier,”and more.
It turned out other blogs, such as ulatngbayan.info, echonewsph.info, dailyartikulo.info, among others, simply copied the story from Okd2, but without the “satire” disclaimer. The blog philippinebalitadaily.com, on the other hand, translated the story into Filipino.
Despite the satirical nature of the story, netizens did not hold back from bashing de Leon, probably after reading the story and assuming it to be true.
Despite Okd2’s outburst against Memebuster for “monitoring” their website and “copying” their content, to the extent that they even wrote a satirical story about us receiving money from the Liberal Party, we will continue debunking stories from their website as long as there are netizens who would react to their “satirical” stories as if they were true. It was not entirely Okd2’s fault that there are still readers, or headline readers, and blogs that copied their satires verbatim without proper disclaimer that led to confusion over what’s real and what’s satire. If only we take the time to digest the stories we read online and verify them before reacting or worse, spreading them, then we’d win over fake news.