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People who run “Fake Sites” for Duterte: An insider account

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“Keyboard warrior,” was how one troll described a person who received payment just to make noise on social media in support for a politician—and in this case, supposedly for President Rodrigo Duterte.

A “troll” is a person who spreads annoyance on the Net by provoking people online to argue about a public figure. The aim is to keep people talking about the public figure in an online community, possibly get them supporting him or her and humiliating all antagonists.

Interview with a Troll

And what’s in it for a troll? A pay of about P500 per at least 5 hours doing the above on Facebook—or so a “Dutertroll” (a troll for Duterte) claims in an interview with BusinessMirror correspondents.

This 25-year-old troll says he runs seven Facebook accounts under fictitious names and identities and uses them to build up Duterte and bash his detractors. He does this in an undisclosed popular Internet café where he works.

“Yung iba, jejemon na ginagawa ko na pang-away. ’Yung iba naman kunyari disenteng tao—’yung may diskurso ba. Iba-iba para hindi halata” [Some accounts are jejemons I use to annoy people; other accounts are made to appear like some decent people own them—complete with discourses. The accounts should differ from one another to avoid being detected (as fakes)] the interviewed troll said while he looked over the café counter.

“Jejemons,” says the Urban Dictionary, is someone “who has managed to subvert the English language to the point of incomprehensibility.”

The troll claims he has been contracted many times as keyboard warrior since he was 20. In fact, he was part of some “warriors for rent” group but he was unwilling to say how many of them were. However, this troll doesn’t see himself as a “troll.”

“Basta madami kami. Madami ding grupo,” [We’re many, that’s a given, and there are also many (troll) groups] the troll said. “Ako minsan ginagawa ko na lang for fun ba, kasi nakakatawa mag-react ’yung mga tao. Lalo na kapag sa tingin nila totoong tao din ’yung inaaway nila online” [At times I just do it for fun–because affected people react ridiculously. More so when they believe it’s a real person they’re dealing with online].

The troll said his group has been operating from the time the 2010 elections happened. He was also contracted to do online campaigns for a political party which most of the winning candidates were members of.

And then the offer to troll for Duterte came. It was offered by a passionate Duterte fan but definitely not a politician.

“Basta ang sabi lang sa amin, mag-ingay at patunayan na solid ang suporta ng tao kay Duterte,” [All we were told was to make noise to show that Duterte enjoys solid mass base support] the troll said. “Syempre, susunod lang kami. Konting comment lang, pera na din ’yun ba” [Of course, we’ll just obey. Just a few comments and you make money].

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Movement for Duterte

And there are those who openly support Duterte in public, unlike trolls who hide behind fictitious characters online and are paid for their jobs. Members of Metro manila Duterte Movement (MMDM) claim they are not paid by anyone to do what they are doing.

“If you are saying that there is a formal, organized and government-paid group that is financially compensated to take the cudgels for the Duterte administration, I am not aware of that,” Edgardo Clemente said, MMDM chairman.

“I think that most of those who defend the President in cyberspace are mostly individuals who believe in what President Duterte stands for. To assume that the most vocal ones are paid hacks completely misses the point, because it will lull the Duterte detractors that once the money tap is closed, the Duterte supporters will wither away,” he added.

The anti-Duterte group active online also are not paid, Clemente asserts. They are mostly professionals who do their thing for free, due to principles, and not for money, even those who who were active during the PNoy Aquino administration. Clemente said he can vouch for this because of his one-time stint as administrator of the Facebook page of former President Benigno Aquino III.

He said he was aware of the so-called “Yellow Army” that supported the Aquinos.

“I know several of their members, some of whom are still active today against [Mr.] Duterte,” Clemente disclosed. “But they are mostly professionals and were never paid during the P-Noy administration nor are they paid today,” he insisted.

He claimed that most of the groups he assembled and managed for Pnoy were deployed for several cases: the plunder charge against then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, when Supreme Court Justice Remato Corona was being impeached, and charges of plunder against three senators—Sens. Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla, Jr.

Later, when some Yellow Army members disbanded, Clemente alleged he consented on dividing the group.

 “These same groups were used for the [Manuel] Roxas presidential campaign and are also active in the current anti-Duterte sphere,” he further disclosed. He added that the Yellow Army members who went over to his camp are now actively pro-Duterte in social media. He also admitted to being instrumental to recruiting millions of people prior to the 2016 elections.

He purportedly also offered these people to serve in the Duterte administration “but they declined.”

Clemente also revealed that some group members may be in fact foreigners or those below 18 years. Facebook age requirement is at least 14 years of age.

“There could [also] be duplications in people joining more than one of our [Facebook] groups,” he opined.

Back to the troll interviewed by BusinessMirror, this Dutertroll claims their group leader is a man of 40 years. He assigns tasks to available people. There is no mention of any names, no known employers. The troll knows no one in the group or what tasks they are assigned. All group members know is that as long as they keep posting comments, money comes in, the troll added.

And to them, this is work. The money derived from it provides food on the table. So, the more accounts managed, the better, the troll said.

 “Sideline lang naman po ’to, ma’am; extra ba. Maliit lang bayad ko dito sa shop. Pero hanggang pito lang kaya ko i-manage” [It’s just a sideline, ma’am, an extra (income). My pay from this computer shop is small. But I can only handle seven accounts].

How does he manage to argue with people all day? The troll said it’s easy because comments don’t have to make sense each time. Basically, it’s simply supporting Duterte and bashing his detractors. From time to time he also reads current events to beef up his discourses and comments.

 “Madali madala ang mga tao sa Facebook. Napatunayan na naming” [People on Facebook easily get affected (They’re gullible). We’ve proven it.].”

Source: (businessmirror.com.ph)

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Netizens slam Duterte for saying women ‘could not stand threats and intimidation’

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President Rodrigo Duterte drew flak for another controversial comment involving women after he remarked on May 24 that women “could not stand threats and intimidation.”

Duterte said that while he believed in women’s competence, it does not necessarily ring true in all aspects of life.

“I believe in the woman, the competence and capability, pero hindi lahat sa buhay dapat.Hindi ka, hindi, hindi. Dapat lang. It’s not appropriate when you cannot stand threats and intimidation,” he said in his May 24 speech.

He also said that women should be “prim and proper” and talked about his reservation in sending women police and soldiers to the field because unlike men, they did not grow up with a mindset that involves violence.

“Ang mga babae, sundalo pati pulis, ayaw ko ‘yan sa bukid. Unlike men kami, maliit pa lang, suntukan, bakbakan, barilan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence. Itong mga babae, prim and proper man ‘yan, isang tingin lang sa nanay niyan, wala na tunaw na ‘yan. Tapos gawin mong pulis, ipaaway mo doon. Naku,” Duterte remarked.

Netizens then took to social media to react to Duterte’s most recent statements, making #BabaeAko trend again on Twitter.

“Mr. President, you just horrifyingly disrespected your own mother who bravely fought against the Marcos dictatorship. She withstood threats and intimidation. Siya ay babae! #BabaeAko,” a Twitter user remarked.

Forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun spoke out, too, saying “I am threatened and intimidated a lot. All my life. Don’t me. #BabaeAko.”

So did film and theater actress Chai Fonacier, who said, “Encouraging women — and I mean including those who identify as women — and our friends from the entire spectrum to share your #BabaeAko statements to fight the misogyny that the President and his ilk normalize through their behavior. Make them remember the feminine strength.”

KABATAAN Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago also reacted, saying she refused to be stereotyped.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay urged other Filipinos to protest against Duterte’s misogynistic statements.

Other Twitter users weighed in on the issue.

Duterte’s previous misogynistic remarks

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His remarks in his speech on May 24 seemed to have sought to explain another controversial remark he made on May 16 when he said that he did not want a politician, especially a woman, to become the next Ombudsman.

“Mag-nominate sila, pero I choose, but gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae,” he said during a chance interview.

This gave birth to the launching of the #BabaeAko movement on social media on May 21 by women activists and other people who also want to protest Duterte’s misogynistic and sexist statements.

One of  the women who joined the #BabaeAko campaign was former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who said, “Akala ko taumbayan ang boss ni Duterte. Yun pala sina Marcos, Gloria, Trump at China. Para sa bayang makatarungan at malaya, lalaban ako.”

In February, he was also slammed for telling his audience of former NPA rebels that he told his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

Sources: ( rappler.comphilstar.com )

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New DOT chief to ask Montano why he rushed official New York engagement to watch Broadway show

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Newly installed Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she plans on talking with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) COO Cesar Montano to ask for his side on certain accusations that were hurled against him.

Among these accusations came from an Abante report where Montano was said to have rushed a speaking engagement staged by the DOT in New York to watch the Broadway musical show “Hamilton.”

DOT reportedly launched the Philippine Tourism Presentation and Dinner Reception on May 9 to showcase Philippine tourism and fashion at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Montano was introduced as the event’s keynote speaker, but he was said to have only spoken for a bit before hurriedly leaving the venue, disappointing the guests, which also included US officials.

Montano was said to have been invited to the event in behalf of the now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. He was also named as one of the two hosts, the other being Teo, of the said event.

In reaction to this report about Montano, Puyat said she would talk to Montano as well as the Tourism attache and other DOT officials who attended the event to verify the accusation in the report mentioned above.

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Puyat said that she would investigate into the “Buhay Carinderia” program that the TPB is set to implement. This was after Philippine Star Boo Chanco accused Montano of issuing P80-million worth of three checks to the event proponent and organizer.

“I still don’t have the papers. I will be asking [and] will be arranging a meeting with Mr. Cesar Montano to ask about ‘yung mga nabasa ko sa ‘Buhay Carinderia’ – kung totoo ba na walang bidding ‘yung P80 million na advance,” Puyat said on May 15.

“I’m planning to talk to him and ask his side. I want to ask all those who were there if it actually happened,” Puyat added.

In March 2017, TPB employees filed a complaint against Montano for his alleged corruption and mismanagement of the agency. These include hiring friends and relatives, using TPB’s funds for personal trips, and showing incompetence in fulfilling his obligations as the agency’s COO.

Sources: ( tnt.abante.com.phphilstar.comrappler.com )

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Eldest Tulfo vows to help Wanda clear her name, berates ‘black sheep’ Ben over controversial P60-M DOT ad deal

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Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo spoke up about the controversy involving his siblings, now resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and hosts Ben and Erwin Tulfo, over the P60 million tourism ad deal.

The eldest Tulfo wrote in his Inquirer column on May 10 that while President Rodrigo Duterte himself advised the Tulfo family to avoid talking to the media, he took it upon himself as the family’s acting patriarch to tell the story behind the controversy.

First up, Ramon blamed Teo for not hiring smart staff members who could have advised her against inking a deal with PTV 4, where one of the Tulfo brothers, Ben, was a blocktimer.

As a blocktimer, Ben pays for his TV show’s airtime on the state-run channel.

According to Ramon, Wanda was only complying with President Duterte’s injunction for his Cabinet secretaries to support PTV 4, adding that she did not know Ben’s company would get most of the multimillion advertising contract with DOT.

He also hit Ben, whom he called a “black sheep” with a “middle child” syndrome as the fifth child out of 10 siblings, for signing the P60-million advertising contract with PTV 4 despite knowing that there would be a conflict of interest on Wanda’s part.

Ramon also said that Wanda still tried to save Ben, who insisted on his innocence amid the controversy, leading her to resign from her post. He also explained that Wanda seemed to have forgotten the fact that her husband was on the board of director of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), a part of DOT, when Duterte appointed her as tourism chief. He added that it should have been up to her husband to step down from his post upon his wife’s appointment.

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In the same column, he also slammed Wanda’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, whom he said did not even consult the Tulfo brothers on returning the P60-million funds from the ad deal. He also described the lawyer as “all talk,” a counsel who’s only focused on gaining publicity for himself.

Unlike what has been previously reported about Wanda resigning out of delicadeza amid the controversy, Ramon let it slip that he commended President Duterte for “sacking Wanda,” prompting some people to ask whether Wanda was fired instead of resigned.

Before he ended his column, he vowed to support “Wanda’s fight to clear her name, but not Ben’s.”
Wanda resigned on May 8 to show delicadeza and to spare everyone, especially Duterte, from the pain caused by the controversy, according to her lawyer.

The issue started with the Commission on Audit’s report showing the DOT paying P60 million worth of commercials to PTV 4, which in turn, tapped Ben’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. to air the tourism ads during Ben and Erwin’s show “Kilos Pronto.”

Malacañang said that Teo’s resignation does not mean that she is off the hook since the Ombudsman is still looking into her and other government officials involved in the controversial ad deal.

Sources: ( inquirer.netnews.abs-cbn.com , nnphilippines.com )

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