For Vice President Leni Robredo, who is still not done battling lies and misinformation and lies against her, a public official’s type of leadership would always reflect on the type of followers he has.
In her Sunday radio show, Robredo once again addressed trolls on various social media platforms, who have gone as far as setting up a Facebook account falsely named after one of her daughters to allegedly spread hate messages.
Without naming names, the Vice President then proceeded to recount the usual tactics and sources of disinformation being spread online since she assumed office in 2016, up until her recent efforts for typhoon victims in need of assistance.
“Ang mga trolls, hindi kaagad nakaka-react. Parang naghihintay ng command galing sa taas, pero makikita mo naman kung saan galing ito. At time and again, kasinungalingan talaga halos lahat ng sinasabi nila.”
[Translation: Trolls do not usually react immediately. It’s as if they’re waiting for a command from someone up there, but you can see who is the source of it all. And time and again, they have been telling lies.]
She then stressed that she does not believe in the “Messianic complex” of entrusting everything to a leader. Instead, a follower’s beliefs and behavior are both reflective of the type of governance of the person they support, she said.
“Para sa akin, hindi ako naniniwala na parang iyong Messianic complex na ‘ako ang savior ng lahat,’ walang ganun. Ang solusyon ng mga suliranin natin nasa atin mismo, pero dapat ini-inspire natin yung tao na gumagawa ng kabutihan,” Robredo said. “Pag nai-inspire mo iyong tao na maging sinungaling, na lahat kabastusan ang lumalabas sa bibig, reflection iyon sa iyo eh.”
[Translation: I do not believe in that Messianic complex that ‘one is the savior of all,’ there is no such thing as that. We have to come up with solutions ourselves, while inspiring people to do good. If the people you inspire are liars and spew offensive remarks, that reflects you.]
She also addressed public officials who have been leading the disinformation campaign themselves: “Iyong naniniwala sa kasinungalingan mo, iyon iyong nabiktima mo, hindi iyong object ng kasinungalingan mo.”
[Translation: Those who believe in your lies are the victims, not the objects of your lies.]
A few weeks ago, Robredo herself had to address numerous false claims made by President Rodrigo himself against her. This included supposedly initiating criticisms of his absence at the height of the typhoon, and ‘free-riding’ on government assets to deliver goods in flooded areas. CNN Philippines fact-checked these claims here:
She also recently decried the bullying of her daughters Tricia and Aika after their tweets were put on the spotlight during a Malacañang briefing for supposedly asking for President Rodrigo Duterte’s whereabouts. They did not name anybody in their exchange.
On Sunday, the Vice President said in a tweet: “Leaders who bring out the worst in people are not what our country needs.”