MANILA – The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) conducted a survey on social media at the weekend, asking people whether they thought the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolt was “fake news,” even though the Duterte administration had called for unity and urged Filipinos to “enrich democracy” during the 32nd anniversary of the bloodless regime change.
Malacañang had a quick, crisp, clear negative answer: ‘It was the first bloodless people power revolution in the whole entire planet Earth, and it remains significant,’ said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. “According to the law, it is not fake news. According to the law, we honor the EDSA Revolution having declared it as a public holiday.”
The survey was conducted on Facebook by PCOO Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, who posted the results in her “Mocha Uson Blog” on Sunday, just as government officials were participating in certain commemorative events at EDSA.
Not surprisingly, majority of Uson’s followers replied to her question with the verdict that the EDSA Revolt that ousted the two-decade Marcos dictatorship and inspired bloodless regime change worldwide, was just “fake news.”
A whopping 86 percent replied “yes” to Uson’s question: Naniniwala ba kayo na ang 1986 EDSA PEOPLE POWER ay isang produkto ng FAKE NEWS [Do you believe that the 1986 EDSA PEOPLE POWER was a product of FAKE NEWS]???
Only 14 percent replied “no.”
Uson’s role as social media influencer tapped by the Duterte administration to marshall support for its programs had come under scrutiny in two Senate hearings on “fake news”.
Sen. Grace Poe, the chair of the public information committee that led the inquiry, was among those who demanded a clear delineation from Uson’s boss, Secretary Martin Andanar, between her claim that her blog reflects only her “private” views, and the fact that she holds a high position with a six-digit salary.
In the last hearing, Andanar told senators they had spoken to Uson and had asked her to be more circumspect. PCOO Undersecretary Anna Marie Banaag said they had told Uson that all her posts on social media are deemed public and could be interpreted as reflective of the office’s positions.
At the 32nd EDSA revolt anniversary last weekend, the Duterte administration had sought to promote unity despite the polarized positions taken by various rally groups from the Duterte supporters, the so-called “yellow forces” deemed loyal only to the Aquinos and the elites, the militant Left, and various other groups.
The latter back neither Duterte nor identify with “yellows” but are protesting the steady erosion of democracy with the martial law in Mindanao, the Duterte administration’s “authoritarian” tendencies, and the drive for Charter change and federalism that are feared to be tools for hijacking elections.