Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson slammed some alleged trolls responding to his posts on social media and claimed some of them are being paid by taxpayers.
The alleged trolls came amid his latest comments that earned the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the Visiting Forces Agreement issue.
His comments on these alleged trolls farms which he shared on February 14 differ on Facebook and Twitter.
On Facebook, Lacson questioned if taxpayers money fuel online trolls for propaganda.
“Sa mga troll farms at pre-campaign propaganda ba napupunta ang buwis natin?” he said.
Lacson also attached a graphic with a screenshot of his now-deleted tweet containing his views about social media trolls.
He also reiterated this message in the comments section.
“Those who disagree with me using reason, I engage to discuss the issue at hand. Trolls can easily be spotted – they are impertinent, irrational and senseless. Sadly, some troll farms are being funded by taxpayers’ money,” Lacson wrote.
The senator likewise shared a screenshot of an alleged “troll” who cursed at him on his page.
On Twitter, the senator merely said: “Trolls abound!”
— PING LACSON (@iampinglacson) February 14, 2021
While Lacson gathered support on Facebook, he earned some criticisms on Twitter, citing the deletion of his tweet.
“Nag tweet tapos nagdelete,” one user wrote.
Others claimed that the commenters are not trolls and were just expressing their disagreement with the senator’s recent political views.
It’s not certain what post the commenters were referring to. However, Lacson also deleted another tweet on February 13, this time, about VFA.
“This is refers to the statement, ‘You want the VFA? You have to pay’,” the senator wrote.
“Just to clarify, please be informed that we are not a nation of extortionists; at lalong hindi kami ‘mukhang pera’. Err…hindi lahat,” he added.
The quote Lacson cited came from Duterte’s address to troops at Clark Air Base in Pampanga last Friday.
“I would like to put on notice if there’s an American agent here, from now on, you want the Visiting Forces Agreement done? Well, they have to pay,” the president said.
Following the criticisms over the deletion of his tweet, Lacson clarified that he took down the post after reassessing Duterte’s intentions.
“It was in that context that I posted a tweet on the matter on Saturday. I decided to take it down after giving it a thought that the President’s intention was to get a fair shake of the agreement, only he could have said it in a more diplomatic way,” he said in a statement.
“On crucial issues such as this, there should be no room for misinterpretation or misunderstanding moving forward,” he added.
Lacson is hoping that Duterte could have been more civil in resolving the matter.
“The President may have used strong words to send his message across to the US. But certainly, there is a more civil and statesmanlike manner to ask for compensation from a longtime ally using the usual diplomatic channels and still get the same desired results,” he said.
Despite his clarification, Lacson’s earlier tweet reached the president.
In his televised national address that aired Monday night, Duterte blasted Lacson and Vice President Leni Robredo “for reportedly “criticizing the president’s demand for payment for the retention of the country’s VFA with US.”
In particular, he cautioned the senator from posting certain comments on social media.
“Use a language that will promote your person, human being. Hindi ‘yang basta-basta ka na lang mag-post-post diyan tapos without really finding out whether you are—you are a part of it or not. I’m telling you, you are not. So next time, consult a lawyer in your office,” he said.