As people have long suspected, Duterte’s claims to popular support is all a big hoax. This is now confirmed by the Facebook takedown of around 200 accounts and pages, many found to be based in Fujian, China, and with at least 55 directly linked to the Philippine military and police. These accounts have been found to be interlinked to close to 300,000 accounts where these carry out “coordinated inauthentic behaviour.”
It is now becoming exposed that the so-called Duterte Diehard Supporters is a manufactured trend generated by a state-funded troll-farm of hundreds of networked government-controlled Facebook and other social media accounts. These are maintained by a highly compensated copy-and-paste brigade. Its operations is being masterminded and bankrolled by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). No less than the account of the chief of the Philippine Army’s “Social Media Center” Andre Cabales was determined to be among those behind this fascist social media manipulation.
This network uses people’s money to manipulate public opinion with their false narrative of anti-democracy and anti-communism and promoting fascism and blind Duterte idolatry. This is inextricably linked to the Duterte regime’s dirty war directed against the people.
These accounts have been found to reflect the AFP and PNP official PR line which typically targets activists, human rights advocates and other critics of the Duterte regime. They invariably use Duterte-inspired foul language, engage in red-tagging and incite violence to threaten and intimidate. They are the online version of the Hitlerite Brownshirts of the 1930s which serves Duterte’s fascist ends. They are unarmed agents of the regime’s campaign of suppression.
It is fine that Facebook has taken down the network of fake accounts linked to the AFP and PNP. It is widely believed, however, that hundreds or thousands more of similar accounts are being run by state agents. Worse, the social media accounts of military and police agencies are themselves troll accounts which work hand in hand with Malacañang’s communication office and are in fact instigators of fascist propaganda and psywar operations.