By Ben Rosario | Manila Bulletin
Presidential hopeful former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday, Oct. 18, called on supporters to end a hate campaign against Rappler, saying that the online media firm should be given “another chance to find honesty in their heart.”
Marcos aired the appeal even as many social media users have started to question Rappler’s own credibility as the Facebook fact-checker in the Philippines.
Despite asking his supporters to control their anger against the news outfit, the former senator nonetheless commended his supporters for “check the survey facts of Rappler” relative to its online polling activity.
Netizens, mostly Marcos followers, have accused Rappler of manipulating the results of its own online poll survey on presidential candidates.
“Those behind the manipulation of a simple exercise to get the voters’ pulse on the 2022 presidential race might have been overwhelmed by their desire to accomplish whatever mission assigned to them… so let’s give them another chance to find honesty in their heart,” said Marcos.
Headed by this year’s Nobel Peace Award recipient Maria Ressa, Rappler drew the ire of Marcos supporters after they “discovered” supposed manipulation of the online poll survey.
It was explained that the news agency conducted recently the survey by assigning different emoticons to presidential aspirants from which participants can choose from.
The ‘wow’ emoticon was assigned to Marcos while independent presidential bet Leni Robredo was given the ‘heart.’ The ‘laugh’ emoticon was appointed to Senator Panfilo Lacson of Reporma, the ‘like’ emoticon to Aksyon Demokratiko bet Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso and the ‘care’ sign to Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao of PROMDI.
A netizen claimed dishonesty when he uploaded on social media platform, Tiktok, a video of him checking out the emoticons hit for each of the candidates.
In the video upload, the total number of votes cast for Robredo was already 161,000 while Marcos only had 87,000.
However, the video showed that upon counter-checking the pages, the actual wow emoticons far outnumbered the heart emoticons.
Several vloggers that included Kasangga Jay and Maui Becker quickly accused Rappler of bias, thus, triggering a swift condemnation of the Rappler poll survey from among Marcos supporters.
The Marcos camp said Rappler deleted its Facebook presidential survey after its propaganda moves came to light under the scrutinizing eyes of netizens.
“Rappler also apologized to angry netizens and explained that the survey had to be taken down since it was not aligned with their objectives,” a press statement distributed by the former senator’s office said.