Duterte admits paying trolls for 2016 elections

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday admitted paying “trolls” to defend him on social media but said this only happened during the campaign for the 2016 elections. 

“I spent P10 million? Me? Maybe in the elections, in the elections I spent more than that...They were all during the campaign,” Duterte said. 

But he said his administration was not shelling out money to hire online trolls to rig the results of popularity surveys.

“I don’t need to defend myself from attacks. I stated my piece during my inauguration and during my campaign. I’m not anymore eligible for reelection,” Duterte said. 

A study by academics from the University of Oxford claimed that  Duterte’s political party, PDP-Laban, paid more than $200,000 or P10 million for a social media campaign in which volunteers and paid people or groups used social media accounts to promote him or defend him against critics.

Downplaying the report, Duterte then called the University of Oxford, one of the top educational institutions in the world, a school for stupid people.

“Oxford University? That’s a school for the stupid people),” he said.

He then defended sexy starlet Mocha Uson whom he appointed Communications assistant secretary. 

“Cannot a lowly dancer in this Republic, in this country, can they not aspire for somebody to be somebody someday? Marunong naman mag-English. Hindi naman bali-bali. And she deals with everybody. Kaibigan niya ang military, kaibigan niya ang lahat. So, bakit hindi ko siya ilagay sa pwesto?” Duterte said. 

“Sabihin mo, naghubad ‘yung tao. And so? She no longer deserves a break in this universe because she’s a dancer?”

Topics: President Rodrigo Duterte , "Trolls" , Social media , 2016 elections
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