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De Lima slams trolls for fake photo of her asking SC to allow ex-lover's visits

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 4/20/2019 Galarpe, Karen
Detained Senator Leila de Lima waves to photographers as she arrives at the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 to attend a hearing on her disobedience to summons case. GMA News Detained Senator Leila de Lima waves to photographers as she arrives at the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 to attend a hearing on her disobedience to summons case. GMA News

Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Saturday slammed the "purveyors of fake news" after a doctored photo showing her filing a petition before the Supreme Court to allow visits from her former driver and ex-lover made the rounds online.

In a statement, the detained senator said the photo was another disinformation directed against her and another malicious product of vengeful individuals who have been "untiringly working to smear her good name and reputation."

“It has come to my attention that another disinformation against me has been making the rounds on social media at a time when I have been speaking strongly against the Duterte regime’s indecency and moral bankruptcy,” de Lima said.

“These paid purveyors of fake news are working double time to smear reputations, demonize critics of the administration, and propagate hate online for the benefit of no less than Mr. Duterte himself – the top source of fake news – and his minions,” she added.

The senator made the statement after several questionable Facebook pages started to share an altered image of de Lima holding a document supposedly asking the Supreme Court “to allow [her former driver] Mr. Ronnie Dayan to visit me even once a week.”

Apparently, the published photo was an altered version of an image originally published by global news company Agence-France-Presse on November 7, 2016, showing de Lima presenting before the media a copy of her petition for writ of habeas data.

In the petition, the senator has asked the Supreme Court to stop Duterte and his allies from securing private details about her and using them against her.

“It really helps, as it becomes an imperative step nowadays, to verify the authenticity of articles or photos we encounter online before sharing them in our respective social media faces for the world to see,” she said.

“Very clearly, the photo of me that is now circulating online was altered and should be taken down by Facebook immediately,” she added.

De Lima said she believes that the Duterte administration cannot easily fool the Filipino public anymore because “people are getting more and more exhausted and vigilant” against fake news, especially now that elections near.

“With the barrage of disinformation ahead of the elections in May, people have become more conscious and vigilant against groups and individuals peddling disinformation or fake news,” she said. “After all, no matter how blurred it gets, the world will always see the truth.”

Last March 29, Facebook head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher announced that Facebook took down more than 200 pages, including 67 Facebook pages, 68 Facebook accounts, 40 Facebook groups and 25 Instagram accounts for spreading misleading content and fake news stories.

Notably, the questionable pages and accounts were linked to a network organized by Nic Gabunada, Duterte’s social media manager in his 2016 presidential campaign. —Ted Cordero/KG, GMA News

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