• Robredo trolls declaring war armed only with their anonymous cowardice

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    ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS

    THE thing about exercising a political right, if it comes from the heart, is that you pour your inner soul into it, and your words become pure, even if these may include curses, epithets and cuss words.

    In contrast, a paid troll whose politics stems from a contract, whether it is as a social media conscript as a keyboard warrior working on a per-post basis, or as a regularly paid staff member of a politician, like a senator or even a Vice President, will always appear indecent even without cursing. Their words will reveal the lost cause they are paid to bear.

    This is precisely why the main weapon of Robredo trolls populating the Internet is to accuse people like Mocha Uson, Sass Rogando Sasot, RJ Nieto also known as Thinking Pinoy, Trixie Angeles, Rocky Gonzales, Krizette Laureta Chu, Lorraine Badoy, Vince Rivera, MJ Quiambao Reyes and all the others who they perceive as defending the President and are critical of Leni Robredo as paid or “bayaran.” The Robredo trolls know it is demeaning because it is who they are, and they are ashamed of it, that is why they take refuge in names such as Superficial Gazette, Madam Claudia and Silent No More.

    I have been accorded the honor of being included in their distinguished list of political warriors.

    We are called “bayaran” but we are not the ones hiding our faces only to inflict the worst of insults on our enemies. We take responsibility for our words. We are lawyers, doctors, graduate students and writers. We are graduates of respectable schools. Our boldness to be more revealing in some of our social media profiles is evidence that we are confident not only about our minds but also our physicality.

    We are fiercely independent that we do not agree on everything. Our politics is one of commitment, and not as an income-generating activity, or a mere day job. We engage our followers not with canned responses and memes, but with our own words that we prepare and craft every day as authentic expressions of what we believe in.

    And ranged against us are the Robredo trolls unleashed by that command from her office, which was revealed in #LeniLeaks and has effectively damned her. One columnist in the diaspora, appearing to be erudite, claimed that there is no “Leni” there, considering that the unsecured conversations were made only about her, and she took no active part in the discussions.

    That is the problem with Leni Robredo. Her apologists paint her as a helpless, clueless beneficiary of political plots. She has to rely on her paid social media operators to save her failing image. This is the same Leni that is unaware that others were moving to commit a massive electoral fraud on her behalf. Pieces of evidence of this fraud have been revealed, from the mathematical disparities of an anomalous straight line, to the existence of an illegal fourth server, and now to the suspicious presence of data in the SD cards of unused VCMs.

    But what do you expect from someone whose life as first lady of Naga City was one of detachment that she had to rely on a Girl Friday to do her bidding. When Typhoon Nina struck, in her absence she yielded her voice to Georgina Hernandez.

    And now, she once again relies on others to fight her dirty war. Her office instructed her paid trolls, whose anonymous sites appear to be well-funded, to declare open war on all of us her critics. We are being called the worst of names.

    The thing is, instead of fighting her cause these anonymous keyboard warriors further damage her. They spill enough vitriol to infect some students, faculty and graduates of UP, Ateneo and La Salle and turn them into trolls too, when they behave in exactly the same way they paint the Duterte masses—allegedly uncouth and uneducated. I have seen many of my decent colleagues and former students behave in trollish ways, forgetting their moral compasses, and using words unfit for the kind of day jobs they have—as teachers of minds, animators of development and as decent citizens of this Republic.

    Sometimes, I pity Leni Robredo. I wonder whether she realizes that she is sinking fast in the quicksand that her clueless politics has thrown her into.

    One who is politically astute will be more discerning not to piss off cyber-activists who are so committed to their politics, courageous enough not to hide their identities and are so articulate that words pour naturally from their minds into their keyboards

    One who is ready to become President would not unleash a paid army of trolls who are only too willing to fight her battles from a position of anonymity using memes that do not even spell “wannabe” correctly, and whose best argument is to assault us with the trite allegation that we are paid operators and Marcos loyalists.

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    40 Comments

    1. @TONY

      People are so used to the asaran type of argumentation. No substance, pure jeer. Nothing is accomplished. It’s sad really, given, we have all the tools at our disposal to know and discuss the truth yet we are TOO COWARDLY to face the facts. The anonymity is not of cowardice. It’s more of preventing online bullying, which would be nice as a topic when there’s a legal suit filed. People resort to insulting and harassing but when they are to face a lawsuit, they run away.

    2. Everyone have the right to express their sentiments, that is called Freedom of Expression. But in that freedom comes a responsibility, you say something be sure that you are brave enough to show your face because I cannot think of anything to describe an obvious coward by hiding in anonymity but a stinking garbage and a worthless troll who only has the balls to sprout out their stupidity under he guise of an unidentified account.

      The difference between an honest and transparent commentator and a nobody is that the former has the balls to stand up for his/her statements while the latter finds courage only in hiding and throwing nonsensical and pitiful insults as if sprouting their garbage mouth makes them “intellectual.”

    3. What is the point of this article? Everybody writes fake news stories and making money doing it, so why gripe about it. Duterte news as we know it are “all fake” and if this writer think Robredo’s army of trolls are hiding behind fake names, what’s wrong with that? Duterte trolls are the same dumbasses that troll for Bongbong and in this dirty game of social media madness, it doesn’t matter anymore if you are anonymous because every one is churning out lies and fake news anyway.

      If this writer is telling us that Mocha Uson’s name somehow suggest credibility, you my friend are out of your mind. Mocha Uson’s articles are all paste ups from Andanars office. WTF does she know other than sex? And who is this idiot named Sass Rogando Sasot? Is she the OFW housemaid that made it to the Netherlands who learned to speak the English language and earned some education and now calls herself a journalist. Give me a f**king break. You are all losers that have found fortune under this psycho government, who in no time will be another f**king corrupt administration. LOL!!!

    4. Why give importance to tags and labels, and react like children? As they say grow-up, in mind, in wisdom in character. The intent, the message, the merit, the wisdom or lack of it is what we pay attention to whether that noise is coming from a paid source or whatever.

      The way to go is never to believe anything at face value, but prove it to oneself! always. But how to go about that is the difference between us pinoys and other races.

    5. This is how these losers behave! Calling us all names, paid loyalist, jologs, patay gutom, masa “hol”, etc. when losing out on political arguments. And this is the first time a noted columnist took notice of this bad habits of the schooled and cultured civil society! I am proud to be called whatever names as long as I am fighting my political belief and principle! To hell with them!

    6. “We are called “bayaran” but we are not the ones hiding our faces only to inflict the worst of insults on our enemies.”

      I’m sorry Dr. Contreras but just because someone doesn’t hide it doesn’t automatically mean they are immune to the possibility of being paid endorsers. In fact it is common sense that paid endorsers are those who have positions or a certain level of popularity to give an illusion of credibility. It’s no secret that a lot of Filipinos, especially the depressed masses, lack critical thinking are easily swayed by superficial titles, emotions, and popularity. So it’s no surprise that politicians would take advantage of this knowledge and hire professors, celebrities, popular bloggers, etc to give their image a certain level of heft and credibility.

      How many times have we seen people claim that what they know is infallible because they learned it “from a Professor from a prestigious university” or “from a celebrity with thousands of followers”? Even Duterte has thousands of supporters online who claim that he can’t be wrong because he is a prosecutor, which common sense would dictate as false.

      • Rizal, Bonifacio, and A. Luna are dead because somebody stabbed them at the back. These are heroes because they think differently. I see our present president in them. He is risking everything to position the Philippines in a better future. He, too, is thinking differently and uncompromisingly. He saw how the Filipinos in the past suffered under colonial powers. Never he wants those events to come back.

        However, to avoid this past to come back will be difficult unless we are united. We must be united in securing the health of our children for the future, united in breaking corruption, united in attaining better learnings so that we will be competitive with the other nations, and united in protecting our land.

        Do you want our present president to fall like the three heroes? Please, no more tragedies. We must be united in making our republic be successful.

    7. This what Inquirer.net is posting today, “US journalist reports on ‘Duterte’s army of online trolls”.

      It’s making me sick.

    8. Prof. Contreras always give us a very precise wording without fear. I salute you and more power to you.

    9. Mr. Contreras, I love to read your articles to observe the poisonous, hateful and biased stance you always portray. Masquerading behind a lot of fine words, you really do not take a balanced view on issues but choose to defend your idol, Duterte,without providing well reasoned arguments, and to continuously pour scorn and hatred on the Vice President. The continued use of insults and innuendos on the Vice President without applying the principles of good sense and decency are surely demeaning to your title of Professor.

      I also note that after each of your articles there is a stream of writers praising your writings without saying why. Perhaps you are writing these praises yourself.

      If you are authentic and truly have the people’s interests at heart you should desist from these toxic writings and instead focus on articles that highlight the successes or failures of Duterte’s policies and actions.

    10. Leonora Quisumbing on

      Perhaps there are paid trolls from both sides?
      Thinking Pinoy also hides behind a name. What’s worse, two members they are not even residents (or even citizens?) of this country, right?

      Look at how divisive the articles have been. If you are not with Du30, you are against Du30!
      Do you illuminate or just spread misinformation?

      Also, in the group you belong to:
      -how many has criticized the ejk, tokhang in neighborhoods?
      -has anyone told the president he is wrong about the non-existence of any movie on martial law?
      -has anyone told the president he is wrong to suppor the burial of Marcos?
      -how many among you have advised him that he was wrong to assume that Robredo attended and called for a rally?
      and how many lie that she has?
      -why is everyone out to destroy Robredo – spreading rumors of pregnancy, misinforming public about magazines, pet projects that the LGU oversees (so is the culpability Robredo’s – but do you notice that she goes to check as well, even if it is no longer her job/ out of her scope).
      -how many among you have asked him to sever ties with GMA, the Marcoses, Villars, some druglords too.

      You all aid in sowing divisiveness. On top of this, as long as you treat citizens this way, paid or not (admitting to it), the country loses.

    11. Well said. Hopefully there are more and more Filipinos like you discussing and talking issues base on merit and essence not base on personalities. When and how can Filipinos find common ground?

    12. It is sad that I voted for VP, all I can see the work the VP is doing is destructive criticism. The VP could not even hire people to help the president and the filipinos. The VP main objective is destructive criticism against a sitting President in order to become a President.

    13. As I have been reading the blogs, I realized that there are many writers, posting virulent messages, who would not use their true names and would use only silly identities. Now, I get it. These are paid trolls.

      I’m shaking my head and sad for these people because they are like prostitutes selling their dignity to bring good people down.

      My I remind them my favorite verse from the Bible. Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

      Thank you for exposing these people as such, sir.

    14. Up to now, Robredo cannot shed off her real self as a babaeng palengkera. Imagine, she wanted to be sent to Washington as the country’s representative to the Trump inauguration. The height of her “shameless illusions” ! Every time she opens her mouth, she says something that demeans her.

      Let’s pray that the PET hurries up to declare the real V-P winner, whom we all know to be Marcos, Jr.

      • On official business to continue the anti-Duterte scheming with some Ampin (american pinoys) steak commandos. Ang kapal naman !

    15. Robredo has enlisted the services of Ricky Carandang and his troll brigades. It takes money to hire PR consultants. Yet, Robredo insists on her ‘lugaw’ fundraising? Another of Robredo’s fake news. Obviously, Robredo is being funded by anonymous sources.

    16. To be fair, there are vicious anonymous trolls on both sides. But there are also responsible ones. Focus should be on the validity, veracity, truth, compelling logic of the content of the message not on the messenger, his/her true identity or anonymity.

      • Exactly. The danger here is that the author is implying that only one side has trolls. If the author can claim that a politician like Robredo can pay trolls, then it is safe to say that any politician can do the same. And yet a lot of Duterte supporters here are quick to take a defensive stance and deny that he has paid trolls, as if his side is immune to the same logic. Their excuses and alibis are the same as any sides’ supporters.

    17. Ramon Carandang is now behind the Robredo troll army. That is confirmed. Actually they are small bunch of pathetic, mal-educated and social misfit losers whose intelligence is barely sufficient for purposes of propagating scripts here and there. Oh, and a good number of them have chromosomal deficiencies that are borderline adequate for the jobs they were hired for.

    18. Yes, indeed Professor. But why do we call them Trolls or ‘Trollers”? I wonder whether they are cave dwellers. I know that they sow discord online. But then, the term, “Trolls” or “Trolling” appears cute to the uninitiated like me.
      Why don’t we just call these characters for what they really are? Since they hide their identity while posting unfounded inflammatory remarks without any value in a deeply healthy public discourse, why don’t we just call them “lowlifes from, or populating, the underworld”.

    19. dutertes so called trolls express themselves on their on volition, out of frustration from the pinoy govt. But it is leni who has paid trolls. One businessman even told me, you want to be president of this country??? become a byuda..like cory and leni??? see, they are not equipped, they lack sincerity and now leni is a monster

    20. Greetings Dr. Contreras,

      “Crusaders” to revise history?

      I am relieved to learn you have admitted being part of a group of “political crusaders” intent on expressing your (partisan?) views on issues confronting the nation.It is definitely your Constitutional right to be heard and no democratic government can take it away from you.

      However, you must also be aware such right is not limited to a few but guaranteed for all Filipinos — even those whose views differ from yours.

      I will not dwell on your inner motives but your written articles provide readers a hint of what it is — and the readers know who can afford to pay for trolls –certainly not the VP.

      However responsible journalism demands ideas or opinions should be subject to intellectual challenge — for it is through an exchange of scholarly, well thought out ideas that we avoid “inbred, classical, obsolete and recycled” ideas complete with lots of bias and half-truths — characteristics of a Cold War mentality which has spilled over to our political arena. I just hope our classrooms are not contaminated by such failed thinking.

      It is when we conduct a friendly scrutiny of one’s thoughts that ideas are polished — truth prevails and correct conclusions emerge. This is why dissenting voices must always be allowed and not curtailed.
      In the end the nation comes out a winner from these creative discussions.

      Simply, no one must be the sole source of reason — otherwise it is plain propaganda. It must collective, assembled from brilliant minds (and not paid trolls masquerading as innocent, impartial obeservers). Otherwise it’s just lose and irresponsible talk.

      It is appropriate at this point to bring to light a profile of your most recent articles — to come to a conclusion if what you have written are fair and unbiased.

      Let’s see.

      1. Except for the Dec 23 article, I see very limited constructive discussions on Pdu30– no mention of the pluses or minuses of his administration — just guarded statements on him.

      2. On the contrary, there are numerous, very sharp articles written vs. Vice President Leni, with all the unpleasant and unfounded innuendos. It is clear, there is a sustained effort to discredit her.

      3. There is an underlying theme in your articles — the Marcos era and Martial Law was not that bad. The “yellows” are to blame for this perception and this “error” needs to be rectified — if not rewritten. More disturbing is the media slant that the people espousing this train of thought have the “birth right” to undo what is now written — with no questions asked. So, if such is the case, how then are they different from the “yellows” — not much, in my opinion.

      4. This is where it gets messy if not convoluted — a subtle twist of facts. Probably in your desire to bring this (Martial Law) reasoning to the forefront, you (or your group) have zeroed in on the VP and painted her as a distrustful official just because of her strong stance against the Martial Law era and those incorrectly claiming sole rights to change it. The political attacks on her, just because of her personal and party affiliation, is unjust and uncalled for — specially after she has openly expressed her willingness to work with the administration.

      These facts are suspiciously absent or ignored in your articles.

      Although, your partisan accounts are predictable. Am glad, VP Leni Divinely stands in the way of reckless revisionist moves (& to get back in power with the same psyche) that may have taken place — had the losing candidate won.

      Thank God for this.

      • Erratum: “It must collective, assembled from brilliant minds (and not paid trolls masquerading as innocent, impartial observers). Otherwise it’s just loose and irresponsible talk.”

      • I would also like to mention a logical flaw in his piece. Dr. Contreras is implying that only paid trolls hide in anonymity, and that people who do not hide cannot be paid for. Common sense would dictate that one can be paid for and still be known in public, and if I’m not mistaken Dr. Contraras has accused other publications to be paid for.

        Additionally he is critical of anti-Duterte trolls and how biased they are, yet does not say anything about pro-Duterte trolls who practically do the same thing.

    21. AP Contreras maraming salamat! Let it be known that Digong trolls are not paid but by one’s volition!

    22. i have a college friend who reposts madam claudia’s posts for a small amount of money.
      what a cheap pr*ck claudia is.

    23. Interesting read. I would like to ask, since we are on the topic of paid trolls, what is your opinion on paid Duterte trolls especially those who twist or even outright deny statements that the president clearly said?

      • We’re not trolls and we’re not paid. Heck, they can’t afford to pay most of us even if asked for it. We have real lives and we have plenty of brains and heart to spare for love of country in what we do.

      • how can you say that there is indeed a duterte trolls? they/we are not trolls for we are defending what we know is right and NO amount of money can keep us silent. we are just stating our opinion with a fact and we are not relying on what we only heard. our views comes from our heart and we are fighting not for money but for our children’s generation.

      • 1) For those who are asking me to produce one paid Duterte troll, then I would also ask you and the author if they can produce paid Robredo trolls as well.

        2) I asked a decent question and now some of you are replying with insults and ad hominems. That in itself suggests at the very least you are trolls, paid or otherwise, and at the most suggests you mentally incapable of decent conversation.

        3) If you are indeed a troll but not paid for, then my question does not apply to you. I am referring specifically to the paid ones.

        4) If the author can assume that Robredo paid trolls exists without concrete evidence, then I can assume the same for Duterte trolls and I have the right to ask.

        5) And finally I am not here to offend nor am I biased towards a politician. I would just like answers. if you are offended by my questions I suggest you learn to be less over-sensitive because the question is directed to the author and not you.

      • Also just to clarify, supporting Duterte doesn’t make you a troll. Trolls are the ones who post insults, fanatical nonsense, ad hominems, swears, twists and lies, etc. So some of you calm down.

      • you will never find a Duterte troll. what you will find, and there are a lot of them, is an ordinary Filipino awakened from all the lies, manipulation and corruption of the Liberal Party army.

      • @MAGGIE

        And the Duterte supporters above who reply with insults and swears are what then? You deny that Duterte trolls do not exist when even here they are in plain sight. Either you do not understand what a troll is, or you are just being biased and turn a blind eye from the obvious. Some people claim that they are not Duterte trolls, yet they act no differently from Robredo trolls.

        If you reply with insults, hate, nonsensical bias, logical fallacies, etc especially when the discussion is civil, then you are a troll regardless of which politician you support.