Human rights group Karapatan on Wednesday wanted the government security forces to show all Facebook advocacy groups and accounts they are supporting after the social media giant’s purging of accounts linked to military and police.
The military and the police should also disclose the budget spent on “what is clearly a coordinated machinery of mass deception to vilify, discredit, and incite state violence against government critics, activists, and human rights defenders,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said.
“The government cannot lie anymore, and we demand the AFP, PNP, and the NTF-ELCAC to disclose before the public all these ‘advocacy groups’ and just how much of our taxes are being spent on their harmful lies,” Palabay said.
“What President Rodrigo Duterte himself has inadvertently admitted is that this fake online propaganda machinery taken down by Facebook along with these so-called ‘advocacy groups’ are indeed state-backed. Facebook’s takedown exposed the shamelessly deceptive practices that lie at the heart of the NTF-ELCAC’s ‘whole-of-nation’ campaign of state terrorism and mass deception,” she added.
She noted that the public should know what the security forces support because their taxes “are being spent on and pocketed by the people behind these pages, accounts, and groups that spout lies against activists and human rights defenders — especially in the middle of this public health crisis.”
Karapatan wants PNP, AFP, NTC-ELCAC to reveal Facebook accounts they’re supporting
Calabay mentioned Philippine Army Captain Alexandre Cabales’ account, who is in charge of the Army’s social media center, was taken down by Facebook.
Cabales handles the Hands Off Our Children (HOOC), which was also taken down by Facebook. A group of parents trying to protect their children against “violent extremism” launched the HOOC, the military said.
“Along with operating fake social media accounts and pages, the creation of government-organized non-government organizations or GONGOs is part and parcel of the government’s counterinsurgency campaign,” Palabay said.
“It is a well-known tactic used by repressive governments to deceive the public by appropriating, mimicking, and muzzling the civil society voice to create the illusion of grassroots mobilization supporting the government’s fascist and anti-people agenda,” she added.