The propaganda war against President Duterte’s campaign versus illegal drugs and criminality in the Philippines is heating up. In the wake of Leila de Lima and Frank Drilon’s call for a Senate investigation on the death of several persons linked to the drug trade, a fake news story about the “Duterte Death Squad” is now being circulated on social media.
An image, which is supposedly a screenshot of a news report from ABS-CBN, shows the blood-splattered interior of a car. One person is dead in the front passenger seat, and a child is in the back seat, covered in blood. The caption reads “DUTERTE DEATH SQUAD NAKAPATAY NG INOSENTING PAMILYA SA PASAY CITY, TATLO PATAY AT ISA KIRITIKAL.”
But while some people may be fooled by the clever presentation, eagle-eyed netizens quickly spotted the tell-tale signs that prove the image was edited. These include the wrong font used for the graphics, the mismatched ABS-CBN logos, and the Photoshop zoom icon clearly visible on the image.
With this, it is becoming clearer that there is an organized effort to stop President Duterte from fulfilling his campaign promise to rid the streets of drugs and crime. The question now is, who is behind it all? Are de Lima and Drilon willing accomplices, or are they merely ignorant pawns in a game that is much bigger than their small minds can comprehend?
How far will these people go to stop Duterte, and what will the President do to counter their offensive? These are questions that every citizen must grapple with, along with the bigger challenge of what they are willing to do to support Duterte.
Will the Filipinos stand aside as our best and last hope for a better Philippines is pilloried by his political enemies? Can we stay in the sidelines as he battles not just the drug lords but also the media hacks who have nothing better to do than criticize, criticize, and criticize some more? Will we still have Duterte’s back when the going gets tough, or will we turn Judas on him? Only time and our own conscience will tell.