Bro. Armin Luistro, former secretary of the Department of Education, warns that applauding and even staying silent on the foul language that President Rodrigo Duterte often uses enable disinformation.
Speaking at the Democracy and Disinformation conference at the Rockwell campus of Ateneo de Manila in Makati, the president of De La Salle Philippines took a swipe at Duterte for his controversial “shoot in the vagina remark.”
“When you have a president who tells his troops to shoot female combatants in the vagina, followed by a logic that says if you shoot the vagina and there’s nothing more, then they’re useless,” Luistro told journalists, bloggers and educators.
He said that the public could become part of the architecture that supports and spreads disinformation if they would tolerate statements such those of the President’s.
“And you have an audience that applauds and, at the very least, keeps quiet in respect for that statement. That is the basic architecture that allows fake news to become true, applauded and valued,” he said.
Duterte drew criticisms and made headlines around the world for saying – in a speech before some 200 former rebels in Malacañang lst Feb. 7 – that he had ordered soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina so they would become useless.
Downplaying the criticisms, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque asked the public to “not take the President literally but take him seriously.”
By not telling the emperor that he had no clothes, Luistro said that Filipinos had created an architecture for disinformation to flourish because “we are too afraid of power or we are too subservient to power, we forget who we are.”
“I think the fist bump is the basic architecture that allows fake news not only to flourish but to be regarded highly and valued,” he said.
“I have no answers, except to say that I and every single one of you here here are part of that architecture because we have allowed it.” /atm
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