Veteran journalist laughs off claim Duterte got help from foreign firm to claim 2016 presidential victory

In a series of article published recently, Rappler implied that Duterte got some help from foreign firms to emerge victorious in the 2016 election.

In an article published on April 9, 2018, Rappler’s Natashya Gutierrez tried to connect Strategic Communications Laboratory’s local counterpart “Istrathehiya Inc” to President Duterte by naming one of its incorporators and directors of Istratehiya Rey Faizal Ponce Millan, also known as “Taipan Millan” as a family friend of the president. [Link here]

SCL (Strategic Communications Laboratory) is the parent company of the British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

In another article, again from Gutierrez, titled: “Duterte social media campaign manager: ‘Nix influenced my work”, the author implied that Duterte’s social media director Pompee La Vina and Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix collaborated to ensure Duterte’s victory in the 2016 election. [Link here]

A photo of the meeting between Pompee La Vina, Duterte’s social media director in the 2016 election, Pete La Vina and the controversial Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix add more flavor to Gutierrez’s Rappler article. Below is the photo of the said meeting.

Credits photo to Pompee La Vina.

Pompee La Vina denied working with Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL).

He admitted though to Gutierrez that he employed one of the techniques Nix mentioned during the presentation, which is using human emotions as a leverage in the social media campaign of then candidate and now President Duterte.

Meanwhile, Raissa Robles wrote that she can’t believed her eyes when Cambridge Analytica bragged on its website that they played a key role in Duterte’s 2016 victory. [Link here]

This isn’t so says veteran journalist Bobi Tiglao.

In a Facebook post, Tiglao was dismissive on Cambridge Analytica’s claim and Rappler’s assertion that Duterte benefited from image branding as per recommendations from the said British firm.

You may read Tiglao’s full post below.

C’mon now guys.. Did Duterte ever have a different image other than being “tough and decisive”, which Rappler and the tarsier-looking lady claimed was the image Cambridge Analytica concluded from profiles of Filipino FB users was what voters liked, and recommended to him?

Did Duterte ever have an image of being “kind and honorable”, which they claim was Duterte’s initial branding? How could he have an image of being “kind and honorable” when his critics, and mainstreammedia, had branded him way before the 2016 elections as responsible for Davao Death Squads that killed drug lords and pushers?

“The Punisher” they branded him nga. The fighting fist nga was his symbol, and don’t tell me those Americans (or British) thought of that. Palamura pa nga.

Candidates who had some image of being “kind and honorable” were Binay (despite the PDI’s barrage vs him as corrupt) and Roxas (“Ipagpatuloy ang Daang Matuwid”).

Namputsa naman o, pati itong DIrty Harry image ni Duterte, which few thought would catapult him to the presidency, kine-credit pa sa mga Puti! Another instance of colonial mentality!

Take it from me, a lot of these so-called fake news citing sources or claiming to be analytical pieces can be debunked through common sense and logic. Impossible for Duterte’s people to hire Cambridge Analytica to do that research as everyone who pushed him to run, thought his current image then, as tough and decisive was what Filpinos wanted and what the other candidates lacked.

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