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Duterte denies tapping Cambridge Analytica for 2016 campaign: Baka natalo ako dyan!

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President Rodrigo Duterte has denied tapping the London-based political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica for his 2016 presidential campaign.

In a press briefing Friday (April 13) after his arrival from Hong Kong, Duterte said he did not pay a single cent to the foreign company to win.

“T** i** Cambridge. Ako magbayad sa’yo, matalo pa ako. Wala ‘yan. Kalokohan ‘yan,” he said.

Duterte, who won the five-way presidential race with over 16 million votes, said he was even clueless as to what Cambridge Analytica does.

“Wala man akong alam. Hindi ko man kilala ‘yan. Honestly, hindi ako bilib diyan sa survey-survey. Kita mo, and to the last day, kailan lang ako gumanun?” he said.

“Tsaka bakit ako magbayad sa mga ugok na taga-Cambridge ang magtrabaho para sa kampanya ko? Mas lalo akong matalo niyan,” he added.

Cambridge Analytica has been thrust in the limelight for harvesting the data of over 50 million Facebook users for use in the 2016 campaign of United States President Donald Trump.

The company’s CEO, Alexander Nix, was found to have dined with cousins Peter Tiu Laviña and Pompee Laviña when he visited Manila in 2015.

The Laviñas were Duterte’s campaign advisers.

Before gaining infamy over the Facebook data harvesting scandal, Nix was known as a senior executive of Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, Strategic Communications Laboratory (SCL), which boasted of working for a presidential candidate in the 2016 Philippine elections.

On its website, SCL bragged about turning its client in the 2016 Philippine elections from a “kind,” “honourable” politiko to one who’s tough and decisive.

“SCL used the cross-cutting issue of crime to rebrand the client as a strong, no-nonsense man of action, who would appeal to the true values of the voters,” it said.

Many believe SCL’s client was Duterte.