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Lakas ng tama! UP’s Randy David: Facts ain’t enough of a correction when it’s Duterte spreading fake news

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Fighting fake news has become more difficult when it’s President Rodrigo Duterte who’s making inaccurate claims since he remains widely popular among Filipinos, University of the Philippines sociology professor Randy David said.

In his September 24 column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, David said “it seems almost futile to argue” with Duterte whenever he cites questionable information, such as the data on the war on drugs.

“Cloaked with the authority of the presidency and the force of Mr. Duterte’s personality, even the most bizarre piece of information could take on the shape of a fact,” he said.

David attributed the willingness of Duterte’s supporters to believe every word he said to people’s tendency to believe information that confirms their beliefs or supports their biases.

Duterte has been accused of spreading fake news when he admitted to making up the numbers of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s alleged bank accounts in Singapore.

He claimed he invented the numbers to “fool” the senator, who flew to Singapore to disporve the President’s claim.

Due to Duterte’s antics, David likened him to United States President Donald Trump, who “revels in attacking mainstream media organizations that do not share his view of reality.”

“[W]hen the president himself becomes the purveyor of fake news, facts alone will not be sufficient to counter the falsehood or outright disinformation,” he said.