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Will Facebook be able to continue its operations in the Philippines?

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (September 28) said he wants to talk to officials of the social media giant after it took down several pages and accounts linked to the Philippine military and police.

Duterte expressed dismay over Facebook’s decision in his weekly address, saying he doesn’t understand the rationale behind the takedown.

“We allow you to operate here, hoping that you could help us also. Now, if government cannot espouse or advocate something which is for the good of the people, then what is your purpose here in my country?” he asked.

Duterte dared Facebook to explain why the government can’t use its platform for public good while communist groups can post their propaganda there.

“If you are promoting the cause of the rebellion, which was already here before you came, and so many thousands of my soldiers and civilians dying… Then if you cannot reconcile the idea on what your purpose is or was, then we have to talk. I don’t know what I will do. But we have to talk,” he said.

Duterte said Facebook can’t impose its policies on the administration. He said it’s his job as President to protect government interest.

“I allow you to operate here. You cannot bar or prevent me from espousing the objectives of government,” he said.

“Is there life after Facebook? I don’t know. Pero mag-usap tayo,” Duterte added.

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