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Palace to De Lima: Go ahead, investigate Duterte-linked trolls

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By Prince Golez

Detained Senator Leila de Lima is free to investigate reports that public funds are being used to pay online “troll armies” to manipulate public discourse in the country, Malacañang said.

De Lima earlier sought for an immediate Senate investigation on alleged use of government funds to pay an army of social media trolls.

“Sige po. Imbestigahan ni Senator Leila de Lima kung gusto niya. Walang pumipigil sa kanya,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4.

In filing Senate Resolution No. 401, de Lima directed the appropriate Senate committees to verify the veracity of several studies abroad explaining how the Duterte administration has organized and operated troll farms to “parrot political propaganda” using false or misleading information.

“It is against the interests of our country to fund online trolls who manipulate online discussions on national issues for political ends. These funds are better spent on education, alleviating poverty and improving our healthcare system,” according to the senator, who is detained at the PNP custodial center over drug charges.

She also claimed that these troll armies are led by bloggers and social media personalities that have been appointed in various government posts.

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