MANILA - Former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. claimed Thursday that his family has spent decades wresting with "fake news," like those that prompted thousands of their supporters to gather at the University of the Philippines Los Baños last month.
Droves of people from Metro Manila and neighboring provinces flocked to UPLB's grounds on September 23 after a cooperative promised them P10,000 a month for the next 4 years, which will allegedly be sourced out from the wealth of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Each person who wanted a piece of the Marcos billions had to buy a booklet that discusses "The Life and Achievements of Ferdinand E. Marcos." Priced at P30 each, the booklet's cover shows the face of Marcos while the back page bore the words "Bullion Buyer LTD."
"Sanay na kami d'yan sa fake news. Sa pamilya ko, 30 taon na naming tinitiis iyung mga kasinungalingan ng fake news na iyan. Tingnan mo yung nangyari sa UPLB, isn't that the classic fake news na ginawa?" Marcos said at the Kamuning Bakery's "Pandesal Forum" in Quezon City.
(We are used to fake news. My family has been putting up with lies on fake news for 30 years now. Look at what happened in UPLB. Isn't that classic fake news?)
"Iyan talaga ang fake news because may biktima. Binibiktima nila ang supporter ng Marcos, binibiktima nila iyung mga matatanda, iyung mga umaasa na sana mayroon silang makuha... That is the perfect example of fake news and that is being used for political purposes," he added.
(That is really fake news because there were actual victims. They victimized Marcos supporters, the elderly and those who hoped to receive money.)
The cash promise, he alleged, was organized and funded by a group that wants to discredit his family.
Pressed by a reporter if the family of former President Beningo Aquino III was involved in efforts against him, Marcos said "I am sure they have something to do with it."
Abigail Valte, Aquino's former deputy spokesperson, rejected the accusation and questioned why Marcos did not immediately condemn or file raps against those behind the incident.
"Kung talagang iniingatan niya ang pangalan at legasiya ng ama nya, bakit di nya agarang ikondena ang mga nanloko sa ating mga kababayan? Di ba dapat syang sumama sa pagsampa ng kaso laban sa mga sumisira sa pangalan ng kanilang angkan?" Valte said in a text message to ABS-CBN News.