Duterte slams Facebook’s takedown of fake accounts: I allow you to operate in PH

Image title

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. (PCOO)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, Sept. 28, complained about Facebook after it removed a network of fake accounts linked to the country’s police and military.

Facebook, listen to me. We allow you to operate here hoping that you could help us also. Now, if [the] government cannot espouse or advocate something which is for the good of the people, then what is your purpose here in my country?” Duterte said during his weekly speech.

Duterte—who was catapulted into presidency partly due to Facebook—accused the tech giant of supporting leftists because of the network takedown.

“You cannot lay down a policy for my government. I allow you to operate here. You cannot bar or prevent me from espousing the objectives of government,” the president said.

On Sept. 22, Facebook’s Head of Security Nathaniel Gleicher said the social media firm took down 57 accounts, 31 pages, and six Instagram accounts for “coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign or government entity.”

Gleicher said the network posted about Philippine domestic policies, criticisms of opposition figures, youth activism, communism, the Communist Party of the Philippines, and its military arm the New Peoples’ Army.

Philippine state forces have denied involvement in this network.

Duterte sought a dialogue with the tech company, saying that it was his duty to protect government interests.

“If we are promoting the cause of the rebellion which is already — which or rather which was already here before you came, and so many thousands of my soldiers and civilians dying, then if you cannot reconcile the idea of what your purpose is or was, then we have to talk,” the President added.

Facebook had also recently removed another network of 155 accounts, 11 pages, nine groups and six Instagram accounts promoting Duterte and the 2022 presidential bid of his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. The firm found links to individuals in the Chinese province of Fujian.