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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Editorial: Pause, discern, react

WHEREVER you would look, in politics or in life, there's always misunderstanding between parties. And the division always lies in misinterpretation, a little offense in communication leads to huge trouble. A little glitch means chaos.

What could be a better example than Philippine politics.

Both President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo were accused of peddling fake news in a Senate inquiry on Tuesday.

Vera Files president Ellen Tordesillas said Duterte was guilty of spreading fake news, citing drug war data which she said were "unverifiable."

"The worrisome part of this is that most of the sources of this disinformation is being perpetrated by government officials on taxpayers' money, and the number one source of fake news is President Duterte himself," she said.

Tordesillas said Vera Files has a series of fact-check reports tracking inaccurate information and data from officials.

"In just one speech, sometimes, he would say more than one falsehood. The problem about that is that most of the inaccurate data that he has are basis of policies," she added.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar then invited Tordesillas for a private meeting to clarify the allegations.

Meanwhile, PCOO Undersecretary for New Media Lorraine Badoy also accused Robredo of being a source of fake news.

"The vice president is one of the primary purveyors of fake news. And that the President is maybe an even bigger victim than she is," Badoy said.

"She just said recently...she paints a gloomy picture of the country at a time in history where all important numbers are looking up," she added.

Both Tordesillas' and Badoy's accusations against the country's top two officials are justified from their point-of-view as workers. One, coming from a non-profit news organization with recent publications drawing doubt on the president as well as his kin's credibility; the other, a government executive, working for the president and whose job includes defending him or throwing offensives toward the enemies.

Indeed, misunderstanding has been with us since and it's not some sand on our shirts that we get rid off with a shrug. But we can solve it if we try to put our feet on the opponent's shoe. See from their perspective and understand where they are coming from so for once, we can meet halfway and actually act the way we're supposed to.

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