A leftist group leader on Saturday complains that he and other fellow paid activists are being targeted by hoax writers and fake news stories online.
“The fake news articles have been circulating for some time now and have intensified after the Marcos burial protests,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr. said in a Facebook post.
Reyes claimed that the fake news items are being peddled by “Marcos trolls and paid hacks,” without revealing his source.
Reyes, being the secretary-general of BAYAN, has been at the forefront of protest actions against the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The activist leader said one of the fake news items was about how high profile activists make money, his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, and an alleged video of him playing “video karera.”
Reyes asked the mainstream media and its watchdogs to protect paid activists just as how they defend the freedom of the press.
“We have consistently stood for press freedom, condemned the killings of journalists, and have defended journalist friends who have been unfairly attacked online,” Reyes said.
“We now ask our media friends to do the same for the activists. We ask you to speak out against this online campaign to silence dissent,” he added.
Reyes has been controversial lately after his wife responded to an online basher who criticized him, saying “her husband is not getting anything from his campaigns, but she supported his cause.”
Mr. Reyes’ group is among the supporters of New People’s Army (NPA), which, despite of government’s effort to bring peace, are still operating in remote areas of the country doing extortion activities on local farmers and small businessmen./Noel Dequiña/
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