Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. is pushing back hard against online bashers he believes are “Duterte-Marcos trolls,” adding he has already consulted lawyers for appropriate legal action.
“I decry the orchestrated online slander campaign instigated by Duterte-Marcos trolls against me and the broad United People’s SONA,” Reyes told Kodao.
Reyes cited lies and a death threat posted online by bashers who also accused him of profiting from protest actions he helped organize.
He said the trolls altered photos of the huge SONA rally against President Rodrigo Duterte’s planned Charter change to make it appear as a pro-Duterte rally.
“Then, several accounts posted false and slanderous accounts about me concerning alleged purchases that I never made,” he said.
The post’s originator, a certain Gabriel Ilano, claimed he was asked by Reyes to “mark up” the declared price of a projector machine.
Ilano’s Facebook account since been deactivated after Reyes reposted Ilano’s accusation on his own account.
“However, [Ilano’s] false claims continue to make the rounds of Duterte sites. As a result I have received an online death threat from one Carl Espiritu,” Reyes said.
“Nagmamalinis kang animal ka! Kawatan ka pa rin palang hinayupak ka! Dapat bala ibaon sa ulo mo!” Espiritu wrote. (You want people to believe you are upright when you are corrupt yourself. You deserve a bullet to the head!)
Espiritu’s wife has called Reyes to apologize and explain that her husband is suffering from depression.
“I have already informed my lawyers and they are studying the appropriate legal action against Ilano, Espiritu and others who are spreading false claims,” Reyes said.
The leader said that two others have already contacted him to apologize, including a 23-year old woman who falsely claimed she was Reyes’s high school classmate who dropped out of school as he was already earning from organizing rallies.
Reyes graduated from Lourdes School of Quezon City and was his class’s Citizen’s Army Training Corps Commander and student publication editor in his senior year. He went on to attend the University of the Philippines in Diliman where he was also a student leader.
Earlier this year, Reyes’ 10-year old son was also accused by bashers of crashing a sports car into an electrical post.
“The end goal of the trolls is to stop critical discussion by hijacking the discourse. Let us not allow them to win,” Reyes said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)