Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has warned against the relentless spread of false content and misleading information against her across the Internet to deliberately deceive the public and undermine her good reputation.
De Lima, who has been continually subjected to fake news stories by some sinister quarters, lamented that she has once again been targeted by paid trolls who uploaded an obviously edited photo showing her bound on a wheelchair and wearing neck-brace.
“Nakarating sa akin na isa na namang edited na larawan ko na nakasuot umano ng neck-brace ang kumakalat online. Wala itong ibang layunin kundi linlangin ang publiko at palabasin na may iniinda akong karamdaman,” she said.
“My health is in perfect shape and this edited photo was obviously made by paid trolls hell-bent to ruin, make fun of and discredit me,” she added.
An obviously fake photo of De Lima on a wheelchair while wearing neck-brace was posted by Tambayan Ni BERTO Page on Facebook last Oct. 16 with an embedded text that read: “BREAKING NEWS SENATOR DE LIMA SINUGOD SA HOSPITAL.”
The edited photo, which Facebook has yet to take down, has been shared and re-shared by the page’s followers and their friends, and has gained multiple comments, as of this writing.
De Lima, who remains detained on trumped-up drug charges, said she has always been transparent with the Filipino public about her health and current condition and does not need to fake a sickness to gain people’s sympathy.
“Noon pa man, inihahayag ko sa publiko ang tunay na estado ng aking kalusugan. Hindi ako kailanman magsasakit-sakitan o manloloko ng kapwa para lang makakuha ng simpatya. Wala akong itinatago, nasa panig ko ang katotohanan,” she said.
“In fact, when I was granted a one-day medical furlough last year, I made sure to inform everyone about my condition and even reminded the public that there was nothing to worry about me. As a public servant, I have always been transparent,” she added.
It may be recalled that De Lima was allowed to leave her detention facility at the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City for a few hours to undergo a CT scan at the Philippine Heart Center in March 2018.
Amid the continued spread of disinformation against her and other opposition personalities, De Lima reminded the Filipino public to remain vigilant against the makers and purveyors of fake news across social media platforms.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to check the veracity of any news articles or reports they read online before believing them, let alone share them in their respective social media pages,” she said.
“Huwag tayong patuloy na magpalinlang sa mga manloloko na sinasamantala ang Internet para manira at magkalat ng pekeng balita,” she added. De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, has since maintained that no amount of lies by political manipulators and paid trolls could erase her innocence from all trumped-up illegal drug charges filed against her by the government.