Malacañang on Sunday lashed out at a Twitter user for supposedly spreading fake news, after a video surfaced online showing that President Rodrigo Duterte was skipped over when the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) distributed jerseys to the leaders of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Sunday clarified that Duterte received a football jersey in Bangkok on Saturday, November 2.
"The official photo of the President, easily accessible in the Facebook account of the Presidential Communications, immediately puts a lie to this sinister false news," he said.
Panelo pointed out that the Professional Heckler account "uploaded a spliced video purportedly showing that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte did not receive a footbal jersey."
The account is connected to the blog The Professional Heckler, which is run by Loi Reyes Landicho who identifies as a "Batangas-born humor blogger from Makati City."
A check on the account The Professional Heckler, as of 4:50 p.m. on Sunday, November 3, showed only one tweet related to the FIFA-ASEAN event.
Noong bata ka, naramdaman mo rin ito. Lahat nabigyan na ng candy, maliban sa ‘yo. Naiiyak ka na pero nagpigil ka lang para 'di mapahiya. ??????????— The Professional Heckler (@hecklerforever8) November 3, 2019
(VOA uploaded a clearer video on YouTube but dyaraaaan.... it has been shortened. ????) pic.twitter.com/Gp7BCcW5jS
"Noong bata ka, naramdaman mo rin ito. Lahat nabigyan na ng candy, maliban sa'yo. Naiiyak ka na pero nagpigil ka lang para 'di mapahiya," the caption of the post read.
A search on the Twitter profile yielded no results of other tweets that indicated or claimed that Duterte did not receive any jersey.
The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has since uploaded a video of the event, showing that Duterte was skipped initially, but was given a jersey later on.
The latest report comes days after claims that Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn supposedly directed Duterte to behave during the 35th ASEAN Summit from November 2 to 4.
The PCOO dismissed such claims as "fake news" and that it was not run by The Bangkok Post, as claimed in posts that circulated online.
"With this succeeding bogus news coming in the heels of the fabricated news story dragging Thailand's monarchy, it becomes predictable that this vicious campaign of hate against PRRD will not cease until his last day in office," said Panelo.
"The latest dirty political stunt underscores the obsession of PRRD’s foes to embarrass him and put him to ridicule at every opportunity presented to them," he added.
Duterte left for Thailand on Friday, November 1, to discuss among others the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
"The popularity and the acceptance of the President by those who overwhelmingly voted him into office cannot however be eroded or diminished, no matter how these incorrigible whiners and nitpickers try hard to destroy him. The more they throw mud at him, the more he comes out clean and appreciated by the people," said Panelo. — Jon Viktor Cabuenas/DVM, GMA News