Blogger Rey Joseph Nieto of Thinking Pinoy on Wednesday claimed former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II hired an “influencer” to trend the #NasaanAngPangulo topic that attacked former President Benigno Aquino III last January 2015.
During the Senate public information committee hearing on fake news, Nieto told the panel of information that Roxas hired a “PR who has contracts with influencers” in the name of Joyce Ramirez. Ramirez is supposedly behind the #NasaanAngPangulo campaign.
“It’s a campaign that’s intended to pin down all the blame over the Mamasapano on President Aquino, apparently so that if Mar runs for president, he can be shielded from the bad PR,” Nieto said.
Nieto pointed out however that Aquino and Roxas still got the flak, with Roxas being the secretary then of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Aquino was criticized back in January 2015 when he was a no-show at the arrival honors for the elite policemen who were killed in the Mamasapano encounter.
Then deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte clarified that Aquino did not "skip" the arrival honors.
"The President did not skip the arrival honors today. It presupposes he was originally scheduled to attend it, which was not the case," she said.
Roxas: No involvement
Roxas on Wednesday denied involvement in the #NasaanAngPangulo topic that trended following the Mamasapano clash in January 2015.
"Hindi ko kilala at wala akong kinalaman kahit katiting sa iyo, kay Joyce Ramirez o sa sinasabi mong Nasaan ang Pangulo. May ebidensya ka?" Roxas said in a statement.
"Deretso akong tao. Hindi ako pailalim kumilos," he added.
Lawyer Edwin Lacierda, former spokesperson of Aquino, called out Nieto, saying the latter’s claims are “malicious” and “irresponsible.”
“If he thinks #NasaanAngPangulo was used to distance Mar Roxas from the President, it wasn’t true. The fact is we were all there,” Lacierda said. “There’s no such thing.”
Senator Grace Poe, chair of the committee, said Nieto should produce “actual proof” to substantiate his claims.
Nieto is a staunch supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, who had a six million margin over Roxas in the 2016 presidential elections. —ALG/KG, GMA News