“It was not a lie. It was not fake news.”
This was the reaction of former Bacolod mayor Monico Puentevella yesterday to the press statement issued by Mayor Evelio Leonardia against what he claimed to be black propaganda material spread by Puentevella against him on social media.
In his press statement, Leonardia called on the public to reject the fake news allegedly spread by Puentevella on Facebook that supposedly showed President Rodrigo Duterte expressing displeasure at him for the death of SPO4 Oscar Exaltado, deputy chief of Police Station 6.
Leonardia said the truth is: the official transcript of the 42-minute speech titled "Groundbreaking of the New Site of the San Lorenzo Ruiz General Hospital (Speech) 1/29/2019" on YouTube does not mention my nickname Bing or my first name Evelio or my surname Leonardia.
“We have confirmed this by simply downloading the official transcript of the speech on the website of the Presidential Communications Operations Office,” he said.
Leonardia said this is an apparent show of disrespect for the President whose campaign against crime he has supported. Those who disrespect the President also disrespect the Bacoleños who they think will fall for their lies.
The timing is also suspect because the fake news was released at a time when he was attending the “Rehabinasyon: The 1st National Anti-Drugs Summit” at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City, Leonardia said.
It was clearly a lie that was peddled by a politician who claims to be a singing champion, he said, adding that it was spread by a Facebook page that bears his name and that of his boxer son.
Puentevella told Leonardia to stop finger-pointing to other people who are innocent. And don’t call the President a liar because that is not fake news.
Nobody teaches the President what to say. This came out on PTV 4 and the Office of the President. Why issue a press statement that this is a lie? He asked.
“We are all fighting drugs because many have been affected,” Puentevella said.*
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