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After Vic Rodriguez, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos’ chief of staff and spokesperson, claimed yesterday that Facebook was trying to censor him after his account was suspended, a representative of the social media giant cleared the air and said that the suspension was caused by his account being flagged as a possible fake and not for any political postings.
“Earlier today, the account was mistakenly restricted for reasons unrelated to any posted content. The account has since been restored,” Meta, the company that owns Facebook, said later that day, adding that Rodriguez’s account had been mistakenly flagged as an imposter account.
Rodriguez went on-air with news show One Balita Pilipinas where he said that “My account is suspended only because I am for Bongbong Marcos. Hindi ho ako magiging dilawan (I will not be yellow).”
The Marcos spokesman was referring to the yellow color of the Liberal Party, which has since been used as a derogatory term by detractors to criticize the party once led by former president Benigno Aquino III. The yellow color stems from its origins in the movement after the assassination of Aquino’s father Ninoy — a historic event that led to the People Power Revolution and the ouster of former President Ferdinand Marcos from Malacañang.
The term has since been co-opted by President Duterte — once a Liberal Party member himself — and is now used by administration officials to refer to Robredo’s supporters.
Rodriguez did not offer any evidence for his assertion that his account suspension was politically motivated.
Screenshots on social media also showed that Rodriguez’s account was restored the same morning as it had been taken down.
In early April, Meta (Facebook’s parent company) announced that it had suspended a network of over 400 accounts, pages and groups related to the Philippines elections in order to crack down on hate speech and misinformation. In January, Twitter suspended more than 300 accounts linked to a pro-Marcos network for violating the company’s platform manipulation and spam policy.