Robredo 'amused' by online bashers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 1) — Vice President Leni Robredo laughs off hate from online trolls, dismissing it as  propaganda.

"Binabasa ko and source siya ng katuwaan... Excited ako parati tingnan what's next kasi very ridiculous lahat," Robredo told CNN Philippines' The Source in an exclusive interview.

[Translation: I read (the comments) and it's a source of amusemnt... I'm always excited to see what's next because it's all very ridiculous.]

She added that although she finds the online hate funny, she never engages it. Robredo added the predictability and repetition of comments convinced her it was part of propaganda.

"Meron siyang theme, kaya halata na it's a well-oiled machinery. Pag tiningnan mo yung mga [nagba]-bash sa akin, pare-pareho sila [There's a theme, which makes it obvious it's a well-oiled machinery. If you look at those bashing me, they're all the same]," said Robredo. "They say it differently, but they say the same thing."

Robredo is a prominent opposition figure, who has been critical of President Rodrigo Duterte's policies — chief of which is the bloody war on drugs.

Allies of the President have accused her of wanting to take over the top position, although she has repeatedly denied such plans.

Related: Robredo: I do not want to oust the President

Since the 2016 elections, media watchdogs have noticed a rise in fake news online. Supporters of the President have also taken to social media to defend him and hit his critics. However, reports show the online support comes from organized efforts from paid trolls and public relations strategists.

An Oxford University study reported Duterte spent P10 million in a social media campaign to defend him against critics; Duterte has since said he only used that strategy during the presidential campaign.

Robredo added she had a feeling former Senator Bongbong Marcos was behind a bulk of the online hate. The former vice presidential bet filed an election protest contesting Robredo's win.

"I think he's been spending a lot on social media to vilify me. Pero sa akin naman [But for me] at the end of the day, evil will not triumph," she said. "I'm not really concerned in the sense that dadating din yung panahon na yung katotohanan yung lalabas [the time will come that the truth will come out]."

Robredo said that she did, however, get angry when online trolls involved her daughters.

"(My youngest daughter) was bashed by a mother, and she did not deserve it. Iyon talaga nagagalit ako [That really angers me]," said Robredo.

"When you say things that are not true, you don't get affected. Parang maaapektuhan ka lang pag hindi ikaw [But you get affected if others are involved]," she added.

Robredo, a single parent, is raising three daughters after the death of her husband, former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo. The human rights rights advocate served as representative of Camarines Sur before she won the vice presidency.

Watch the second part of The Source's interview with Robredo here.