‘I’ve never had a troll farm,’ Bongbong Marcos says as he challenges critics to show proof

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 24) — Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos on Monday maintained he has never hired an army of social media trolls and that all support for his election bid are “organic.”

“I have never had a troll farm. I have never had a click army. I never boosted. Everything's organic, and I never bought ads (on Facebook),” he said in an interview with One PH on Monday.

This was his response to former National Economic and Development Authority chief Ernesto Pernia, who said Marcos has been leading presidential surveys "due to his huge troll farms.”

Pernia alleged these organized groups have been spreading misinformation that the country saw its golden years during the late former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.'s dictatorial rule.

But the younger Marcos, who said deploying a troll army would be an “insult to Filipino intelligence," challenged critics to show evidence proving the allegation.

“Sa palagay niyo ba ‘yung mga bata, kapag troll farm ang naglalabas ng fake news hindi nila alam? Alam nila ‘yan. Huli kaagad ‘yan,” he added.

[Translation: Do you think the young people wouldn’t know if a troll farm disseminates fake news? They do. They spot that immediately.]

The ex-senator also denied his camp is behind the hundreds of suspended Twitter accounts supporting his presidential run. Earlier, Twitter took down over 300 such accounts, citing violations of the platform's rules, such as on manipulation and spam.

“These are just friends and supporters who are trying to help and [are] expressing their opinion...Hindi namin palakad ‘yan, ‘yung ginagawa nila [We’re not behind what they are doing]," Marcos said.

“The fact of the matter is they have not proven these are Marcos accounts,” he added.