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US won’t confirm fake news drive

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THE US Department of Defense is unlikely to admit or deny a fake news campaign against Chinese coronavirus vaccines through Filipino accounts in the Philippines, Philippine Defense Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. told a Senate foreign relations committee hearing on Tuesday.

“I really can’t speak for them, but I think that’s a long-term policy for them — that they neither confirm nor deny… things,” he said. “If it’s neither a confirmation nor denial, then the burden of proof is on the asserter to prove something.”

Reuters earlier reported at least 300 X accounts based in the Philippines discredited Chinese coronavirus vaccines during the pandemic, matching the descriptions of the vaccine by former US military officials.

In a statement last week, US Defense spokesperson Lisa Lawrence said the agency “uses a variety of platforms, including social media, to counter those malign influence attacks aimed at the US, allies and partners.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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