Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels became a trending topic in the Philippines during the second official presidential debates, soon after candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay compared a fellow candidate to Goebbels.
The ruling party’s candidate, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, brought up the vice president’s corruption charges during the debate, prompting Binay to call Roxas a “Goebbels” for calling him corrupt. “Only the court can decide whether I am guilty or not, not your accusations, Roxas, I mean, Goebbels, sorry,” said Binay.
The quote — “if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it” — is often wrongly attributed to Goebbels.
Binay also called Senator Grace Poe, presidential race frontrunner and independent candidate, a chum of Goebbels for alluding to money laundering operations alleged to be connected to the vice president's law firm.
When Goebbels was mentioned in the televised debate, Filipino Internet users actively searched his name and biography. Journalists and news websites also published brief stories about the Nazi propaganda minister. Some were amused by Binay's knowledge of history but others also accused the vice president of acting like Goebbels.
Here are some reactions on Twitter on the bringing up of the name of Goebbels during the presidential debates:
Binay must be studying Goebbels :))
— Lloyd Tan (@strongyLLOYDes) March 20, 2016
— Paolo Barcelon (@PNBarcelowne) March 20, 2016
Not defending Mar here, but if Mar is a Goebbels, who is Binay?
What the hell Binay, i had to google Goebbels and your usage and comparison is abhorrent.
— May Chelle Baay (@mayshie) March 20, 2016
If Mar Roxas is Joseph Goebbels, does that make Noynoy Aquino Adolf Hitler? #PiliPinasDebates2016
— Brian, Son of Larry (@brilums) March 20, 2016
The tweet above mentions Noynoy Aquino, the incumbent and outgoing president of the Philippines.
And the 1st runner up in this debate is… Joseph Goebbels! #PiliPinasDebates2016
— Teddy Casiño (@teddycasino) March 20, 2016
Many netizens, however, lament the lack of any meaningful discourse during the debates, with the presidential candidates preferring to mouth motherhood statements and engage in mudslinging instead of substantially addressing issues.
Omg is this a comedy show or a debate #PiliPinasDebates2016 😭😂
— ida anduyan (@idaandu) March 20, 2016
Hard to believe that these people have received degrees from prestigious universities yet they argue like children. #PiliPinasDebates2016
— Niambee Ruth Palacio (@niambeepalacio) March 20, 2016
All of us UP students inside that Debate Hall were disappointed hearing no questions that would tackle education #PiliPinasDebates2016
— France Kevin Degamo (@THISisDGameO) March 20, 2016
The tweet above mentions UP which refers to the state-funded University of the Philippines.
If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it. —Mark Twain #PiliPinasDebates2016
— Einstein Recedes (@Enteng_Itneg) March 20, 2016
Voting in the national elections is scheduled on May 9, 2016.