apply_filters() function lets plugins and themes override the value. So yes, you could manually set
false. The code snippet you included will set it to false in the absence of any filter.
Let's say I have a plugin that wants to force it to true. I would add this:
add_filter( 'https_local_ssl_verify', '__return_true' );
__return_true() function is a special function in WordPress that automatically returns
true. So if I add this code to a plugin or my theme's
funtions.php file, it will force your code above to set
'sslverify' => true.
It all depends on your local setup and what you're trying to do with the site. The use of
apply_filters() merely makes things as flexible as possible.