Koronadal City LGU to run after purveyors of fake news
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Apr. 24 (PIA) – The City Government of Koronadal will go after individuals or groups who are causing panic and confusion by spreading false information.
In a press conference, Mayor Eliordo Ogena reiterates the government’s call for public cooperation in taking steps to stop the coronavirus disease or COVID-19 pandemic urging them to refrain from sharing and posting fake news.
“Misinformation and fake news is rampant especially in social media. Some are even hiding behind fake accounts. I don’t know the motivation behind but we will not allow this. Something must be done to put an end to this,” Ogena said.
Earlier this week, the city government belied reports that food aid for families affected by the enhanced community quarantine is being blocked for distribution.
Ogena advised Koronadaleños to validate and verify sources of information before sharing it to others especially on social media. “This is a time of time of crisis, we must be united, and we must be one. The city government is open and transparent especially involving public funds and resources. You can contact us anytime for clarification. That way, we can avoid false information,” Ogena added.
The city government said they already coordinated with authorities for proper action and investigation on these suspected fake news peddlers.
In February, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to go after peddlers of fake news involving COVID-19.
Also, the Philippine National Police, through the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) are active in arresting suspects in different parts of the country for spreading fake news on social media that has caused panic among the public.
Suspects are charged for violating Unlawful Use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code as amended, concerning Sec 4c4 (online libel) and Section 6 of Republic Act 10175 or the Anti-Cybercrime Law.
Violators face imprisonment of one to six months and a fine ranging from P40,000 to P200,000.
They can also be held liable for violating Presidential Decree No. 90, which declares rumor-mongering and spreading false information as unlawful, which may cause or tend to cause panic, divisive effects among the people, and undermine the stability of the government. (ORVR-PIA 12)