The suggested anti-fake news measure at the Senate must be further reviewed to prevent violations of the Constitution, stated by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).
Senate President Vicente Sotto III has submitted Senate Bill No. 9, which aims to impose fines of up to P2 million or imprisonment for individuals who spread false data on websites and social media platforms. The measure also allows the Department of Justice to order the takedown of fake news.
Chief integrator of the PCOO brand and Asst. Sec. Ramon Cualoping III wants the proposal to undergo further research because it may contradict the fundamental principles of the Constitution, which is freedom of speech.
Prior restraint may occur, censorship may occur, That’s why it is need to verify it, vet it, and review it.
Their worry in government is that if they go and regulate social media, that would curtail some of the constitution’s fundamental rights. While, regulating social media will also be a very hard job.
Cualoping welcomed the suggestion to impose stricter penalties on public staff spreading disinformation.
In an attempt to combat false news, the PCOO has initiated a campaign to educate the public about how to better discern news.
They stated that it’s a worldwide phenomenon. In the Philippines, fake news is something people can stop as soon as individuals begin to discern better. As long as individuals read all the articles, watch the entire newscast and vet it with another product.
Cualoping thinks that the agency promotes the executive institutionalization of the Freedom of Information order into law and encouraged lawmakers to pass the measure.