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VP Leni lauds stronger media, citizen efforts vs. fake news

7 October 2017
Office of the Vice President
Vice President Leni Robredo praised efforts from media professionals and other citizens to combat the proliferation of fake news online, reiterating the importance of fighting this trend of misinformation in the country.
Speaking to Bombo Radyo-Cauayan via phone patch, VP Leni said she is glad that more people are joining this cause. She issued the comment after the Senate committee on public information and mass media conducted a hearing about fake news, which she called an “important first step” in addressing the matter.
“[N]apakahirap na parang buksan iyong mata ng iba sa katotohanan, kasi kapag nabasa na, ang tendency [ng ibang tao] talaga [ay] maniniwala. Pero ngayon, parang nag-iiba ang panahon. Ito natutuwa tayo. Ngayon parang mas dumadami na iyong lumalaban… Mas marami na iyong nag-aaksaya ng panahon para i-correct iyong kamalian o kasinungalingan na nagpe-prevail,” she said.
“Kaya natutuwa tayo na nagkaroon na ng hearing sa Senado. Gustong sabihin, siniseryoso na natin na ito ay problema talaga, at problema siya dahil paminsan naaapektuhan iyong mindset ng tao,” she added. “Kaya ngayon, tingin ko important first step iyong hearing sa Senado, kasi parang sinasabi sa atin na pagtulung-tulngan na natin—pagtulung-tulungan na natin na labanan iyong fake news, kasi in the end, tayo din iyong makikinabang kapag nilabanan talaga natin.”
The Vice President lauded members of traditional media in this regard, for calling out erroneous claims and conducting fact-checks on information being released online, particularly those posted by bloggers with huge following on social media.
“Tingin ko iyong ginagawa ngayon ng traditional media, malaking tulong sa taumbayan, kasi marami sa inyo na kayo mismo ang nagko-correct ng kasinungalingan na nangyayari,” she said.
VP Leni said bloggers who put out information and commentary must have a sense of accountability, like how traditional media is supposed to adhere to journalism ethics.
She noted how some “irresponsible” bloggers use freedom of speech as a license to spread false information and malicious claims, and outright discredit traditional media, claiming “biased” reportage.
“Ang unfair dito is, halimbawa kayo na nasa radyo, hindi puwedeng basta-basta magsalita hanggang hindi ninyo vine-verify… Gustong sabihin, alam niyo na nasa balikat niyo iyong responsibilidad,” she said. “Pero ito kasi, mayroon tayong mga bloggers na iresponsable, mayroong mga bloggers na dahil hindi sila bound by the same rules na nagba-bind sa inyo, parang tinitingnan nila na lisensiya ito na kahit hindi totoo, kahit unverified, puwede nilang isulat.”
“Nakikita natin iyong blogs na iyon, parang ang sinasabi, ang sinungaling pa iyong traditional media. Saka napakamali, dahil tingin nila hindi sila bound sa rules gaya sa inyo, akala nila puwede nang sabihin kahit ano,” she added.
“Tayo naman, ayaw natin na kinu-curtail itong karapatan ng bawat isa na magsalita. Pero alam naman natin na ang bawat karapatan, may kaakibat na responsibilidad, at iyong gusto lang natin, ipaintindi dito sa mga bloggers na ito na iyong karapatan nila, hindi naman iyan limitless,” she went on.
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