SENATOR Bam Aquino said Sunday the penalties should be a heavier on government officials spreading fake news, adding they should be more responsible for their statements.
He said it was about time the government created a law on fake news and held liable those spreading them, especially if they were government officials.
The penalty on public officials spreading fake news should be heavier, he said.
“Public servants should be held to a higher standard,” said Aquino who earlier slammed former sexy dancer-singer Mocha Uson for spreading fake news on social media.
During the Senate hearing on fake news, Aquino said both majority and minority senators agreed to fight fake news through legislation.
Senator Joel Villanueva recently filed a bill that would punish people spreading fake news.
“Freedoms have limits. This is the reason we have laws against libel,” Aquino said.
He described as ‘‘premature’’ the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte that no law against fake news would be passed during his term.
“That’s still premature. We just had our hearing [on fake news],” Aquino said.
He said it was high time that netizens behind the spread of fake news, misinformation and black propaganda online were punished.
“It is about time for our country to have rules on fake news,” Aquino said.
He called on pro- and anti-government bloggers and netizens to be more circumspect in expressing their views and to condemn hate speech.
He then submitted a list of fake news sites to the National Bureau of Investigation to unmask those behind the propagation of misinformation online. Many of the websites used the name of the President
The Presidential Communications Operations Office conceded there are websites bearing the President’s name that do create fake news.