PRESIDENTIAL Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar said Wednesday Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson’s blog was not an official page of the PCOO and was not representing government views.
He cleared the PCOO from the controversies involving Uson’s weird and comical blogs.
But he said Uson was not a source of fake news in the country as she was only expressing her views.
He said the PCOO could not influence or control Uson since she was engaged in a personal activity. Should he order bloggers like Uson to stop airing their views, he would be accused of “suppressing freedom of expression.”
He said when Uson became part of the PCOO, “I told her that all the news coming out from government media platforms are real news.”
Uson’s blog has five-million followers, but Andanar said people should not judge the PCOO based on what comes out of Uson’s blogs.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the Duterte administration was not encouraging the spread of fake news.
He met a barrage of criticism when he said real news would not be determined without the existence of fake news.
“Without fake news, we will not know what’s real news. We will not know the lies from the truth. So, let there be a free marketplace of ideas,” Roque said.
Roque even cited The New York Times v. Sullivan in 1964 in which the US Supreme Court said even mistakes in reportage on public figures were excusable because otherwise the free and unimpeded discussion of public issues would be hindered.
“Even US journalism has a sordid history of promoting quackery that today would not be considered respectable journalism,” Roque said.