A spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) scored Facebook and its fact-checkers for their “imprudence and audacity” to issue a warning to National Security Adviser (NSA) Hermogenes Esperon Jr. for a post urging Filipinos to unite to end insurgency.
Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, also NTF-ELCAC spokesperson, described the move as “alarming if not dangerous.”
He said the social media giant and its third-party fact-checkers Rappler and Vera Files are “overly focused” on calling out and restricting accounts of government officials while turning a blind eye to others.
“The imprudence of FB to warn Secretary Esperon on a national security issue is unthinkable and downright offensive as the social media platform has taken on the role of Big Brother with the power to censure the social media posts of the NSA himself on matters of national security,” Malaya said in a statement Wednesday.
Esperon’s Facebook post on April 14 partly read: “In ending insurgency, the Filipinos must unite against armed struggle and against organizations, aboveground and underground, that support the New People’s Army, including Communist Party (CPP) members who have infiltrated the Congress through the partylist system.”
In response to the warning, Esperon said in a separate Facebook post: “What’s wrong with this to restrict me? I should know better than you
do on matters of national security.”
Malaya said Facebook has “appointed itself as an omnipotent force that can censure at their discretion—based on standards that they
themselves created—the legitimate posts of highly respected officials of the country.”
He urged Facebook to revisit and modify its “obviously one-sided” standards, saying these “serve to promote the interests of the few and powerful.”
He called on the social media giant to stick to its goal of helping people connect and engage and to leave national security matters to