Facebook user Bernard Ong wanted to call Senator Grace Poe’s attention that two of the resource persons during the Senate hearing on fake news on October 3 lied.
“Two of your resource persons at the hearing you chaired lied in front of you, in front of national TV,” Ong wrote on October 7.
“You did not know that they lied at that time. So you thanked them, said you respected all your guests, even praised one of them as ‘well-researched,” Ong said, referring to how Poe praised blogger Rey Joseph Nieto, a.k.a. Thinking Pinoy, for doing “excellent research.”
But Ong emphasized that Nieto and Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson both lied under oath.
Ong noted that Uson said she does not have staff managing her blog, but her response to a Rappler report later on showed that she does have someone else assisting her in running her blog.
“Mocha lied about not having staff for her ‘personal blog’. She later admitted in her posted response to Rappler article (questioning how she could rebroadcast live hearing while she was seated across you) that her blog is operated by staff,” Ong said.
Ong further said that Nieto lied to the Senate twice – when he accused former Interior Secretary and presidential candidate Mar Roxas of using a certain PR person to put all the blame on the Mamasapano incident on former President Benigno Aquino III and when he defended his claim over photojournalist Jes Aznar, whom he accused to endangering the lives of soldiers for posting “real-time” video of the military operations in Marawi City.
“While that the agencies involved, namely the AFP and the PNP already released a statement saying that Nieto’s claims were not true, his use of this issue at the Senate hearing is proof enough that he is spreading fake news,” Aznar said.
“This is a lie—a dangerous lie with life-threatening implications to a colleague—that Nieto has trotted out before, sending an army of netizens to call out for the blood of photojournalist Jes Aznar,” veteran journalist Inday Espina-Varona said.
“He lied about journalist Jes Aznar putting soldiers’ lives at risk by broadcasting live from Marawi. Not true. Aznar broadcasted after leaving the site safely – with the soldiers,” Ong added.
He also brought up how the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines called Nieto a “barefaced liar” after the Senate hearing and Ong urged Poe to do the same.
Ong thought what Uson and Nieto did was an “insult” to Poe, her office, the Senate Committee, and the Senate itself.
“It is an insult to your person, your office, your Committee, the entire Senate to have liars come in – take solemn oaths – and lie,” he said.
“That’s called Perjury. A crime under Philippine law. Revised Penal Code: “Article 183. False testimony in other cases and perjury in solemn affirmation,”” he added.
Ong urged Poe to “correct” her mistake of “legitimizing fake news liars” by citing Uson and Poe for perjury in the next session of the Senate hearing on fake news, where the blog Silent No More was invited to come.
“Not too late to do the right thing. What we really need is Liars No More,” Ong concluded his post.