Bloggers and representatives of some websites tagged by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines as “fake news sites” slammed the CBCP for putting their credibility in question.
Rey Joseph Nieto, also known as Thinking Pinoy, disagreed with the list.
“The CBCP is not the right authority to judge what’s reliable and what’s not. That’s just like going to a lawyer to get a cancer diagnosis,” he told GMA News Online.
He also hit CBCP president Archbishop Soc Villegas for using his position to push CBCP in pursuing his ‘personal interests.’
Nieto said, “I believe that Bishop Soc Villegas should just speak for himself and not drag the name of the institution to forward his personal interests.”
Another website, Pinoy Trending, spoke out against the CBCP and even accused them for pretending to fight fake news when they really want a “dictatorship” for the media to spread only things that are favorable to them.
“Naniniwala ako na ang nagpapangap lang sila na nakikipag laban sa pekeng balita ngunit ang totoo ay nagbabalatkayo lamang sila dahil ang tunay nilang hangarin ay panatilihin ang mga impormasyon na pabor sa kanila at alisin ang mga balita na laban sa kanila,” Pinoy Trending told GMA News Online on June 26 though a text message.
“In short diktadurya ang kanilang gustong ipairal,” the anonymous website owner added.
Pinoy Trending also revealed their sources of information, namely: “social media, mainstream media, local newspaper, celebrities at politician.”
“Hindi katulad ng mga pari at obispo na kung saan saan nalang pupulot ng kwento,” Pinoy Trending wrote.
The Volatilian, a Hong Kong based-website also slammed the CBCP for including them in the list of fake news sites.
On June 24, The Volatilian denied the CBCP’s accusation, saying that it is not a fake news site.
“The Volatilian™ is not a fake news site. It might be outspoken on certain issues – the machinations of the Philippine bishops among them. It exercises its right under press freedom, freedom of speech and freedom of expression to support many of the policies of the current president of the Philippines. But none of that constitutes fakery. Opinions expressed are our opinions and we stand by them,” it said.
“We don’t report false, unsubstantiated unsourced figures, for example – like the 9,000 plus that have been allegedly killed in the War on Drugs. We question such figures as any news organisation with integrity should. If we don’t there’s no end to that madness and it will drive journalism – true journalism – out of existence. It’s already doing a pretty good job,” the website added.
“We don’t do the bidding of any government or organisation. We are in no-one’s pay. In short, we tell it like we see it and if that upsets the Philippine bishops or even a news organisation working on their behalf, then that, we believe, says far more about them than it does about us,” The Volatilian further said.
The CBCP’s Pastoral Exhortation against Fake News emphasized that “Christians cannot be part of falsehood, deceit and lies.
In a GMA News’ Unang Balita report, he urged the public to know the “standard news” and compare it to fake news.
“Let us be aware of what these standard news maker say and publish so that we’ll have a comparison with those who publish fake news. Alam natin kung anong totoo, kung anong tama, pagkat ito’y galing sa mga media sources na kapani-paniwala, na matagal nang nandiyan, na matagal nang nagbabalita,” Cruz said.