Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan allegedly wanted to have the Facebook pages of President Rodrigo Dutete’s supporters suspended from the social networking site.
Duterte and Marcos fan pages on Facebook shared articles claiming the story above. Naturally, the supporters of both politicians reacted negatively to Pangilinan’s alleged proposal.
“Duterte Defenders and “Duterte for Better Philippines” shared the article, as published by ddsnewstrend.com and newsfileph.com, on January 20, with the former’s post even earning 1, 390 shares.
And on January 26, “Kilusang Bagong Lipunan” and “Duterte Parallel Organization –Tagumpay ng Pagbabago” shared the same articles again, this time from balitangpinas.net. Both pages even came up with the same caption: “Gusto ngayon ni Senador Kiko Pangilinan managot ang mga Duterte suporters sa mga di magandang komento laban sa kanya. Eh ang tanong, sino ba ang nauna sa mga social media trolls, di ba ang mga biased media at liberal party?!! Di natatakot ang mga Duterte suporters. Patuloy nila sinisiraan ang ating mahal na pangulo kahit sa ibang bansa. Paki Basa at Share sa lahat.”
However, all the articles, despite being published on different blogs, originated from aloncdy.blogspot.com, which have made several fake claims before. The blog owner, a certain Alon Calinao Dy, boldly wrote his title as “Senator Kiko Pangilinan Wants To Suspend Duterte Supporters’ Facebook.”
He even quoted himself in his article, saying, “Thanks to Facebook because it gives anyone an opportunity especially the poor people to have a strong voice and say what they really want. They want a real change, so they decided to support President Duterte’s advocacy. Whoever wants to intimidate Duterte supporters, it is because they don’t like the current administration.”
Dy further claimed that reports said Pangilinan wanted to “suspend Facebook users and other social media platforms for spreading lies and for commenting against him.”
While he acknowledged the presence of fake news on social media, Dy said that the Duterte supporters did not start the social media trolling, blaming instead some of the biased media in the country who wanted to “tarnish the good image” of Duterte locally and abroad.
We’d like to point just how Dy made up a story about Pangilinan wanting to suspend Duterte supporters on social media.
On January 19, Senator Pangilinan sought to have Facebook penalized for the fake news articles that are propagated on the social networking site. He filed Philippine Senate Resolution (PSR) 271 on January 18.
“The propagation of fake news stories has become an effective weapon of several political operatives to influence public opinion and national discourse. As a result, the level and quality of public discourse have suffered. Discerning the truth from the lies has become more difficult every day as manipulation of information and blatant fabrication of stories have become increasingly rampant,” he said.
Pangilinan noted how social media are now considered by some as the “fifth pillar of a democratic republic” because it served as a tool for citizens to participate in governance. This is also why he wanted to “ensure that our people are well-equipped with media literacy skills so that they are able to discern what is factual and what is not.”
This Senate resolution was inspired by the move started by German legislators to penalize Facebook for every fake post that is not immediately moderated within 24 hours.
In a separate Facebook post on January 20, Pangilinan said that after Facebook acknowledged how its users want accurate information on their website, he is interested to see what the social networking giant is doing in fighting fake news “because the platform as it is now is still being abused by perpetrators of fake news.”
Nowhere was it said in Senator Pangilinan’s Senate Resolution that he wanted to suspend Duterte supporters on Facebook or that he wanted to stop them from commenting against him. What he clearly emphasized, though, was the need for Facebook to weed out fake news from facts.
Blogger Alon Calinao Dy has missed the mark again, just like how he missed when he made false claims like Senator Leila De Lima crying after being kicked out of her conference in Germany, Ronnie Dayan’s wife planning to file adultery charges, and world leaders congratulating Duterte Duterte for the recent P6-billion drug bust.
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