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Ed Lingao reacts to Speaker Alvarez wanting ‘zero’ budget for CHR, clarifies CHR’s mandate



Veteran journalist Ed Lingao tried to explain what the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) does after House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez threatened to cut its budget to zero.

“Isa sa mga trabaho ng CHR, siguruhin na hindi tayo inaabuso ng estado,” Lingao wrote in his Facebook post on August 8.

Lingao even tried to correct Alvarez’s wrong notion that it is the state that is paying for the salaries of those working under CHR, when in fact the money comes from the taxpayers.

“The Speaker wants to slash the CHR’s budget to zero. His reasoning? Who pays for the CHR’s salaries? “Estado!” (Correct answer would have been Taumbayan. But then again…) So bakit daw ang estado parati ang binabantayan ng CHR, at hindi ang mga kriminal at drug pusher?” Lingao wrote.

He acknowledged the fact that the CHR could have done more with the human rights violations committed in the Hacienda Luisita Massacre in 2004 and the bloody Kidapawan protest in 2016.

“Malinaw na maraming pagkakataon na dapat naging mas malakas ang boses ng CHR sa ibang HR violations gaya ng Luisita at Kidapawan,” Lingao said.

However, Lingao pointed out that the cases under the Philippine National Police are out of the CHR’s mandate.

“Pero ang criminal investigations na ginagawa ng PNP at DOJ, talagang hindi sakop ng CHR. Kaya nga nandyan na ang mga imbestigador ng PNP and DOJ,” he said.


Then, he went straight to what the estate and CHR are supposed to do.

“Isa sa mga trabaho ng estado, siguruhin na hindi tayo inaabuso ng kahit sino. Isa sa mga trabaho ng CHR, siguruhin na hindi tayo inaabuso ng estado,” Lingao added.

He went on to warn the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan, which are mandated to keep the state in check.

“Kung ganito po tayo mag-isip, aba mag-ingat na ang Ombudsman at ang Sandiganbayan. Estado lang ang binabantayan nila, pero hindi nila binibira ang mga kriminal at adik sa kalye,” Lingao wrote.

“Sa pagkakaalam ko, alam ng mga abugado yan. Kahit ng mga hindi abugado,” he added.

As with Lingao’s previous posts, he replied to some commenters.

One commenter accused Lingao of talking about Alvarez’s thoughts on CHR’s budget while allegedly ignoring the issues surrounding Comelec chair Andres Bautista, but Lingao had enough experience on how to handle commenters like him.

“pare, tinalakay namin kagabi ang isyu ni bautista sa newscast. ahhh onga naman, hanggang facebook lang pala ang kaya ng utak mo lol,” Lingao said.

Veteran journalist Ed Lingao

But the commenter did not stop there. Lingao #burned him, as the netizens said.

Veteran journalist Ed Lingao

Another commenter also tasted Lingao’s own brand of response.

Veteran journalist Ed Lingao

We’re tempted to compile more of his #burn comments from his previous posts, where he was attacked by other netizens.

During the budget briefing on August 7, Alvarez lashed out at CHR chairman Chito Gascon for protecting the criminals’ rights instead of the victims.’

“Kapag police matter, wala na human rights violations? Ang sa akin, kapag human rights, human rights iyan. Ang masama kasi, masyado kayo na-influence ng mga international orgs na tinitignan lang ay human rights ng mga kriminal,” Alvarez said.

Wala akong makitang dahilan para sustentohan kayo ng gobyernong ito. Mas gusto niyo pa protektahan ang mga karapatan ng mga kriminal, hindi ang mga biktima,” he added.

Gascon said that the CHR just wants to show that the state wants to protect everyone’s rights.

“Mahalaga po na ipakita rin natin na ang estado ay gusto ring alagaan ang human rights,” Gascon said.

Questioning Gascon’s criticisms against the Duterte administration, Alvarez said: “Sino ba nagpapasweldo sa inyo? ‘Di ba ang estado? Eh ang lagi mo pinupuna ang estado.”

“Sila naman ay pinoprotektahan ang karapatan ng mga biktima. Eh ikaw anong ginagawa mo, ang proktetahan ang mga kriminal?” he added.

It was during the ambush interview after the hearing that Alvarez revealed his thoughts about wanting a budget cut for CHR.

“Para sa akin dapat bawasan pa nga e,” Alvarez told reporters.

“Kung ako ang tatanungin ninyo e, zero, ‘pag ganyan ang performance. E bakit? Hindi natin ia-abolish kasi constitutional budget e ‘di wag mong bigyan ng budget yan. Dahil nga hindi naman fair e. Hindi nila ginagampanan yung trabaho nila para protektahan yung karapatang pantao, para sa lahat ng tao, sa lahat ng Pilipino dito sa ating bansa,” he added.

Senator Risa Hontiveros called Alvarez’s threat to CHR “grossly fallacious.”

“The plan by some legislators to cut to zero the Commission on Human Rights’ 2018 budget is unconstitutional. The CHR, like other constitutional commissions, such as the Office of the Ombudsman, and the judiciary, enjoys fiscal autonomy. It cannot be defunded,” Hontiveros said in a text message to GMA News.

“A zero budget for CHR means zero human rights for the people,” she said.

“Let me remind my fellow legislators that the mandate of the CHR is to ensure that there will be no abuse or negligence on the part of the government in protecting and upholding the rights of all the citizens, especially the marginalized. Of all people, our lawmakers should know this,” she added.

“Giving the CHR a zero budget will send signals to the national and international communities that the Duterte government is not committed to the principles and promotion of human rights. It elevates to the level of policy the government’s disdain for human rights.”

Source: ( )


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Fake news sites to be aware of this 2018



With the widespread practice of misinformation using made-up stories and maliciously edited photos, Senate hearings have been conducted to determine whether new laws are needed to stop the spread of fake news. But you can contribute to the prevention of misinformation in your own way by not patronizing the content of the fake news sites that are causing confusion and baseless hate in the country.

In 2017, MemeBuster has published two lists containing websites that have posted fake stories.

The following are sites that MemeBuster has encountered while we are pursuing our cause of fighting fake news.

We have categorized the sites into active and inactive ones, seeing as how many fake news sites tend to be unavailable after some time. As of February 15, 2018, these are the active and inactive sources of fake news that we have encountered. We will continue to update this list as we bust more false stories.

Active Sites

1. has been an active source of fake stories that MemeBuster has debunked over and over again. It is also quite known for its ever changing About Us page, which now says that the site started out publishing fake stories for some La Sallian students’ thesis, but that it has stopped in May 2017 to focus on serious topics and general information. But La Salle Dasmarinas disowned the said research. even lied when they said they stopped posting fake news by May 2017. Even as late as December 2017, we still caught them publishing fake stories, among which are about Sanofi Pasteur research and development department revealing that they used embalming chemicals for Dengvaxia, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV hiring Arturo Lascañas and Edgar Matobato as his personal bodyguards, former President Benigno Aquino saying he’s willing to return money he got from the Dengvaxia deal, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promising visa-free entry to Filipino caregivers, and more.

This fake news site was also in our first list of fake news sites that we published in October 2016.

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Duterte raises bounty for killing communists to P25K



President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he is increasing the bounty he is offering for anyone who can kill communist rebels, saying it will be cheaper compared to waging a counterinsurgency campaign. The offer is now up from P20,000 to P25,000.

Duterte made the announcement at the oath-taking of newly-appointed officials in Malacañang. The president also reiterated that his controversial war on drugs will stay despite criticisms over the thousands of deaths and a preliminary examination by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the possibility of committing a crime against humanity.

Reckoning that the campaign against communists would last for at least four years, Duterte has made a counteroffer.

“If you’re a CAFGU (Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit) or anybody here, you kill one NPA (New People’s Army member) and I will pay you P25,000. Kwenta-kwenta ko, mas makamura ako. Bilhin ko na lang itong mga yawa na ito (I calculated and realized it will save money. I might as well buy the devils),” he said.

He also stressed that he has nothing to fear as he has the Philippine Navy, Air Force, Army, and CAFGU.


In a recent speech to more than 200 rebels, Duterte also made a remark that soldiers can shoot female rebels “in their vaginas”. This comment did not sit well with women’s group Gabriela.

The president also reiterated his resolve to face the ICC and be put before a firing squad if he is found guilty of crimes against humanity to emulate Jose Rizal.

“Don’t worry about me, I can face the ICC. If they want to indict me, fine! I would love to experience what Rizal has experienced,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines denounced Duterte’s reward offer to Lumads for every killed communist rebel saying it promotes a culture of violence in the country.

Manila Auxilliary Bishop Broderick Pabllo said that the statements promote a culture that normalizes violence and attacks the sanctity of life. He also urged the president to promote respect of the law instead of making such statements.

Sources: ( )


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How to spot fake news



How many times have you fallen for fake stories or seen friends and colleagues get victimized by misinformation? Two Senate hearings have been dedicated to discussing remedies to fight fake news in the country. But you don’t have to wait for any new laws to be created to contribute to the fight. You can do your part by identifying fake news and making sure that everyone who is willing to listen (or read) will know that a certain story is not factual at all.
Here are some eight pointers on how to distinguish fake news:

Does the headline sound too good to be true? Don’t take everything you read online to be true.

Netizens were duped by this obviously fake story with a headline “NASA hailed Duterte as the best president in the solar system.”

Check the URL. Some sites simply imitate the URLs of established news sources.

Some fake news and satirical sites are good at mimicking the URLs of reputable news sites simply by adding “,” “,” “tv-,” and others. Some also replace the letters in the URLs with numbers to trick people, such as or

Make sure the headline and/or image used matches the content.

Fake story makers take advantage of their readers’ tendencies to read only up to the headline or get their attention using some controversial photo that is actually not relevant to the content. The government-run news agency Philippine News Agency was slammed once for using a Vietnam war photo for a report about the Marawi siege.

Verify information by comparing information from competing sources.

Give yourself some peace of mind by ensuring that you check a story’s claims with different sources.

Check out fact-checking sites like and

Our website was founded amid the rise of memes that were deliberately made to spread disinformation during the 2016 elections,

with one of the more serious falsehoods being the meme that contained an invented quote from Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong endorsing then Philippine presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte. We also busted that story about the documents that spread online accusing former President Benigno Aquino III and other top government officials during his time of depositing gold in Thailand.

Vera Files is known more for fact-checking President Duterte’s claims when he makes speeches, such as his flip-flopping claims on his wealth, and the statements of other government officials.

Track down quotes and sources to see if everything in the story matches.

Many fake news writers have become quite good at masking the lies by mixing it with some facts. For instance, they would take a quote from a certain person and modify it. If you won’t check and triple check it, you’d really think that quote was accurate. A good example of that would be how a fake news site changed up current CBCP President Archbishop Romulo Valles’ statement, attributed it to former CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas, and made it seem as though Villegas was telling the government to leave the NPA alone.

Watch out for “filter bubbles” that show only items based on personalized searches and be more conscious in engaging in diverse content.

Website algorithm may guess what you would like to see based on your search history and online behavior, which may lead to you seeing only information that agree with your beliefs and opinions. To avoid this, you have to ensure that you have access to diverse news from well-established sources.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions.

This is where the need to verify things often start. A world of information is at your fingertip. Just type a few words in the search engine bar, apply the tips mentioned above, and you’ll be on your merry way to discovering whether the story you are reading is true or not.


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