VP Leni: Intensify efforts to punish sources of fake news

By Raymund Antonio

Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Sunday said the government should ensure that justice be given to all the victims of fake news.

Vice President Leni Robredo (OVP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Vice President Leni Robredo (OVP / MANILA BULLETIN)

In her weekly radio show “BISErbisyong Leni,” Robredo called on the administration to intensify efforts to seek accountability for the purveyors of fake news.

“Dapat naman iyon pero sa akin, kasi hindi lang iyong pagpasa ng batas iyong mahalaga pero iyong fairness ng ating justice system (That should be the case but for me, passing a law is not the only important thing but also the fairness of our justice system),” Robredo, a former housing chief, said.

The Vice President was asked to comment on Singapore’s new law against fake news that allows authorities to order online platforms to remove false content, with penalties for perpetrators including prison terms of up to 10 years or fines up to one million Singapore dollars ($735,000).

In the Philippines, Robredo said she is in favor of passing a law against fake news, but she stressed the government should ensure justice for all the victims.

While claiming she has been a subject of fake news, Robredo slammed the administration for doing nothing to punish perpetrators.

Robredo has been a victim of fake news on social media. Since she assumed the vice presidency in June 2016, fake news that have been hurled at her were related to being pregnant, having a boyfriend, and having an abortion in the United States, among others.

“Iyong nakaraang tatlong taon, grabe iyong kasinungalingan na sinasabi sa akin, pero ang iba ngang purveyors noon, ano pa, sinusuwelduhan pa ng gobyerno, pero wala silang ginagawa para masugpo iyon (In the last three years, the lies were very blatant against me, and some of the purveyors were under the payroll of the government, but they were not able to solve that problem),” she said.

“Pero iyong basta sila iyong biktima, parang iba iyong kiling ng hustisya. Kapag sila iyong biktima, napakabilis ng mga arrest, ‘di ba ((But if they are the victims, justice favors them. If they are the victims, the arrest is very quick, right?)?” Robredo stressed.

“Parang ano iyong mensahe na binibigay sa mga tao? Na hindi pantay iyong hustisya. Kaya iyong sa akin, hindi lang sa pagpasa, pero ayusin iyong justice system (What message does it give to the people? Justice is not equal to everyone. That’s why for me, passing the law is not only important, but also fixing the justice system),” she said.