DOJ ready to assist Comelec vs fake news

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Tuesday, April 5, the Department of Justice (DOJ) “is ready to extend help to the Commission on Elections (Comelec)” in running after those creating and propagating fake news involving the 2022 elections.

“After all, purveying false news that affect public interest or public order is a criminal offense that falls squarely within the mandate of the DOJ and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate and prosecute,” Guevarra said.

He manifested the DOJ’s intention to assist after Comelec Commissioner George Garcia announced he will propose the creation of a task force against fake news.

Garcia said the Comelec would tap the assistance of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the NBI which is the investigating arm of the DOJ.

He explained that a task force is needed because of the unabated circulation of fake news involving the elections.

“We will not allow that. We will go after them. We will prosecute them. We will put a stop against these illegal activities,” Garcia stressed.

He explained, however, that the Comelec will not concern itself with fake news involving candidates.

“Yung mga fake news para sa mga kandidato napaka rami po nun baka hindi namin kayanin po yun (There are so many fake news concerning candidates and we will not be able to handle all of these),” he said.

Guevarra said the Comelec has not reached out to the DOJ or to the NBI on the creation of a task force.