Jinggoy wants purveyors of ‘fake news’ jailed, penalized

Senator Jinggoy Estrada has sought the passage of the bill that seeks to penalize and put to jail persons who pspread false or misleading news online.

In filing Senate Bill No. 1296, Estrada proposed an amendment to Section 3 of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 to include “fake news” in the definition of terms and its inclusion in Section 4 on the list of cybercrime offenses.

“Click baits, propaganda, and manipulation of legitimate news segments to deliberately online falsehoods, false news or disinformation are so common nowadays, making it difficult to distinguish which is actual news to fake ones,” Estrada said in a statement.

“Masyado ng talamak ang mga ito (This is now getting more serious),” Estrada said.

In his proposed SBN 1296, Estrada said the definition of “fake news refers to misinformation and disinformation of stories, facts, and news which is presented as a fact, the veracity of which cannot be confirmed, with the purpose of distorting the truth and misleading its audience.”

As an offense, the bill defines the “creation and dissemination of fake news committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.”

Estrada lamented that even surveys showed that the majority of Filipinos already find it difficult to spot fake news on television, radio, and social media.

He cited the results of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) conducted in December 2021 and released in February this year.

The SWS survey showed that 70 percent or seven out of 10 adult Filipinos said that the problem of fake news and its spread on the internet is serious.