Fake news? Don’t look at us — Andanar
There is no fake news being disseminated by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), its Secretary Martin Andanar assured senators on Wednesday during a hearing of its P1.321-billion budget for 2018.
Andanar made it clear that people do “not hear” fake news in PCOO agencies that included PTV 4, its radio stations and the Philippine Information Agency.
Andanar also said that his office was now drafting “an activity that will talk about fake news through a media literacy program that we are going to bring down to the grassroots.”
He said this media literacy program on fake news would be funded by the additional P245 million the PCOO was seeking from Congress on top of its proposed P1.321-billion budget for next year.
But Sen. JV Ejercito, chair of the finance subcommittee tackling the PCOO budget, spoke about fake news generated on social media such as the blog of Press Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, an ardent supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Uson was in New York City attending the United Nations General Assembly with Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Andanar said.
Andanar said Uson was known to be “a staunch supporter and ally of the President and would fight tooth and nail and we give her that.”
Despite getting a lot of bashing for her stand on issues,
the former entertainer-turned- press official carried on with her job of going with the President on his visits here and abroad, he said.
“Asec (assistant secretary) Mocha enjoys the trust and confidence of the President,” Andanar said.
In response to a question from Ejercito, Andanar said Uson did not handle the President’s social media group, but noted that her strength lay with having five million followers on social media.
Sen. Nancy Binay, for her part, said she found it hard to “separate Mocha as a private citizen and Mocha as an asec.”
“I mean, how can you, Secretary Andanar, fight fake news if there are instances that fake news came from one asec? I guess that would be your dilemma. How you would balance things?” Binay told Andanar.
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