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DISINFORMATION ISSUE

Roque: Don’t single out gov’t for fake news

/ 07:20 AM February 14, 2018

The government should not be singled out for spreading fake news, according to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, who vowed to resign if a law was passed to hold state employees and officials criminally liable for this and would challenge such a measure in the Supreme Court.

Any law that stifles freedom of expression and freedom of the press is unconstitutional, Roque said on Tuesday.

Sen. Grace Poe has filed a bill to penalize government workers who would share fake news and peddle disinformation. Poe said government employees must be held to a higher standard since public office was a public trust.

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In a press briefing in Kalinga province, Roque said Malacañang “never tolerated” fake news and there was no reason to single out government workers for disinformation.

“I think the commitment to the truth should be a responsibility imposed on all … journalists, not just those writing for the government,” he said.

“There simply is no basis for distinguishing between the commitment to write the truth if you’re a government employee and a commitment to write the truth if you’re a private journalist,” he added.

He said he was confident that all writers, sometimes by accident, were guilty of publishing false news regardless of their affiliation.

“I promise, if one such law is enacted by Congress, I will resign from my post and I will sue before the Supreme Court to challenge its constitutionality,” he said.

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TAGS: disinformation, fake news, free speech, Freedom of expression, Grace Poe, Harry Roque, press freedom
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