Palace vows to fight disinformation, fake news on World Press Freedom Day
MANILA, Philippines — Communications Secretary Martin Andanar assured the public on Friday, World Press Freedom Day, that his office would continue to fight disinformation and fake news.
Andanar is the head of the Presidential Communcations Operations Office (PCOO), the lead communications arm of the government.
“Tayo naman po sa PCOO ay patuloy ang kampanya natin laban sa disinformation o pagpapakalat ng fake news sapagkat isa po ito sa sumisira sa malayang pamamahayag,” he said in a statement.
Andanar, a former mediaman, said the Duterte administration continues to respect press freedom in the Philippines despite various allegations of attacks against the media by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.
“Asahan niyo po na patuloy na irerespeto ng Duterte administration ang press freedom sa bansa taliwas sa mga alegasyon ng iilan,” he said.
In the World Press Freedom Index released this April 2019, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said the Philippines dropped one spot from its rank in the 2018 index from 133rd to 134th.
The media group said “the government has developed several ways to pressure journalists who dare to be overly critical of the summary methods adopted by ‘Punisher’ Duterte and his notorious ‘war on drugs’,” citing three journalism-related deaths in 2019.
It also cited the prevalence of “troll armies” who launch “online harassment campaign” against the media.
But Andanar touted the creation of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security or PTFoMS against media killings.
“Ilan lamang po sa mga patunay na iginagalang at pinoprotektahan ng administrasyon ang mga mamamahayag sa bansa ay ang Presidential Task Force on Media Security o PTFoMS na agad na nilagdaan ng pangulo sa unang mga buwan ng kanyang pamamahala,” he said.
Despite Duterte’s tirades on the media, even threating to block ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, calling out the Inquirer for its critical reporting, and slamming Rappler as “fake news site,” Andanar said the government would continue to push for the protection of press freedom in the Philippines.
“Tayo naman po ay kaisa ng lahat ng mediamen sa bansa at sa buong mundo sa pagsusulong at pangangalaga sa karapatan sa press freedom,” he said. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.