NUJP slams gov’t news agency for uploading ‘fake news’
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on Monday criticized the government-run Philippine News Agency (PNA) for posting “fake news” that claims 95 out of 105 nations agree there were no extrajudicial killings (EJK) in the Philippines.
The PNA alleged that the supposed story was formulated during the 27th Universal Period Review (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council.
The article was first published on May 15, with a headline “95 nations in 3rd UPR convinced no EJKs in PHL.” The story was replaced a few days later with a new title “PHL’s human rights situation commended at UPR” without any explanation.
PNA was quoting Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III, who said that 95 nations were convinced that there were no EJKs in the Philippines. However, Densing did not make such claim.
What Densing said in the UPR was that they were “very confident” that other countries were convinced by the presentation of the Philippines regarding the human rights situation in the country.
The NUJP wants the PNA to explain what happened, after all it is “a news agency funded by our taxes and which we, therefore, technically own.”
“We do understand the need for PNA and other state-affiliated outfits to project as strongly as possible the government’s side on current issues and controversies. But does that include peddling falsehood?” it said in a statement.
“Our concern over the use of PNA to legitimize fake news also stems from the possible implications this poses on the professional reputations and yes, the safety of our many upright colleagues who work for the venerable news agency and continue, despite the challenges they face, to keep it reputable and worthy of people’s trust,” it added. FM/JPV/rga
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