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Hontiveros cries foul over fake news

CEBU, Philippines – Embattled Senator Risa Hontiveros has cried foul after getting flak from netizens over fake news attributed to her supposedly supporting the Maute terrorist group.

Hontiveros said there was no truth to the news article attributed to her having justified the terrorists’ siege in Marawi City.

The article published online quoted Hontiveros as having said that, “What Maute Group is doing is not rebellion. I believe they are only doing what they think is right. These people have a belief, a conviction that pushes them to move forward. Maaring pagod na sila sa mga pangyayari sa lipunan, at least they have the motivation. We should be inspired of what they are doing, they are the epitome if courage and resilience.”

Hontiveros vehemently denied having issued such statement.

“Super fake news yan. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Patuloy akong nagkondena sa terrorismong Maute. Maute is a terrorist group. Threat siya sa peace and order development lalo nasa Mindanao. Dapat gawin siyang accountable sa mga terroristic act nila,” Hontiveros told members of Cebu media.

“Grabe talaga, nakakaapekto at nakababahala na instead makaalam ang ating institusyon lalo na ang ating mamamayan sa nangyayari on the ground and as the basis of fact as we know them makadesisyon nang maayos but instead our nitizens are bombarded by this fake news, nakundisyon ang isip ng publiko not to understand the truth and the real facts but to be confused and even blinded by so called alternative facts by fake news para hati-hati, hindi makabuo ng isang mas malawak at mas malakas na pagkakaisa ng mamamayan,” she added.

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Hontiveros said that the netizens should be able to take hold on what really happened coming from credible sources.

“Hindi yung banatan sa isat-isa dahil sa narrow political conditions,” she said.

Meanwhile, Senator Joel Villanueva is set to file a bill penalizing those who ‘maliciously’ create and intentionally spread fake news in print, broadcast or online following the false claims of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre implicating some opposition lawmakers in the conflict in Marawi City.

“We intend to file a bill that would penalize any person who maliciously creates or intentionally spread fake news in print, broadcast media or on the internet including social media websites,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva said those who author lies and fake news should not be tolerated most especially when the public interest is at stake.

Villanueva also expressed the need to find a balance between democracy and responsibility.

“We want to strike a balance between democracy and duty to promote a high standard of ethics especially in public service,” Villanueva said. —/FPL (FREEMAN)

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