MANILA - Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday dubbed fake news as the "e-version of budol-budol."
"Fake news is the e-version of budol-budol which many of our people who are unable to distinguish fact from fiction fall victims to," Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public information and mass media, said during the body's probe on the proliferation of fake news.
"Budol-budol" is a criminal scheme wherein victims are tricked into believing that a scam is legitimate.
"If fake news is not challenged, it will create lynch mobs out of certain people, turning them into an army of character assassins who can be unleashed with just one meme to destroy an idea, a person or an institution," Poe said.
"If unchecked, fake news cultivates a culture of lying... they embolden government officials to lie in order to escape accountability, crush dissent and commit illegal acts with impunity," she added.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said fake news peddlers must be unmasked and hold them accountable for spreading misleading and maligned information.
"What makes the situation worse is the fact that these criminals are hiding behind false names or fake websites. Sabi nga nila mga duwag," Sotto, who said that he was among the favorite of cyber bullies, said.
"In the past, those who fought against the Marcoses were not afraid to show their faces. They were on the streets, harapang lumalaban. Ngayon, titirahin ang gobyerno pero nagtatago sa likod ng mga computer," he said.
The congressional probe was called to order after at least 7 senators received online bashing for allegedly refusing to sign a resolution that condemns the killing of minors under the government's bloody policy against illegal drugs.