ASEAN leaders laud information ministers' efforts vs fake news

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 16 2017 06:55 PM

ASEAN leaders link arms for the traditional family photo during the recently concluded 31st Asean Summit in Manila. Lino Santos/Pool

MANILA - Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Thursday lauded the region's information ministers for their efforts in combating the spread of fake news.

In a Chairman's statement, leaders of the regional bloc said they are looking forward to cooperating "with relevant stakeholders to counter misinformation and communicating the right information on all forms of media."

"We also applauded the information sector’s initiatives on promoting media and information literacy to equip young people with the right values and skills to use information responsibly," the statement read.

"We commended the important role of ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information (AMRI) in continuously raising ASEAN awareness, identity and communicating to the people the benefits and opportunities of ASEAN integration, including its efforts in countering the spread of fake news in the region," it said.

This year, the AMRI - the ASEAN arm in charge of a crusade against fake news - is chaired by Philippine Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

Andanar's office had been conducting a series of ASEAN awareness and media literacy programs across the country.

Earlier, Andanar's subordinates have been called out for spreading wrong information.

In May, Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson drew flak for posting a photo of police officers from Honduras as she called for prayers for Filipino soldiers.

The Philippine News Agency, also under Andanar, was also criticized for a series of gaffes including using a fruit processing company's logo instead of the emblem of the Department of Labor and Employment for a story.