Meme favorite Revilla eyes Senate public information committee, hits fake news

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 17 2019 03:57 PM

MANILA - Sen. Bong Revilla is eyeing to lead the Senate public information and mass media committee, as he vowed to prioritize a proposed measure seeking to combat fake news.

Revilla expressed support for Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s Senate Bill No. 9, which punishes the creation or publishing of “false” information and allows the Department of Justice to order its takedown.

"It is high time we establish a system of responsibility and accountability in new media," said Revilla, who became a meme favorite in the previous election.

"The proliferation and spreading of fake news is a threat not only to political stability, but more importantly, to public and general welfare and national security," he added. 

The committee is currently headed by Sen. Grace Poe. 

Revilla said he would also ensure "the free exchange of ideas" online by combating fake news that "distort and poison this free exchange by injecting falsehood and deception."

"It erodes the quality of the discussion and skews the conversation. We need to put a stop to this virus so that the exchange is healthy and strengthens democracy,” he added. 

Under the proposed bill, anyone found guilty of knowingly creating or publishing false information shall be punished with imprisonment and/or a fine of not more than P300,000, or both.

Persons found guilty of using a fictitious online account or website in creating or publishing false information, meanwhile, may face imprisonment and/or a fine of not more than P500,000, or both.

Those who offered their services or expertise to create or publish false information may also be imprisoned and/or fined, or both.