MANILA- Fake news websites carrying the name of President Rodrigo Duterte cast a bad light on the administration, a Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) undersecretary said Wednesday.
During a Senate probe on the proliferation of fake news, Communications Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco said fake news websites that carry the President's name are bad for the administration since it may imply that the websites are really linked to the government.
"I suppose yes [it's bad for the government], kasi that’s one form of false info eh, so people may think that these websites are actually allied to the President’s camp," Egco said in response to Sen. Bam Aquino's inquiry on the effect of fake news websites to the administration.
Aquino then explained that he thinks some operators of fake news websites are real supporters of the President while some are just earning money from it, to which Egco agreed.
The senator then asked Egco whether he agrees that the spread of fake news, whether favorable or critical to the government, is wrong, to which Egco responded: "If it's malicious, and deliberately done with complete disregard to what the truth is, then that's the most sinister part."
Earlier in the same hearing, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said fake news peddlers must be unmasked and held accountable for spreading misleading 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 said.
The legislative inquiry on the spread of fake news was called 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 war on drugs.