Gov’t to hold information summit vs fake news, Andanar says

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
Gov�t to hold information summit vs fake news, Andanar says

 Presidential Communications Operations Office chief Martin Andanar said the information summit against fake news would be held during the first quarter of 2018. PPD/File

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Communications Operations Office chief Martin Andanar on Saturday announced that the government would hold the first information summit to combat fake news in the country in 2018.

Andanar described the upcoming information summit as “grand” as it would gather information officers of provinces, cities, and municipalities under PCOO. He said it would be held during the first quarter of 2018.

“We are also inviting private media to be part of this information summit," Andanar said over a radio interview with Radyo Pilipinas on Saturday.

"This will be the first. Grand in a sense na malaking information summit po na gaganapin dito sa bansa natin, (Grand in a sense that it will be a big information summit to be held in the country,)" he added.

Andanar is eyeing collaboration between the government and private media as well as educational institutions, including the Department of Education. He said the PCOO cannot resolve fake news alone as he described social media as “big” and “massive.”

The PCOO chief currently chairs the Association of the South East Asian Nations Ministers Responsible for Information.

During the ASEAN summit last November, the bloc’s information ministers made a deal to battle fake news within the Southeast Asian community.

Last May, web-based newswire service under PCOO, Philippine News Agency drew flak after publishing a story claiming that 95 nations in the 27th Universal Period Review of the UN Human Rights Council were convinced that there were no extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. The PNA admitted publishing the article deemed as fake news and later on took down the story.

The government’s online news agency was also criticized for successive editorial blunders including the wrong photo attached in a story involving the Department of Laboar and Employment, a Xinhua editorial hitting South China Sea, as well as the editorial notes erroneously published in stories. Andanar claimed  PNA was under cyberattack for the latter.

READ: New PNA blunders amid editorial board under Andanar

The editorial gaffes happened despite the existence of editorial board formed by Andanar in August. The board was created for PNA in response to controversies regarding the state-run news agency.

PCOO Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson also received criticisms for using a photo of Honduras police when asking the public to pray for the Philippine Army during the Marawi Siege. She defended her post saying that it was “symbolism.”

Uson also posted an old of a wake during the height of public outrage during the death of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos when she challenged opposition lawmakers and Vice President Leni Robredo to visit the victim’s wake.

Also among the recent gaffes linked to Uson her post on alleged offshore bank accounts of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. President Rodrigo Duterte later claimed that the he just invented the bank account numbers spread by Uson and his other known supporters.

Trillanes subsequently filed a cyberlibel against Uson before the Office of the Ombudsman.

At a Senate’s probe into proliferation of fake news in October, Uson claimed she is also a victim of fake news. She cited a news that she took a selfie inside a mosque in Marawi City.

RELATED: Mocha Uson: I'm also a victim of fake news

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