Cayetano proposed that personalities behind several Facebook pages and websites where the fake news reportedly originated, as well as public relations people who helped them in spreading the posts, be summoned by Congress for the legislative probe set after the conclusion of the biennial event on Dec. 11.
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Cayetano backs probe on ‘fake news’ in SEAG
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - December 3, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday expressed support for the plan of his colleagues in the House of Representatives to investigate the spread of fake news on the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) following the successful opening ceremony last Saturday night.

Cayetano proposed that personalities behind several Facebook pages and websites where the fake news reportedly originated, as well as public relations people who helped them in spreading the posts, be summoned by Congress for the legislative probe set after the conclusion of the biennial event on Dec. 11.

“We will be digging deeper into this, but so far we already found the digital footprint obviously showing that these people were responsible for inventing and spreading such fake news,” he said.

“It’s a political group that’s behind those Facebook pages and websites. So those people behind as well as their PR man should prepare because they will be invited in the investigation,” he said.

Cayetano, however, did not identify the personalities involved so as not to preempt the investigation.

Last week, Kabayan party-list Rep. Ron Salo, chair of the committee on public information, pushed for a legislative inquiry on the spread of such fake news on the country’s hosting of the SEAG.

He cited what appeared to be a “concerted, deliberate, organized and seemingly malicious disinformation campaign in the media” to discredit the SEAG, its organizers and the Philippines itself.

Salo said he found an emerging “pattern of fake news” on the Games, including the kikiam supposedly given to the Philippine women’s football team for breakfast when in fact it was chicken sausage, and the circulating photo of the Biñan Sports Complex still being constructed when it was actually a different picture.

“As a result of these fake news, the Philippines is painted as a complete failure in its hosting, with foreign media calling it ‘Muddle in Manila,’” the lawmaker lamented. 

Cayetano reiterated his belief that the spread of fake news in social media by certain groups has “political” motives, particularly to sabotage the country’s SEAG hosting.

The Speaker specifically cited false information that spread on social media on kikiam served as breakfast to athletes, pork served to Muslim athletes, desecration of flag, the venue in Biñan and the swimming pool in Nepal.

Cayetano earlier vowed to address issues involving the P55-million cauldron and reported blunders on venues and reception of athletes after the closing of the games on Dec. 11.  

Zero-waste SEAG

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) called on the organizers of the SEAG and host local government units to ensure proper waste management and implement “zero-waste-to-landfill” policy throughout the sports events.

Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said the target should be no biodegradable or recyclable waste will be sent to landfills from the games’ venues.

The appeal was made in anticipation of the large volume of waste to be generated at the venues where food and drinks are sold.

The DENR expects plastic food and beverage containers, aluminum cans and cardboard as among the wastes to be produced at the sporting event.

Antiporda said the SEAG organizers and host LGUs could tap concerned city and municipality environment and natural resources officers and mobilize volunteers to ensure that the waste to be generated during the event will be properly segregated and sent to materials recovery facilities.

The DENR is hopeful that the 12-day event will be an opportunity to promote waste segregation and recycling, and that such practices would “go beyond the Games.”

Antiporda said the systems for implementing waste segregation and recycling have been in place from the provincial down to the barangay levels, as laid out in their approved 10-year Solid Waste Management Plans (SWMP).

Records showed that 20 out of 23 cities and towns hosting the SEAG have approved SWMPs, while the remaining three are under evaluation.

Host LGUs with approved SWMPs are the cities of Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, Muntinlupa, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon and San Juan in Metro Manila; Angeles, Lubao, Mabalacat and San Fernando in Pampanga; Capas and Tarlac City in Tarlac; San Juan in La Union; Imus and Tagaytay in Cavite; and Biñan, Los Baños and Sta. Rosa in Laguna.

Those whose SWMPs are under evaluation are Calatagan in Batangas, Bocaue in Bulacan and Subic in Zambales.  –  With Louise Maureen Simeon

ALAN PETER CAYETANO FAKE NEWS
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