DILG chases âpropagators of fake newsâ after backlash on fake 'social distancing after sex' post
Undated file photo shows Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.
The STAR/Michael Varcas/File

DILG chases ‘propagators of fake news’ after backlash on fake 'social distancing after sex' post

(Philstar.com) - August 12, 2020 - 5:58pm

MANILA, Philippines — There is no truth to the "malicious quote card" circulating social media claiming that Interior Secretary Eduardo Año advised couples to observe social distancing after having sex to prevent coronavirus transmission, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said. 

"We at the DILG are not inclined to make such false and malevolent claims, neither will we tolerate them. False and derogatory news like these intend to impugn the institution’s credibility and undermine the progress we have thus far accomplished in the fight for Filipino survival," Año said in a statement. 

In a separate statement issued Tuesday evening, interior spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that the department had already notified the national police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Anti-Cybercrime Group on the issue.

The department was ready to file criminal charges against the perpetrators, Malaya said, for being peddlers of gossip and fake news.

"In this time of public health emergency, it is unfortunate that some people stoop so low and waste their time to spread fake news and sow disinformation to malign people such as Secretary Año," Malaya said. 

"We urge these people to use their creative minds instead on how they can complement the efforts of the government in spreading the right information and helping those in need. Rather than sow confusion and hatred among our people, now is the time to cooperate and work with the national and local government," he also said. 

READ: Anti-communist task force, PCOO spread false claims on ABS-CBN franchise | Accountability sought over NTF-ELCAC 'black propaganda' vs ABS-CBN, Rappler's Ressa

Other instances of fake news, though, were not met with the same fervor: including when the Presidential Communications Operations Office and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict pushed legal issues raised against ABS-CBN Corp.—which other government agencies had already belied—as fact. 

Media groups have slammed the NTF-ELCAC, of which Año is a member, for peddling black propaganda against members of the media, including the broadcast giant and online news site Rappler. — Franco Luna

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