Dispatch from Crame No. 217: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on “Filipinos of the Year 2017” conferred by PDInquirer to Pinoy Ako Blogger Jover Laurio and other online warriors vs fake news


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I wish to congratulate the woman behind Pinoy Ako Blog (PAB), Ms. Jover Laurio, and the brave netizens who have been fighting the onslaught of fake news in recent years for having been chosen as Filipinos of the Year 2017 by the Philippine Daily Inquirer media group.

This accolade affirming the value of truth especially in governance came at a very relevant time now that dark political forces led by the Duterte regime have unveiled its scheme to annihilate democracy and perpetuate itself in power.

Social media is a major battleground where we need to engage and parry this onslaught. Fake news have spread beyond social media—aided by those who reap the benefits of the spread of lies, information, and propaganda—and have started to infect the integrity of official and professional information and news agencies.

Let it not be forgotten that Truth is the blood of a strong democracy, and of a free and just society. Kung hindi na nalalaman ng mga tao ang pagkakaiba ng katotohanan at kasinungalingan, paano natin mapagdedesisyunan nang tama ang landas na tatahakin natin bilang isang bayan?

Nakasalalay sa pagtatanggol ng katotohanan at paglaban sa “fake news” ang ating kinabukasan—kung tayo ba ay totoong uunlad bilang isang lahi, o magiging mga alipin sa sarili nating bayan. Without Truth, we will live at the mercy of those who would use their power, and our hard work, for their own personal gain.

PAB and the nameless online warriors keeping vigil in this perilous and long night of our history have shown that ordinary people can be significant actors in this defining struggle for our freedoms, our basic rights, and yes, even our collective sanity as a nation is at stake. Let us be inspired and act!

On the flip side, those who have intentionally or recklessly been peddling fake news, whether in their personal or official capacity, should be ashamed of the way they have treated both Truth and the Warriors for Truth, like PAB, given this resounding recognition of their significance to the progress of our nation.

People like Mocha Uson and RJ Nieto, who boast of millions of followers and of influential posts in the bureaucracy, should be humbled that a lone individual, a citizen acting in her own capacity, has succeeded in doing what they are being paid to do: champion the truth and the responsible dissemination of the same.

They, too, should be inspired—inspired to be better social media personalities and be better human beings in general. ###

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