By Charissa Luci and MB Online
Senator Leila de Lima threw her full support to the ongoing media campaign against fake news and false memes on social media as she cried foul over the circulating news that she bought a US$6-million (approximately P280-million) mansion in New York City.
“This latest fake news is just one of the many manufactured news and fabricated lies being maliciously peddled around to malign and discredit me. Sadly, truth has become the first casualty,” De Lima said in a statement.
The news in question claimed the lady senator purchased the mansion in February 2016, with the address at 895 Shore Rd, Bronx, New York 10464. It added that “a concerned Filipino citizen in New York” submitted evidence of the purchase to the Philippine government.
The report also said verbatim: “Preliminary investigations conducted indicate that the payment was sent by De Lima through a Manila-based factory. Several transactions totaling over $6 million dollars has also been spotted on De Lima’s bank statement been funds sent to the Manila company.”
An online search revealed that the address is actually the Barlow-Pell Mansion Museum and Carriage House, a popular landmark in New York City.
The article did not even specifically name the said concerned citizen, the factory, and the agency conducting the probe.
Media campaign vs. fake news
The lady senator said she takes consolation on some media organizations for taking the lead not only to check on some of the hoaxes being shared and re-shared online but also to stop the spread of hatred and insults on social media.
De Lima said “manufactured” news on the social media, which are aimed at deliberately maligning and humiliating individuals, must be stopped.
She said hackers, fanatics and spammers have been abusing the freedom of the internet to foment lies and hatred at the expense of rational discourse.
“Like many well-respected individuals such as former presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Benigno Aquino III, and actress Agot Isidro, among others, I too have always been the object of malicious misinformation campaign deigned to tarnish my good name and reputation,” she said.