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Fake news may ruin rightful candidates’ chances: Andanar

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By Philippine News Agency

MANILA — With three weeks left before the mid-term elections, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday urged the voters not to allow fake news to ruin the chances of the candidates who can serve the country well.

“Ngayong panahon ng eleksyon na kapag hinayaan nating nanalo ang fake news, kawawa naman iyong mga kandidatong puwede sanang manilbihan nang wasto, nang husto (Now that we are in an election season, if we let fake news win, it is unfair for candidates who can serve the people well),” Andanar said in a radio dzXL interview.

Andanar said if people will allow disinformation to prevail “we are actually allowing ourselves to be cheated” by unfair elections which basically destroys the democratic election process.

He specifically cited an anonymous video circulating online which linked former Special Assistant to President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go to the illegal drug trade.

“Ano ba ang sinabi ni Bikoy? (What did Bikoy say?) Si Secretary Bong Go ay isa raw sa mga naging drug lord at isa raw sa mga taong mayroong tattoo sa likod, dragon, etcetera, pero wala naman (That Secretary Bong Go is one of the drug lords and has a tattoo in the back which was disproved),” Andanar said.

“So napakalaking (it is a huge) disinformation, fake news,” he added.

Andanar expressed optimism that war against fake news can be won through a unified action by the media, government, and voters.

“Kung tayo sa mass media ay mayroon tayong mga patakaran, (If we in mass media have) rules and regulations, and we regulate ourselves. Ang problema kasi sa social media, eh bawat isang tao broadcaster sa social media eh (The problem with social media is that each user is a broadcaster),” the PCOO chief said.

“We should practice our civic responsibility of sharing only truthful, correct, the right information,” he added.

Go, the former top aide of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, earlier bared his tattoo-free back to disprove the allegations in the video titled “Ang Totoong Narco List” (The True Narcolist).

A certain “Bikoy”, former record keeper of a narcotics ring operating in Southern Luzon and the Visayas, had also linked presidential son and former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte to the illegal drug syndicate.

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