Bloggers bound by same rules as journalists – Robredo
MANILA, Philippines – They cannot just hide beneath the cloak of being just a "blogger."
The likes of Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and Thinking Pinoy's Rey Joseph Nieto should not skirt rules on verification when posting information online just because they are bloggers and not journalists, Vice President Leni Robredo said.
"Dahil tingin nila hindi sila bound sa rules gaya sa inyo, akala nila puwede nang sabihin kahit ano… Sana kung ano iyong nagba-bind sa traditional media, iyon din iyong mag-bind sa kanila," Robredo said in an interview over Bombo Radyo on Saturday, October 7.
(Because they think they are not bound by rules like you are, they think they can say anything. The rules that bind traditional media should be the same rules that bind them.)
Robredo said that while there are responsible bloggers, some take advantage of their not being journalists to spread lies. Robredo was reacting to the Senate hearing on fake news on Wednesday attended by Uson and Nieto, among others.
Freedom of speech
Opposition senators hit Uson during the hearing for being unfair for not getting their sides whenever she posts something about them on her blog, with some posts being fake. Uson said she was not required to because she is a blogger and not a journalist.
Robredo reminded Uson of her responsibilities as someone whose platform has a wide reach.
"Ayaw natin na kinu-curtail itong karapatan ng bawat isa na magsalita. Pero alam naman natin na ang bawat karapatan, may kaakibat na responsibilidad, at iyong gusto lang natin... Ang gusto lang natin, ipaintindi dito sa mga bloggers na ito na iyong karapatan nila, hindi naman iyan limitless," Robredo said.
(We don't want to curtail their freedom to speak their minds, but we also know that every right comes with a responsibility. That's what we want them to understand – that their right is not limitless.)
Robredo said it is unfair that mainstream media is being discredited by the rise of bloggers.
"Nakikita natin iyong blogs na iyon, parang ang sinasabi, ang sinungaling pa iyong traditional media," the Vice President said.
(The blogs that we see, it’s as if they’re saying traditional media is lying.)
Asked about this very same issue during the Senate hearing, Nieto said that people resort to fake news because "real news is sobrang sabog (all over the place)" and slanted. (READ: NUJP hits Thinking Pinoy blogger RJ Nieto as 'barefaced liar')
Robredo said she hopes that Senate hearing can produce legislation which would ensure that bloggers do not abuse their freedom of speech.
On Thursday, Robredo hit the resource persons of the Senate hearing as "unapologetic" and "arrogant." Without naming him, Robredo alluded to Nieto’s statement that he agreed to work for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) not because he needs the DFA, but because the DFA needs him.
"Para sabihin mong hindi mo kailangan iyong pamahalaan, iyong pamahalaan iyong nangangailangan sa iyo, parang ito ba tayo bilang Pilipino? Hindi tayo ganito eh. Kaya sa akin lang, siguro iyong realization ko lang habang pinapanood ko: Papayagan ba natin na iyong kasamaang ganito iyong magpe-prevail?" said the Vice President.
(For you to say that you don't need the government, that the government needs you more, is that how we are as Filipinos? We're not like this. This is my realization when I was watching yesterday: Are we going to let evil like this prevail?)
Nieto and Uson are known for their hateful posts against the Vice President.
Uson is facing cyber libel, graft and ethical violation complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman for posting alleged bank account numbers of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, which he claims to be all fake and nonexistent. – Rappler.com