Duterte approves law penalizing creators of fake news

By , on September 1, 2017


FILE: As President Rodrigo Duterte on August 29 signed into law Republic Act 10951, higher fines will be charged to a person who found guilty of “unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances”, which might affect public order.  (Malacañan Palace/Presidential Photo)
FILE: As President Rodrigo Duterte on August 29 signed into law Republic Act 10951, higher fines will be charged to a person who found guilty of “unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances”, which might affect public order.
(Malacañan Palace/Presidential Photo)

As President Rodrigo Duterte on August 29 signed into law Republic Act 10951, higher fines will be charged to a person who found guilty of “unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances”, which might affect public order.

Under the law, it states that a person who found guilty of unlawful use of publication and unlawful utterances can now be charged of arresto mayor, which is one-month and a day to six months imprisonment, adding a fine ranging from P40,000 to P200,000.

Article 154 of the act describes “unlawful use” as the “printing lithography, or any other means of publication” of “false news which may endanger the public order, or cause damage to the interest or credit of the State.” Punishment will be given to those who will abide the law.

RA 10951 also covers persons who, by the same means or by words, utterances of speech encourages “disobedience to the law or to the constituted authorities” or praises, justifies, and extols any act punished by law.

Furthermore, maliciously publishing any official resolution or document without proper authority or before they have been published officially is also under this crime.

If any person prints, distribute or cause to be printed, publishes or distributes books, pamphlets, periodicals or leaflets which does not include the owner’s name, or which are classified as anonymous, he or she will also be penalized by the law.

Amid to the widespread of fake news in the country, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines had earlier listed websites carrying fake or unverified contents.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) assistant secretary Mocha Uson, on the other hand, has also been accused for posting fake news on her official Facebook page.