Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday condemned another "fake news campaign" against her, in which she was depicted being supportive of the ISIS-linked Maute group.
Imbes na tumulong, malicious elements continue to manufacture fake news. Wag pa-fall sa fake news, paaasahin ka Lang, Di naman pala totoo. pic.twitter.com/4RQpjJX8ZE— risa hontiveros (@risahontiveros) June 7, 2017
"Yesterday, I was again the target of a vicious fake news campaign wherein I was depicted to be very supportive of the Maute group," Hontiveros said in a forum held at De La Salle University-Manila.
"Nothing is farther from the truth," she added.
In the said photo that is circulating on social media, Hontiveros was allegedly quoted as saying: "What Maute group are doing is not rebellion. I believe they are only doing what they think is right, this people has a belief, a conviction that pushed them to move forward."
Meanwhile, in the forum, she emphasized that the "Maute group is a terrorist group" and an "enemy of peace and development, particularly the people of Mindanao."
"What they did to Marawi is a terrorist act that must be condemned by all," she added.
Hontiveros then assured that members of the Maute group will be held liable for their actions.
"I have full trust in our [Armed Forces of the Philippines] that they will defeat these terrorists. We will hold the Maute terrorists accountable. We will do it without losing our sense of humanity and love for democracy," she said.
Hontiveros observed that efforts to circulate misinformation seemed to be targeting members of the opposition and administration critics.
"Baka isang layunin 'yan para pigilin ang mga critical voices. Pero malinaw naman ang tungkulin namin sa ilalim ng Konstitusyon na pilitin harinawa na makaupo in joint session ang Kongreso. Naghain pa ang mga mamayan sa Korte Suprema tungkol dito. At dahil yang joint session precisely ang tamang proseso kung saan pwedeng dinigin itong lahat ng mga sinasabing ebidensya kung bakit nagdeklara ng martial law, timbangin ang factual basis ng pagdeklara.
Still, Hontiveros said she does not easily get frustrated by the continuous circulation of fake news.
"Hinahabaan ko ang aking pasensya dahil importanteng sabihin pa rin kung ano ang totoo. At naniniwala ako sa kakayahan ng ating kababayan, kalaunan na malaman at ma-appreciate kung ano ang totoo," she said.
She also urged the public to be vigilant against the proliferation of fake news on social media.
"Ang mensahe ko po sa ating mga kababayan ay alamin po natin unang-una kung ano ang nangyayari on the ground. 'Wag po tayo pahuli sa mga fake news dahil pinaaasa lang tayo ng mga ito pero sa huli mabibigo lang tayo," Hontiveros told reporters on the sidelines of the forum.
"Hindi lamang dahil malalaman natin na hindi ito totoo pero ang fake news ay nakakabulag lang sa atin sa kung ano ang totoong pangangailangan, para man ito sa humanitarian response, para man ito sa pagsuporta sa ating AFP at PNP, para man ito sa pagsugpo para sa teroristang grupo o para man ito sa pagganap ng ating mga institusyon, sa lehislatura at sa judiciary din, ng aming mga tungkulin, lalo na 'pag kaharap ang ganitong ka-importanteng issue ng martial law," she added. — MDM, GMA News