Bloggers and heads of so-called independent news websites on the list of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines' list of fake news communicators lashed out at the CBCP for questioning their credibility.
RJ Nieto, the man behind pro-Duterte Thinking Pinoy social media blog, shared his disagreement with the list.
"The CBCP is not the right authority to judge what's reliable and what's not. That's just like going to a lawyer to get a cancer diagnosis," Nieto told GMA News Online.
He also suspected CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas of using his leadership post in the collegial body to pursue his 'personal interests.'
"I believe that Bishop Soc Villegas should just speak for himself and not drag the name of the institution to forward his personal interests," Nieto said.
The anonymous owner of Pinoy Trending—a site claiming readership of of as many as a million a month—said that the CBCP was just pretending to fight all 'fake news' but actually wanted a 'dictatorship' to maintain a favorable face in media.
"Naniniwala ako na ang nagpapangap lang sila na nakikipag laban sa pekeng balita ngunit ang totoo ay nagbabalatkayo lamang sila dahil ang tunay nilang hangarin ay panatilihin ang mga impormasyon na pabor sa kanila at alisin ang mga balita na laban sa kanila," Pinoy Trending told GMA News Online on Monday though a text message.
"In short diktadurya ang kanilang gustong ipairal," Pinoy Trending added.
The website's owner, who preferred to remain anonymous, also defended the site's sources of information.
"Galing sa social media, mainstream media, local newspaper, celebrities at politician ang mga source namin. Hindi katulad ng mga pari at obispo na kung saan saan nalang pupulot ng kwento," Pinoy Trending wrote.
However, Pinoy Trending thanked the CBCP for calling the website to attention, as it had been planning to revamp the website and install upgrades.
"Magbabago na rin naman kami ng news site bilang part ng upgrade namin so hindi na rin big deal samin yan," Pinoy Trending said, adding that these changes were aimed at revealing its sources so as to be deemed more credible.
The Pastoral Exhortation against Fake News signed by Villegas, was posted less than a week before the list was released.
The CBCP official in an earlier report also reminded the public to be aware of "standard news" makers and use these as a gauge to be able to to tell the difference between the truth and 'fake news'.
"Alam natin kung anong totoo, kung anong tama, pagkat ito'y galing sa mga media sources na kapani-paniwala, na matagal nang nandiyan, na matagal nang nagbabalita," Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz said in a report on "Unang Balita".
The websites were pointed out by the CBCP as carriers of "fake or unverified content" the day before. —NB/KVD, GMA News