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State news agency expresses regret over erroneous posts

The Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday expressed regret over the incorrect information posted on its website in two instances.

In a statement, PNA said it was not its intention to spread fake news.

“While there have been lapses in our judgment, it has never been the policy of PNA to tolerate erroneous report, and it has certainly never been our intention to sow misinformation, much less share what is termed nowadays as ‘fake news,’” the statement read.

“We regret that these mistakes have cast doubt on our integrity as a news agency. Rest assured we have dealt with our erring personnel and that we are reviewing our procedures on reportage as we continue to uphold our commitment to deliver accurate and balanced news reports to the Filipino people and the world,” PNA added.

Netizens on Monday have pointed out that the article, “Urban warfare a challenge for soldiers in Marawi” posted on PNA’s website on Saturday used a photo from a scene during the Vietnam War.

“Upon learning of the error, we immediately took the photo down but not before it was shared by our readers and subscribers,” PNA said.

Prior to that, the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines criticized the PNA for “blatant manipulation of truth” over its article titled “95 states convinced there are no EJKs in PHL.”

“DILG Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing later denied saying some of the information in the PNA report. As soon as we learned of the error, we held the May 15 report and interviewed Asec. Densing so we could issue an accurate report thus, the story titled, ‘PHL's human rights situation commended at UPR,’” the PNA said.

Andanar evades media

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday refused to speak to the press who waited outside his office to get explanation on the PNA’s error.

Andanar's side was also sought to explain Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson's sharing a post of an incorrect photo meant to represent Filipino soldiers when in fact they were Honduras policemen.

His staff said that the Secretary would not answer any questions.

GMA News Online has reached out to Andanar Tuesday morning for explanation before reporting about the erroneous posts of the agency under the PCCO, but the Secretary has not replied. —ALG, GMA News