Sign in / Join

Trillanes seeks Senate probe into ‘fake news’ by Andanar, Aguirre

FAKE NEWS. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV seeks a Senate probe into ‘fake news’ supposedly propagated by Cabinet secretaries Martin Andanar and Vitaliano Aguirre II. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV sought a Senate inquiry into the "fake" and "false" news allegedly propagated by Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

Trillanes filed Senate Resolution 315 on Tuesday, March 7, asking the Senate committee on public information and mass media to probe "the massive proliferation" of erroneous and misleading news by government officials.

Citing Article 11, Section 9 of the 1987 Constitution, Trillanes said "public office is a public trust" and that officers must serve people with "utmost responsibility" and "integrity."

The senator also cited Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, saying "public officials should be more careful" to avoid proliferation of fake news.

"It is the responsibility of Congress… to ensure that no government official would be using or taking advantage of their positions to disseminate fake, distorted, baseless or fabricated and/or erroneous news and false information and/or to mislead the public," Trillanes said in the 4-page resolution.

This probe, he added, would ensure that the public will not be "deceived" by government officials.

Cabinet secretaries’ claims

Trillanes recalled Andanar’s "false" allegation that members of the Senate media received $1,000 each for covering the former’s press conference with retired policeman Arturo "Arthur" Lascañas. (READ: Senate media to Andanar: Prove claim or apologize for fake news)

Trillanes also mentioned Andanar’s claim that the Commission on Human Rights already cleared President Rodrigo Duterte of involvement in the so-called Davao Death Squad – which was directly refuted by the CHR.

The senator also slammed Andanar for claiming that Lascañas’ press conference was part of destabilization plot against the government, even as defense and national security officers denied there was such a threat.

As for Aguirre, Trillanes cited the justice chief’s "baseless" allegation that the senator had a hand in the New Bilibid Prison riot in September 2016.

He also cited Aguirre’s claim that the wife of one of the inmates who implicated Senator Leila de Lima in the House probe was ambushed. But Makati City Police chief Senior Superintendent Dionesio Bartolome denied Aguirre’s story. (READ: Does Justice Secretary believe in fake news?) –