Go: quarantine your mouth

March 20, 2020
Bong Go

‘Stop sharing fake news amid COVID-19 situation’.

SENATOR Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has called on the public to stop sharing fake news, particularly now that the country is trying to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“In this time of crisis, if you cannot help, just quarantine your mouth!” Go said explaining that the false information in these trying times only adds burden to affected Filipinos and government workers who are doing their best to address the health emergency.

“Gamitin n'yo ang oras ninyo para tumulong at magmalasakit. Huwag niyo sayangin sa pagkalat ng kasinungalingan o sa panloloko ng mga tao. Marami pong naghihirap ngayon. Marami ring pagod sa paghahanap ng solusyon sa krisis. Huwag kayo gumawa ng problema at dumagdag sa pasakit ng bayan,” Go stressed.  

The senator expressed his disappointment with some individuals who resort to spreading lies just to make the government look bad and spark panic in communities.

“Hindi nakakatuwa. Hindi nakakatulong. Imbes na ilaan ng mga kawani ng gobyerno ang oras nila para tulungan ang nangangailangan, gumagawa kayo ng distraction para lang isulong ang inyong sariling interes,” Go said.

“Sa kasinungalingang kinakalat ninyo, hindi naman po gobyerno ang sinisira ninyo kundi ang kapwa ninyong Pilipino at ang sarili ninyong bayan,” he added.  

He encouraged Filipinos to verify information they receive with official sources before circulating such.

“Sabi nga nila, think before you click. Verify before you cause panic. Sa panahong ito, importante na tamang impormasyon lamang ang ipinapamahagi natin sa taumbayan. Kawawa ang mga taong naghihirap na, lolokohin niyo pa,” Go said.

Go also urged the public that if there are any emergencies or law enforcement concerns that need immediate government response, there are official hotlines that they may contact.  

“Kaysa i-post ninyo sa Facebook, i-report niyo nalang agad sa pulis, sa mga ahensiya ng gobyerno, o sa akin mismo para maaksyunan natin. Nandito ang buong gobyerno para rumesponde sa pangangailangan ninyo,” Go said

The appeal comes after a series of screenshots of messages circulated through various social media platforms and messaging apps that narrated incidents of violence, looting, and other criminal activities. All of these were confirmed to be false after the Philippine National Police responded and investigated these claims.

Go also encouraged the public to report those who share fake news so that they can be penalized under the law. He also reminded the public of the existing Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. Anyone found spreading false information can be punished and may face imprisonment of six to twelve years.

In addition, Go also cited Presidential Decree No. 90 (Declaring Unlawful Rumor-Mongering and Spreading False Information) as a possible violation of fake news sources.

“Mapaparasuhan ang mga nagkakalat ng fake news ng dahil sa paglabag ng batas. Sisiguraduhin namin na mapanagot kayo sa mga kalokohang ginagawa ninyo,” Go warned the public.