August 25, 2022 @ 7:20 PM 1 month ago

THERE’S no stopping for this amazing couple – Malabon City Rep. Jaye Lacson-Noel and An-waray Party-list Rep. Florencio ‘Bem’ Noel – to give their best to their constituents and they’ve become known at the Lower Chamber as ‘partners in life, partners in Congress.’

Now they’re at it again as they filed together House Bill 2971 which seeks to punish publishers of fake news by deeming such offenses a cybercrime.

HB 2971, which amends Section 4 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 by including fake news among content-related offenses, defines fake news as misinformation and disinformation of stories, facts and news which is presented as fact.

The duo said the amendment will also include creation and dissemination of fake news as defined in Section 3, committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.

In their explanatory note, the Noels have noted that not even credible sources like media outlets and broadcast stations were spared of the false information spread out by paid trolls to distort truth and deliberately mislead people to think the opposite of what is actually happening.

They cited two types of fake news as stated by Professor Clarissa David of the College of Mass Communication of the University of the Philippines: misinformation and disinformation.

According to Professor David, misinformation is false information which is unintentionally disseminated on online platforms with no propaganda while disinformation is deemed orchestrated for political ends.

The two lawmakers, whose son Nino Lacson-Noel is the No. 1 Malabon City councilor after emerging topnotcher during the May 9 polls, said that both misinformation and disinformation must not go unpunished especially since it poisons the mindset of the people by distorting the truth.

“Let’s be united to not let others distort the truth and mislead readers especially online,” said Congw. Lacson-Noel, House deputy majority floor leader.

They also filed HB 2973 or ‘An Act Defining and Penalizing Verbal Abuse against the Elderly, Women, Children, and Persons with Disability.’

“Bilang inyong boses sa Kongreso, layon nating seryosohin at magkaroon ng parusa ang mga abusers lalo na’t alam natin na ang ilan sa mga biktima ay pinipiling manahimik dahil walang batas na nagpo-protekta sa ganitong pang-aabuso,” they said.

“This type of abuse can also lead to many things, ang ilang nakararanas ng verbal abuse ay nagkakaroon ng karamdaman tulad ng depresyon, emotional abuse, anxiety at pagkatakot,” the couple added.