WITH the rampant proliferation of fake accounts on social media and spreading of lies, Senator Leila De Lima said she is “taking consolation” in the media’s move to fact-check viral news items on social media sites.
De Lima commended the campaign of GMA News Online’s #HindiTama and Rappler’s #NoPlaceForHate campaigns not only to check out some of these hoaxes that are being shared and re-shared to the public but also to stop the spread of hatred and insults on social media.
“I commend these two media organizations for asserting their democratic role of gatekeepers not only of public morals but also of truth, respect and decency in public life,” said De Lima in a statement.
De Lima said she joins former presidents Fidel Ramos and Benigno Aquino III and actress Agot Isidro on the list of personalities who have been “the object of malicious misinformation campaign deigned to tarnish my good name and reputation.”
“A few days ago, I learned about the news that I bought a USD6-million mansion in New York, USA. A cursory check of the address of the alleged property, it turned out it was a popular landmark in New York, the Barlow-Pell Mansion Museum. This latest fake news is just one of the many manufactured news and fabricated lies being maliciously peddled around to malign and discredit me,” said De Lima.
She added, “In our democratic society, the freedom of speech we all enjoy is not a license to smear the reputation and ruin the credibility of other people. I respect your expression of dissent and even frustration, but I will not tolerate any attempt to denigrate me and much less, to silence our democracy.”
De Lima has cried foul over the “personal attacks” launched against her by President Rodrigo Duterte, and a disbarment case filed against her on Friday by other detractors.
The President has openly linked De Lima to the drug trade and presented her alleged affair with her former driver, Ronnie Dayan, as evidence of her involvement in the proliferation of drugs in the New Bilibid Prison.
The President has also revived the issue of De Lima’s alleged sex tape, which prompted the #EveryWoman protest on social media.