Fake news caused people to leave homes, expect assistance; Gasataya denounces spread

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Bacolod Cong. Greg Gasataya denounced the spread of fake news, especially the kind that puts people’s lives at risk, like the one spread recently about his supposed assistance to residents.

Residents received word that the congressman will be distributing assistance, leading them to wait by the highway expecting help. | Photo from Cong. Greg Gasataya Facebook page

The congressman revealed that he received a text message that hundreds of residents in the sub-villages of Guanzon, Paglaum, Katilingban, and neighboring sub-villages including those in barangay Felisa had gone out of their homes and waited along the Murcia road highway for hours.

Apparently, the residents had been informed that the congressman will be distributing assistance, news that turned out to be fake.

Residents wait for hours after receiving word that assistance will come. | Photo from Bacolod Cong. Greg Gasataya Facebook page

“In times of crisis like what we are now experiencing, it is HEARTBREAKING to know that there are person/s who spread misinformation to discredit me, without realizing that they put to risk the lives of their fellowmen,” Gasataya said in a statement from his Facebook page.

The prank had placed lives in jeopardy especially since residents had to leave their homes in the middle of an ECQ. Some even had to wait for hours until nighttime for help that did not come.

“We did not have any scheduled distribution of assistance in those areas; that was misinformation spread by certain quarters. Schedules for distribution are coursed through and coordinated with barangays concerned through our congressional staff,” he said.

He added that any assistance given is usually distributed house-to-house because of the ECQ.

“From all indications this shows that this was organized, well planned and executed,” he said, adding, “Please don’t spread fake news and mislead the people, we are in a crisis and this might endanger the lives of others including yours.”

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