BACOLOD CITY, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – Fake news and false information headlined the third day of the general community quarantine here.
DNX has learned that among those who are passing it through private message to people here include a member of Akbayan, a Liberal Party supporter and former professor, a minor league basketball player, and a woman with connections to officials at the Capitol.
And a new style has emerged.
With the threat of a criminal charge against them, purveyors of false information have resorted to sending information through the private messaging system of Facebook or Messenger.
Private, direct and personalized.
The most sent “update” today, 18 March 2020, was a so-called breakdown of persons under monitoring in Bacolod City.
It was in purely text form and had a header that said:
HALA!!!List of person under monitoring as of March 17 2020
as of 3/16/2020 (Oh my!!! List of person under monitoring as of March 17 2020)
Under it was a rundown of the 61 villages here with the supposed number of PUMs.
The message was sent to DNX Executive Editor Julius Mariveles by his Facebook friend who is a member of Akbayan.
“Infornation desimination (sic),” Rodney Arquio answered when Mariveles asked him why he sent the message.
Mariveles informed him the message could possibly be fake and he could be charged for it.
To which he replied “pls verify.”
Asked who sent him the message, Arquio replied it was his friend, Ryaneil Rojas, a basketball player from Alijis.
Arquio gave Rojas’ mobile phone number but it was unavailable when DNX called it to get his reaction.
Several netizens also verified with DNX about the same message early evening of 18 March.
Three said they got it from a “consultant” of Capitol, a woman.
All three gave the same name but asked that it be withheld.
Another, a teacher with a PhD also sent Mariveles the same message.
When asked where he got it, the teacher said it was from his friend, a Liberal Party supporter, who was once connected with an anti-poverty body of the government.