Pastor charged for posting fake news about COVID-19 cases in Agusan del Sur

A pastor was charged by the police early this week for allegedly posting that there were two COVID-19 patients in Veruela in Agusan del Sur province.

Michael Perez Gumonit, a pastor of the International One Way Outreach Foundation, was charged by the police on Monday for claiming on Facebook that there were patients living in the villages of San Gabriel and Santa Emelia, the Mindanao Gold Star Daily reports. Gumonit said that he got the information from the town police, a claim rejected by the authorities.

Read: Police urge Filipinos to stop sharing fake crime news on social media

Police Lt. Ronald Baiño, officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Veruela Municipal Police Station, told Daily Tribune, “The suspect eventually issued a public apology accepting his mistakes but he will still be facing charges and the suspect will be arrested as soon as the warrant will be issued.”

The suspect was charged with unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code. Gumonit was charged after provincial Governor Santiago Cane Jr. saw his post and ordered the police on March 14 to file a case against the pastor, despite his apology.

In a Facebook post, Governor Cane said, “If all who spread fake news will be forgiven after saying sorry, this practice will never end. A case has to be filed.”


This article, Pastor charged for posting fake news about COVID-19 cases in Agusan del Sur, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!