Spreading misinformation a crime, public reminded

CEBU City Mayor Edgardo Labella has warned people who spread misinformation on social media.

Labella said spreading “fake news” that confuses the public violates the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act.

He cited Section 6 (f), which states that any individual or group creating or spreading false information regarding the novel coronavirus crisis on social media and other platforms is punishable by imprisonment of two months or a fine of not less than P10,000 but not more than P1 million, or both depending on the discretion of the court.

The mayor was referring to Resolution 35 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, which circulated online on Friday, June 12.

Embarrassing City Hall

The resolution, which classified Cebu City as under modified enhanced community quarantine, was issued on May 11 yet.

“They will be brought to the bar of justice,” said Labella, who described the post as “fake news” because it was not up to date.

“I think there are people who would like to embarrass us,” he said.

However, Labella said it was unnecessary to track down the culprit of the “recycled” resolution as he would rather stay focused on his job.

The Cebu City Public Information Office posted on its official Facebook page that IATF Resolution 35 was no longer relevant.

“This is malicious misinformation. IATF Resolution 35 is dated May 11, 2020 (and) was issued more than a month already and is no longer applicable or relevant today,” it said.

During the visit of Secretary Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the IATF, on June 11, he said the IATF has yet to meet to discuss the city’s classification after June 15.

Galvez said President Duterte will announce the final decision of the IATF on Monday, June 15. (JJL)