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STATE IS JUSTIFIED IN IMPOSING A PENALTY AGAINST PUBLICATION OF FAKE NEWS

NECESSITY

Problem:
The problem is that fake news may actually pass off as true and correct. This, in turn, affects people’s
perception or opinion on others and harm people’s reputation. Worse, fake news creates confusion about
what is true and adversely affects citizens’ decision-making on important issues ( who to vote for in an
election or which side to take on public matters). Even the most educated among us may be duped into
believing fake news.
Fake news or false information has polarized an already divided nation like ours, and the sad part is
that this problem has a normative effect. People may choose what “truths” to believe in, which may be
shared and accepted by the majority of the population. Fake news sways public opinion and adversely
affects a country’s ability to govern itself. It puts to great risk the proper workings of a democratic nation
like the Philippines.
http://business.inquirer.net/243489/combating-fake-news#ixzz5AaE0C4Ao

As it has around the world, the internet in the Philippines has become a morass of fake news and
conspiracy theories, harassment and bullying. This has muddied public discourse and cultivated a populist
attitude toward democracy. What is true, or legal, is no longer important as long as the majority supports it.
Responsibility has been discarded for partisanship.
The fake news isn’t always complimentary. An opposition politician was said to be “recruiting
soldiers for a coup.” Vice President Leni Robredo, of the opposition Liberal Party, had supposedly met with
Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general at the time, to conspire to remove the president.
Just as the real-world killings include innocents, the online assassinations have proven similarly
indiscriminate
Mr. Duterte not only has refused to condemn the flood of fake news and the belligerence of his online
supporters but also has rewarded some of their leaders. Mocha Uson, for example, now has a job at the
Presidential Communications Operations Office even as she maintains her popular pro-Duterte blog.
Another unabashedly partisan blogger, R. J. Nieto, was hired by the Department of Foreign Affairs as a social
media consultant.
Despite our country’s issues, free speech still thrives, though the mob rule of populism certainly tries
to control it through brute force and denial.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/24/opinion/fake-news-philippines.html

Citing the head of the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, Senator Grace Poe, she
argued, “If fake news is not challenged, it will create lynch mobs out of certain people, turning them into an
army of character assassins, who can be unleashed, with just one meme, to destroy an idea, a person, or an
institution.” She even remarked that bots and trolls that make use of dummy social media accounts are
spreading around fake news. https://policyblog.uni-graz.at/2017/11/the-rise-of-fake-news-the-philippine-
case/

HELLO! WE NEED TO ESTABLISH A CLEAR AND IMMINENT DANGER THAT FAKE NEWS BRING TO THE
PHILIPPINES THAT IT NEEDS TO BE PENALIZED ALTHOUGH IT MAY ALREADY BE SO. WHICH MEANS
THAT WE NEED BIG PROBLEMS TO JUSTIFY IMPOSITION OF PENALTIES OTHER THAN THOSE ALREADY IN
OUR LAWS.

Case citations are big! please help me in searching cases that talk of problems about fake news which may be
in libel, slander, libelous remarks, intriguing against honor, unlawful use of means of publication

Solution:
IMPOSITION OF PENALTY
Malacañang on Thursday said Duterte signed on August 29, 2017 REPUBLIC ACT (RA) 10951, a law
amending amounts and fines imposed under the 87-year-old Revised Penal Code. Under Section 18, Article
154, titled "Unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances" penalties will be imposed on a
person who will publish false news by passing it off as legitimate news through print or other publication
methods.
"Any person who by means of printing, lithography, or any other means of publication shall publish
or cause to be published as news any false news which may endanger the public order, or cause damage to
the interest or credit of the State," it reads. Under the same article, the penalties will also apply to those who
deliver speeches that encourage disobedience to the law, publish an official document without proper
authority, and those who will publish pamphlets anonymously.
http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/09/01/False-news-jail-fine-Republic-Act-10951-Revised-Penal-
Code.html
(purpose of such law is important)

RPC
libel, slander, article 154 unlawful use of means of publication WISDOM OF THE LAW OR PURPOSE AS WELL
AS PENALTY (imprisonment of __ years to __ years and fine of P___ to P____)

BILL
Senate Senate Bill 1680 by Sen. Grace Poe (purpose and how it will solve fake news problem) seeks to
amend Republic Act 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees,
to penalize government employees who publish or disseminate false news or information in any platform.
SENATE BILL NO. 1492 OR “AN ACT PENALIZING THE MALICIOUS
DISTRIBUTION OF FALSE NEWS AND OTHER RELATED VIOLATIONS,” by Sen.
Villanueva THIS IS THE MAIN THING I THINK. THE “PENALTY” REFERRED TO IN THE MOTION

Arguments:
I. freedom of expression may be regulated by the state (content-based) through the clear and present danger
rule PLEASE HELP ME FIND CONTENT BASED REGULATIONS IN OUR CONSTITUTIONAL CASES

II. right to information in connection with full public disclosure. the necessity of honest and true statements
in matters concerning public concern
CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE II SECS. 24, 27 28 and ARTICLE III SECS. 4 AND 7 may be used
including the journals available in cdasia

III. How our current laws do not violate constitution and how the penalty that the bills would impose would
also not curtail freedom of expression

***Att. Gab’s cases and the doctrines there are very helpful in the arguments. Thank you!
STATE IS JUSTIFIED IN IMPOSING A PENALTY AGAINST PUBLICATION OF FAKE NEWS

NON-NECESSITY

Arguments

I. Penalties against publication of fake news are unconstitutional; freedom of expression is violated; purpose
of constitutional provision or objective
- freedom of expression is achieved when it promotes dissent? unrest? invites people to argue? (do you
remember the first question in the part II of our exam in consti? it was this based on a case. need help in
finding the doctrine)
- journals of 1986 concom in cdasia

II. it is a content based regulation or censorship – the regulation of which cannot be passed on to judiciary or
the legislative as there can be no definition in the law punishing fake news that is too constrictive as it would
again, be violative of freedom of expression. and that although
(please cite case doctrines that prohibit content based regulation wherein clear and present danger rule was
not allowed because there was no clear and present danger)

III. RPC and special laws punishes and provides penalties or imprisonment against unlawful means of
publication art. 154, libel, slander and even RA 10951 increasing the fines. There are already penalties that
punish dishonest and malicious publications. imposition of further penalties are no longer needed.

IV. Opinion may be punished as well if fake news are not well-defined. This would then produce a nation of
mutes when it comes to matters of public and even private concerns. In relation to argument I and II.

***Almost all the arguments can be found here http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/965234/malacanang-


penalizing-fake-news-unconstitutional and there are citations of US jurisprudence there which can be used
but please do find doctrines in Philippine cases. Atty. Gab’s cases has it all. Please check them. Thank you!