A Stiffer Penalty For Publishing False News

Nowadays, people have instant access to information by just turning to social media. Your newsfeed can be flooded by all types of news including those that are unverified. Sharing or liking a post regardless of its source, seems like the norm these days. It can't be wrong when everyone is doing it right? Wrong. Just because we are living in the digital age does not mean that everything we stumble upon the Internet is 100% true.

Some of them are half-baked facts (if it could still be called a fact). For instance, there are many warnings circulating around SocMed about products with deadly ingredients, insane people who are spreading diseases and whatnot. Some who are not completely aware of the sources of these articles or hoax for that matter, will share it in the hopes of raising awareness. I myself have received a lot of false news, but it does not hurt to verify before you click the 'share' button. 

Since sharing or publishing false news can endanger the public, President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the new law imposing a stiffer penalty to any person who publishes false news by means of printing, lithography and any other means of publication. The President has signed Republic Act (RA) 10951, amending fines and amounts under the Revised Penal Code, which has been in existence for 87 years. 

Aside from a fine of P200,000, those who violate the law will face imprisonment for up to six months. The amendment can be found under Section 18, Article 154 of RA 10951 otherwise known as An Act Adjusting The Amount Or The Value Of Property And Damage Which A Penalty Is Based And The Fines Imposed Under The Revised Penal Code Amending For The Purpose Act No. 3815.

Art. 154. Unlawful us of means of publication and unlawful utterances. -The penalty of arresto mayor and a fine ranging from Forty thousand pesos (P40,000) to Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000) shall be imposed upon:

"1. 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 public order, or cause damage to the interest or credit of the State;

"2. Any person who by the same means, or by words, utterances or speeches shall encourage disobedience to the law or to be constituted authorities or praise justify, or extol any act punished by law;

"3. Any person who shall maliciously publish or cause to be published any official resolution or document without proper authority, or before they have been published officially; or 

"4. Any person who shall print, publish, or distribute or cause to be printed, published, or distributed books, pamphlets, periodicals, or leaflets which do not bear the real printer's name, or which are classified as anonymous."

Pinoy Attorney

Written by : Pinoy Attorney