MANILA – Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has filed charges against a netizen who had attributed a false quote to him about observing physical distancing after sex, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said Monday.
The police identified the netizen as Gabriel Marvin Cabier, a 26-year-old resident of Cebu City, according to DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya.
He was confirmed to be the administrator of Facebook page “One Ride One Shot," whose post falsely quoting Año was shared 11,000 times and had 3,600 reactions and 1,900 comments as of Aug. 11, Malaya said.
"Ang pagsasampa natin ng kaso ay isang paalala na maging responsable po tayo sa ating ipinopost sa social media. Gamitin po natin ito para sa kabutihan lalo na at tayo ay nahaharap sa isang matinding krisis,” he said in a statement.
(The filing of the case is reminder for us to be responsible on what we post on social media. Let's use it for the good as we face a tremendous crisis.)
"Our freedom of expression is not absolute especially if it distorts facts. This freedom cannot be used to spread fake news or to dish out disinformation."
Cabier is facing complaints for unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, among others.
The post, which has since been taken down, was in Visayan and supposedly read, "Yowooo na! Wala na jud ko kasabot aning kalakihan ani man jud ni padong ba… Feel nako ang neurons anis utok nagsocial distancing na pud ba hays. #photoolmine. #memes”
(After mag-sex dapat may physical distancing na din sila. Para sure na walang covid ang bawat isa.)
“In this time of public health emergency, it is unfortunate that some people stoop so low and waste their time and energy to spread fake news and sow disinformation to malign people such as Secretary Año, himself a COVID survivor, who has been tirelessly working to defeat COVID-19 in his capacity as Vice Chair of NTF COVID-19," Malaya said.
"We urge these people to use their creative minds instead on how they can complement the efforts of the government in spreading the right information and helping those in need."