Poe assures anti-fake news law will not curtail freedom of speech

Senator Grace Poe assured on Thursday that the Senate would not craft a law that would curtail freedom of speech or expression.

Poe chairs the Senate committee on public information and mass media that conducted the Wednesday’s hearing on fake news.

“As a legislator, while I am concerned about the pernicious effects of the proliferation of fake news that can destroy not just a person’s reputation but institutions as well, I am in no way in favor of any measure that aims to suppress our freedom of speech or expression,” the senator said.

Poe said she intends to come up with a law that would increase penalties for cyber libel due to fake news, and would make public officials and employees, whether elected or appointed, criminally liable for posting fake news online where malice is presumed.

“Freedom of expression ends when libel begins. By way of special law, it would be wise to make it a public policy to deem fake news a malum prohibitum offense,” she added. /je

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