Twitter account Barurot News asserts content is satirical amid Pialago’s cyberlibel complaint
By Ryan Arcadio
INQUIRER.net
2019-10-09 20:09:07
celine pialago

MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago. Image: INQUIRER.net/Cathrine Gonzales

Twitter account Barurot News responded today, Oct. 9, to a cyberlibel complaint filed by Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Celine Pialago.

Barurot News released a statement on its Twitter page regarding the issue after being accused of “malicious and fake” posts.

“BREAKING: Chief Justice Lyca Gairanod, Naglabas ng Pahayag Tungkol sa Barurot News,” the page said. (BREAKING: Chief Justice Lyca Gairanod released a statement regarding Barurot News.)

The statement clarified for readers unaware of the page’s satirical content that Gairanod is not a real Chief Justice — she is a child singer who won the first season of “The Voice Kids Philippines.”

The social media page, posing as Gairanod as chief justice, clarified that based on the page’s display photo, bionote and banner picture, Barurot News is “D’Original Fake News” or a satirical account.

It stressed that it merely airs opinions on different issues through tweets made in a manner similar to those of news outlets.

Pialago had shown that she is ignorant of the hardships of jeepney drivers and commuters, the statement claimed. It was supposedly this act of being naive to the daily trials of the said sectors that prompted Barurot News to show its followers how out of touch Pialago’s comments were through a satirical tweet.

It clarified that the page did not single out Pialago, pointing out that the Twitter account posts its comments on government officials, whether from the administration or the opposition.

Barurot News has no fault, it said, noting that Pialago and other government officials are the reason behind the people’s loss of confidence in them.

In defense of satire, it cited a previous case between the Diocese of Bacolod and COMELEC, where the Supreme Court said satire is protected speech. In line with this, it said that what Pialago intends to do through her complaint is a grave offense against free speech.

Pialago claims ‘fake news’ against her 

Pialago filed cyberlibel complaints against the Twitter page and a Facebook page called Pinoy Laugh Page today, Oct. 9 at the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) Headquarters.

The MMDA spokesperson said her move was due to posts from the social media pages which claimed that the MMDA told commuters who could not find a ride to skip work.

“We never said this, I never said this, even mga opisyal natin, walang nagsabi nito. (Even our MMDA officials did not say this.) This is technically and obviously a fake news (sic), false statement,” Pialago said earlier today.

Last Monday, Oct. 7, Barurot News made a post that stated, “MMDA sa Commuters: Kung Nahihirapan Sumakay, ’Wag Na Lang Pumasok.” (MMDA to commuters: If you cannot find a ride, do not go to work.)

The satirical news post came after Pialago called a transport strike on Sept. 30 “unsuccessful,” after classes and work were suspended on that day. The spokesperson’s statement was slammed by many, with militant group Anakbayan stating that it lacked “empathy.” NVG/JB

RELATED STORIES: 

MMDA spox files cyberlibel complaints vs 2 socmed pages for ‘fake news vs MMDA’

MMDA spox says transport groups’ strike ‘unsuccessful’

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.