Duterte calls out Facebook for removing accounts, Congress to investigate the issue
President Rodrigo Duterte calls out Facebook for the alleged censorship of advocacy pages supportive of the government.
The President of the Philippines expressed its dismay on his weekly televised address over the accounts taken down by Facebook which found links to the Philippine military and Philippine police. He also sought a meeting with Facebook after questioning its presence in the country.
“If you cannot help me protect the government’s interests, then let us talk. If you are promoting the cause of the rebellion, which was already here before you came, and thousands of my soldiers and civilians dying, then if you cannot reconcile the idea of what your purpose is or was, then we have to talk,” Duterte stated.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque shared that stopping Facebook from operating in the Philippines would be highly disadvantageous as Filipinos are part of a huge chunk of the social media networking site’s users with 74 million accounts. Roque added that the pages supportive of the government were banned due to its “inauthentic behavior” and not due to its content.
“We believe in freedom of speech. They may use as justification inauthentic behavior but the effect is censorship because the ideas contained in the pages were erased,” the Palace spokesman said.
For House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, he sees the essence of the social networking site to the country’s democracy as it disseminates information to Filipinos and gives them a platform to communicate. However, he finds cites reports that Facebook took down verified accounts to the AFP and PNP while allowing accounts that let citizens directly participate in the overthrow of the Duterte administration.
As posted by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on his Facebook page, the House of Representatives is set to probe Facebook over the actions done towards accounts linked to the AFP and PNP after the passage of the 2021 budget of the Congress.