City officials to take action vs people spreading false news during disasters

Oct. 17, 2019

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office(CDRRMO) has warned the public against spreading fake news about the latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake that hit Southern Mindanao on Wednesday morning.

Rodrigo Bustillo, CDRRMO chief, said during the Ispeak Media Forum on Thursday that they will take appropriate action against individuals who spread false information in the city.

This was after residents in the coastal area of Davao City panicked and suddenly left their homes because of a fake tsunami report.

“People left their homes because they are afraid. But what was missing was the validation and authenticity of the tsunami report. It was just in social media,” said Bustillo.

Section 6(a) of Republic Act 10639 or “The Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act” cites that any person who gives false or misleading data or information willfully or through gross negligence, conceals or falsifies a material fact, in any investigation, inquiry, study, or other proceeding held pursuant to this Act, shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than two (2) months but not more than six (6) months, and with a fine of not less than One thousand pesos (P1,000.00) but not more than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00): Provided, however, That if the false or misleading data or information shall have been under oath, the maximum penalty for giving false testimony or perjury shall be imposed.

The CDRRMO social media account has recently identified several Facebook users who posted false information on a supposed tsunami. Another Facebook user identified also posted a fake warning of another strong quake that was supposed to happen on Wednesday afternoon.

“People should not panic and listen to authorities on what to do during disasters,” Bustillo explained.

Bustillo also assured the public that the city has state-of-art facilities that can quickly detect disasters. These facilities he said are scattered in all disaster prone areas to aid them in securing the safety of everyone.(

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