Meet Chi-Chi, Manila’s first animal frontliner

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 27, 2020   •   1227

Not just a man’s best friend, this ‘doggo’ is fighting alongside the country’s frontliners.

In a Facebook post, the Manila Public Information Office (MPIO) introduced their first animal frontliner, Chi-Chi. Barangay 379 has given Chi-Chi her Barangay Dog Frontliner ID.

Chi-Chi’s owner, Jake Ryan Ramos, said his dog loves to roam around their barangay and loves to take rides on barangay patrols.

Netizens immediately fell in love with Chi-Chi and flooded the post with photos of their own dogs. AAC

Facebook removes pro-Trump group due to policy violation

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 6, 2020

Facebook on Thursday (November 5) removed the pro-Trump group, “Stop the Steal” for allegedly violating the social network’s policies.

“In line with the exceptional measures that we are taking during this period of heightened tension, we have removed the group ‘Stop the Steal,’ which was creating real-world events,” Facebook said in a statement.

The group has around 300,000 members which, according to Facebook, is being used to delegitimize the election process. Facebook also saw “worrying calls for violence from some members of the group.”

United States President Donald Trump on Thursday continued to question the integrity of the US voting system over alleged incidents of voting fraud.

Meanwhile, Trump said in his Twitter account that he and his team will challenge vote counts in states won by his challenger, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. AAC

Facebook offered to reconstruct taken down ‘Hands off our children’ page – AFP

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Social media giant Facebook has offered to “reconstruct” an account it recently took down due to alleged links to the military and coordinated inauthentic behavior.

In a statement on Tuesday, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Gilbert Gapay said Facebook made the offer to reconstruct the “Hands Off Our Children” page but admitted that it cannot restore the original page.

The “Hands Off Our Children” page is a group composed of parents whose children were recruited into the New People’s Army (NPA).

The page was among the more than 100 pages that Facebook removed in October as it stepped up its campaign against fake accounts and pages that are spreading false information.

Facebook earlier said these accounts were traced to have links with China, the Philippine National Police and the military.

Gapay has expressed dismay over Facebook’s action and called it “unfair.”

“They are unfair to us in taking down those sites because there are many other sites that are really espousing hate, violence, terrorism that should have been taken down in the first place, not these good sites which [we] are advocating on Facebook,” he said.

Gapay said the official Facebook pages of the AFP and all its units remain active for updates on military efforts and activities.

He also stressed that the Philippine military does not engage in sharing fake news and disinformation on social media.

The AFP already met with Facebook representatives to thresh out issues on their social media pages. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Malacañang allays public fear of possible Facebook ban

Marje Pelayo   •   September 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has allayed public fear of a possible ban on social media giant Facebook following President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks on Tuesday night (September 29) expressing his disappointment over the platform’s policy.

“You cannot lay down a policy for my government. I allow you to operate here. You cannot bar or prevent me from espousing the objectives of the government,” Duterte said. 

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the President wants to have a talk with Facebook to clarify issues regarding its censorship policy against pages that support the government.

“Number 1 po kasi tayo sa buong mundo sa Pilipinas so kung wala tayo, malaking kawalan yan sa Facebook [The Philippines is the number 1 user in the world. It’s a big loss to Facebook],” Roque said.

“Pero at the same time, dahil nga number 1 tayo, marami ring Pilipino ang gumagamit ng Facebook. Maapektuhan din. So sinabi naman ng president, pag-usapan iyan [But at the same time since we are number 1, many Filipinos are using Facebook. It will affect us. So the President wants a discussion about it],” he added.

Among the accounts that have been taken down is the advocacy group Hands Off Our Children, a page which aims to protect minors from recruitment by extremists who entice youths to become combatants and fight the government.

Meanwhile, Malacañang has again questioned Facebook’s choice of fact-checkers— online news platforms Rappler and Vera Files— who are critical of the present administration.

Roque said the government is now contemplating on commissioning fact-checkers of social media platforms in the country similar to what other countries are doing.

“Pag-aaralan po natin kung dapat gawin natin iyan dahil di po tayo makakapayag na ang fact-checkers ay tanging mga laban lamang sa gobyerno [We will take that into consideration because that has to be done. We cannot allow that fact-checkers are only those who are all against the government],” Roque concluded. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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