Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, president of the Philippine Catholic bishops’ conference, called on Filipinos to fight disinformation ahead of this year’s national elections.
Speaking at the launch of #FactsFirstPH, an initiative that seeks to promote truth and fight disinformation, the prelate said addressing falsehood is an “urgent concern.”
“I hope and pray that more individuals and organizations will join in this proactive fight against the use of social media for disinformation,” said Bishop David in a recorded message.
The initiative brings together various sectors to promote truth in public spaces and exact accountability from those who spread lies.
It also aims to provide crucial information to voters and restore the integrity of the elections.
The initiative is composed of more than 100 organizations from the media, civil society, business, academe, the legal profession, and the Church.
Bishop David said that in the fight for truth “you can count on [the Church] as your ally.”
“I am confident that our banding together will be a big boost to the objective of supporting the work of fact-check groups by amplifying the fact-check pieces that they produce,” he said.
Over 100 groups have joined the multi-sectoral initiative that partnered with Google News Initiative and Meedan.
It will adopt a four-layer mechanism to address disinformation, including the monitoring of social media platforms for false claims.