TAKEAWAYS FROM THE HEARING on FAKE NEWS

What was supposed to be a hearing on one Cocoy Dayao turned into a private referendum on fake news. Here are the other takeaways.

1.Despite many lawyers present and six hours of hearings, the Senators failed to define fake news. Some of them used their own definitions to accuse, bully and demean their resource persons, yet left without nailng at least a description of what it is.

2.The Punch-and-Judy tandem of former Solicitor general Florin Hilbay and columnist Ellen Tordesillas accused government of being the LONE source of fake news. Another case of muddling the issue. Hilbay even went so far to propose a censors board for government employees. The human rights lawyer that he is, he talks about disrespecting their right to speak freely by curtailing it with censorship.

3.Environmental lawyer Tony Lavina's one speaking part was barely understood. Shouldn’t he have been at the Confirmation hearing of DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu? Or was he busy at his laptop blogging?

4.Senator Trillanes was the late spectacle, yet made a complete fool of himself yet again by trying to insist that government persons don't enjoy the same rights to free speech as private persons.

5.Senator Bam Aquino accused Mocha Uson of saying things he did not agree with. I’m sure his uncles Ninoy and Butz would disagree with him on this.Mocha, imperfect as she is, Mocha has her free speech rights intact and can blog all she wants. Edwin Lacierda did the same thing as PNOYS spokesman, even expressing unsavory things about other governments.

6. All the LP senators kept hammering on Thinking Pinoy RJ Nieto being a government employee as the basis for admonishing him to curtail his blogging activities. He is not a government employee, and he will not stop blogging.

7.The most disturbing takeaway from the hearing is the idea that only a select few have the right to be in media, and that the millions of bloggers and influencers all over the world have no right to speak. In a country where this constituency is growing rapidly, these LP senators have just earned their ire, and lost their vote.

(photo: PTV news)