Philippine senate presses probe into surge of fake Facebook accounts


Philippine opposition senator Francis Pangilinan is pushing for a senate investigation into the suspicious sudden rise of dummy accounts on Facebook just after the country’s legislature passed a controversial anti-terrorism law.

By passing a resolution, Senator Pangilinan expect the appropriate Senate committee will probe the proliferation of the fake Facebook accounts that use identities of students, government officials, journalists, and other users as he stressed that such online acts could imperil one’s security and privacy.

Senator Pangilinan noted how the sudden surge of dummy Facebook accounts following protests staged on the streets and online against the anti-terrorism bill.

“Some Facebook users reported to have received threats from said dummy accounts using their names. The threats even go as far as calling said users ‘terrorists’,” he said.

The senator pointed out that an investigation into the matter would help determine “possible regulation of social media platforms, in accordance with the policy that respects the rights and freedoms of all Filipinos guaranteed by the Constitution.”

“It is the declared policy of the State to protect and safeguard the integrity of communications systems, networks, and databases, and the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information and data stored therein, from all forms of misuse, abuse, and illegal access,” the resolution read.

Mr. Pangilinan further underscored the need to look into the country’s existing laws “to increase the extent of liability and possible regulation of service providers or content hosts such as Facebook and other social media platforms.”

“Legislation must be carefully crafted so as to balance the rights and freedoms accorded to every Filipino by the Constitution and the public interest to be protected from dangerous acts online,” he said.

Facebook is currently looking into suspicious activity on its platform. The Department of Justice is also conducting its own investigation.

“We should not be utterly defenseless against social media manipulation and threats. We must use our laws to fight the fakes online,” the lawmaker said. (Source: