Assistant Secretary Ramon Cualoping III. Image courtesy of ABS-CBN.

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) advised the public to be cautious of fake news as it quickly “mutates”.

Fake news mutates in a way to make it appear legitimate and true. Fake posts on social media usually tackle sensitive issues like lockdown and martial law.

“Three or four weeks ago, a message circulated about an impending lockdown and declaration of martial law, we dismissed that. In a few hours, another message circulated about it being dismissed as confirmed by the Executive Secretary. So the fake news mutates,” explained PCOO Assistant Secretary Ramon Cualoping Cualoping III.

Cualoping stressed that www.covid19.gov.ph is the official government portal about COVID-19.

“Issuances, guidelines, press releases can be found in the portal where we made social cards and infographics since resolutions can reach five pages. We aim to simplify the information,” he added.

In Pangasinan, the provincial government earlier dismissed a fake Facebook account bearing the picture of Governor Amado Espino III and the name of the former Governor Amado Espino Jr.

Provincial Information Officer and FB Account Knowledge Manager Orpheus Velasco also advised to be wary of fake accounts and take information only through the official Province of Pangasinan Facebook account.

Provincial Administrator Nimrod Camba also warned the public against people falsely using the names of the governor and the provincial administrator to extort money as the local government never authorized anyone to do so.

Camba also advised incumbent public officials, including the barangay units, to stay vigilant against fraudulent people.

President of the Pangasinan State University (PSU) Dr. Dexter Buted said that the institution has applied guidelines to ensure that students and employees take only official and legitimate information from the university.

We see to it that official information is well communicated to students as there are representatives of every sector whenever we have a meeting. So, in all sectors, kaya na nilang sagutin na totoo o  hindi totoo ang nakarating na information sa mga tao,” Buted explained.

The university president also ensured that the students and employees are guided on legitimate announcements and guidelines about the university on PSU’s official website and FB page.

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