Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Monday clarified that he is not pushing to ban social networking site Facebook in the Philippines but is only asking its officials to explain why it took down some pro-government accounts and pages that are deemed necessary for the country’s national security.

BATO1 - Dela Rosa wants Facebook to explain why it took down pro-Digong accounts
Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa
(Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa / Facebook page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Dela Rosa, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, said he recognizes the importance of the social media giant in the lives of at least 77 million Filipinos who rely on it as a source of information and income and their means of communicating with family and friends.

The senator, who earlier filed a resolution seeking to investigate Facebook’s removal of accounts supportive of President Duterte, said he only wants the social media platform to be fair to all groups whether they are pro or anti-government.

“Bakit puro pro-government puro anti-communist, anti-terrorism groups yung kanilang pinagte-take down? How about yung nakikita ng ating mga kababayan…mga pro-communist, mga anti-government? (Why are they taking down pages of pro-government, anti-communist and anti-terrorism groups? How about those pages that are pro-communist and anti-government?)” Dela Rosa pointed out in a radio interview.

“Are you sure hindi ito mga fake accounts, bakit hindi ito tine-take down? (Are they certain these are not fake accounts, why don’t’ they take these pages down?)” the senator added.

The senator said it is imperative that Facebook always adhere to the laws of the land given its crucial role in media and communication.

He also said it is important to hear Facebook’s explanation on what it considers as “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

“Kaya nga tayo magpapatawag ng Senate hearing. Hopefully ma-determine ng komite, ma-inform nila yung komite kung ano ang ibig sabihin nila sa ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior (That’s the reason why we are calling for a Senate hearing. Hopefully, the committee can determine and be informed about their definition of ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior’),” he said.

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