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'It is our responsibility to fight fake news': Filipino artists hope to spread facts as the Philippines prepares for 2022 elections

'Let us not just be onlookers or fence sitters rather let us get involved in knowing the truth," says Sydney-based artist Mon Coloma Source: Supplied by Mon Coloma

"I believe that we have a responsibility to know the truth because we have an obligation to one another. That’s part of our service as a fellow human being to help one another in truth."

International Artists League president and founder Mon Coloma believes that it is everyone's obligation to know the truth in every news that comes out in particular if it will impact our lives.

“I believe that, whether we are still or no longer are Filipino citizens, we Filipinos still love our country. It is disheartening to know about bad things are happening in the Philippines and our kababayans are suffering," adds the Sydney artist.

 


Highlights

  • Everyone has a responsibility to find out the truth about every event happening around us.
  • As the Philippines prepares for the May 2022 elections, avoid spreading 'fake news'.
  • In 2016, there were 5,455 registered Filipino voters in Australia and Vanuatu.
  • For Sydney-based artist Mon Coloma, it’s essential that our news comes from trusted sources. 

 

Seek out the truth

While election candidates in the Philippines are setting to prepare for the May 2022 elections, a group of Filipino artists are taking action to make sure that the news they get about relevant events in the country is true and correct.
 
Despite leaving the Philippines over 30 years ago, artist Mon Coloma has kept his connection to the country. For him, it is still important for Filipinos abroad like him to partake in what is happening in his homeland.

"Being here in Australia, and some of our artist friends in Canada and America, we do not know which ones are really true or fake news."

"We thought that we invite resource people to give us information about this [election related-matters]. They will give us information, but every information will have receipt or there’s evidence and not just opinion or fake news."

"We should get involved," he says. And encourages others "to be not just onlookers or fence sitters and seems to be unconcerned with what's happening. We can do that, that’s very comfortable place to be in but we should not."

I believe that we have a responsibility to know the truth at least.

"So when others ask us, like us artists, we know the truth."

Combat 'fake news'

The group of artists have started their discussions and engagement with Philippine local media and wants to take the lead in gathering the right news and prevent the spread of 'fake news'.

"Through our arts and our position, we create art based on what we think are true information, what are the facts. Sometimes naisasama ‘yun sa aming mga art and at the same time people asks us."

"If we don’t know the truth, we would just be like blind leading the blind. So we thought let’s get involved. Let’s just not be uninvolved and just be like fence sitters because we have an obligation to one another. That’s part of our service as a fellow human being to help one another."

Apart from fellow Filipino artists and some media organizations in the Philippines, the International Artists League  will also invite some academe, church leaders, writers and the public who are interested to participate.

Discussions will continue in the coming months until election day in the Philippines.

Fake News
'Through our arts and our position, we create art based on what we think are true information, what are the facts. Sometimes naisasama ‘yun sa aming mga art and at the same time people asks us. If we don’t know the truth, we would just be like blind leading the blind.'
Supplied by Mon Coloma

Choose wisely

Through their initiative, Mon Coloma's group envisages fair and honest news coverage in the events in the Philippines.

He says that they don't intend to endorse any political candidate. They just want to spread the truth and stop the spread of fake news  as Filipinos contemplate who to vote for the upcoming 2022 Philippine elections.

“It’s an apolitical initiative. We are not very much concern of who each people will vote,' encouraging everyone to carefully consider who they will vote.

"Look and try to find out the background of any politician running for position in the government so we try to find out their philosophies, their temperament."

"It should not be based on a single issue but a wider concerns like the economy, what is his position in terms of foreign relations, press freedom or issues like abortion."

It is expected that more Filipinos in Australia have registered to vote in May 2022.

In 2016, there were 5,455 Filipino registered overseas voters in Australia and Vanuatu.

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