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Apr 29, 2016
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With the elections barely a week away and the online debate scenery inevitably heating up, an election lawyer reminded the public to be careful with information they share online.

Atty. Romulo Macalintal said that individuals, especially trolls, who spread false information regarding candidates online can be the subject of election offenses, Philstar reported.

Macalintal said those found guilty for doing so, which can lead to the derailment of the elections, can be charged for violations under the Omnibus Election Code.

The Omnibus Election Code states that propagating false and alarming reports to disrupt or obstruct the election process or cause confusion is considered an election offense.

Violators face imprisonment ranging from one to six years and will be stripped of their right to vote.

But Macalintal admitted that it may be difficult for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to immediately pinpoint violators given the amount of election-related content churned in social media platforms.

Still, he expressed confidence in violators getting caught, particularly since the National Bureau of Investigation recently nabbed the hacker who defaced the Comelec website.

The national elections are set on May 9 with five presidential and six vice presidential candidates duking it out to get the country's vote, while their supporters are also as highly engaged with their political opinion on various sites.

 

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