The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) said it is one with the thrust of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to rid and prevent the spread of fake news including on social media.
This after the OPAPRU on Saturday urged women’s group Gabriela to follow existing procedures in filing complaints against government personnel allegedly involved in abducting and harassing one of the organization’s leaders recently.
“We urge organizations like Gabriela to follow procedures that have long existed in making complaints against our personnel or any official of the government,” OPAPRU Undersecretary Wilben Mayor said in a media briefing in Quezon City.
“This goes a long way in preventing issues from taking on the character of gathered material devoid of any grain of truth. One cannot truly win the hearts and minds of our people by propagating misinformation,” Mayor said.
In a social media post on Friday, Gabriela Women’s Party accused some members of OPAPRU of abducting and coercing Gabriela Party-list Marikina chapter president Elizabeth Maynigo.
“Gabriela Women’s Party condemns the harassment and intimidation made against Elizabeth Maynigo, a community leader and president of Gabriela Partylist – Marikina, by alleged members of Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (now called Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity),” the group said.
Mayor denied outright the group’s allegations, describing them as “baseless, irresponsible, and unfounded.”
“To set the record straight, the OPAPRU vehemently denies that it was involved in the alleged harassment of Miss Maynigo,” Mayor said.
“The story being peddled by Gabriela that Miss Maynigo was asked to board a vehicle and interrogated by men who identify themselves as OPAPP or former name of OPAPRU is simply illogical, more so mere allegations not supported by appropriate evidence is considered hearsay and only a ploy to mislead the public,” he said.
Mayor noted that there is a process on how to properly validate and verify complaints.
“To ferret out the truth, the agency conducted internal checking immediately when the allegation broke out in the social media,” he said.
The OPAPRU official also said that they did not receive any communication from Gabriela to “raise and seek our response to the concerned rather they went out to besmirch the agency’s reputation.”
“It is far from the mandate of our office. Based on our actions with our personnel, no one has done this kind of thing, this kind of intimidation, because this is not the core values, as I mentioned earlier, of a member of OPAPRU. This is not the character, this is not the core values of our colleagues, so it is, on behalf of our secretary, Secretary Isidro Purisima that we deny that this happened,” Mayor said.
“Gabriela may have forgotten that the OPAPRU is the agency tasked to implement the country’s comprehensive peace process. Being such, the men and women of the agency cannot and will never be engaged in such acts of intimidation, harassment or coercion as purported by Gabriela,” he added.
Mayor noted that OPAPRU remains committed to creating an environment where peace dialogues and understanding can flourish.
“Our agency’s track record can speak for itself, especially for what it has done for our country’s women sector,” he said.