The Philippine President has vetoed a measure that is aimed at reducing social media abuse

The Philippine President has vetoed a measure that is aimed at reducing social media abuse ...

MANILA, April 15 (Reuters) - President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has vetoed a measure that requires social media users to register their legal alias and phone numbers, and said the measure should be reviewed more carefully, according to his spokesperson.

Legislators had approved the measure earlier this year as they sought to suppress online fraud and misinformation especially during the general election on May 9. However, with Duterte's veto, the measure is unlikely to be passed before the poll.

Social media has become a key campaigning tool for candidates to run for president, vice president, and thousands of seats in the two chambers of Congress and local governments.

Duterte's 2016 election victory was partly attributed to a well-organized social media campaign, but critics have accused pro-Duterte trolls and influencers of misinformation to discredit and persuade opponents.

While Duterte had lauded lawmakers' efforts to combat cybercrimes and other internet offences, he opposed the inclusion of social media in the bill without explicit instructions, according to the president's general manager.

The lack of guidelines "may lead to a situation of high state intrusion and surveillance, which is putting many constitutionally protected rights," according to Andanar.

"It is up to the President's Office to ensure that any statute meets the Constitution's requirements, as long as possible," he said.

The veto should not, however, deter lawmakers from adopting effective and strengthened measures that would ensure a safe and secure online environment for Filipinos, according to Andanar.

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