MANILA, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Spreading fake news in the Philippines is now a crime and anybody proven to spread false news can be locked up in jail for up to six months and fined up to 200,000 pesos (3,909 U.S. dollars), according to a new law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte Thursday.
To stem the spread of false news, a Republic Act amending the country's Revised Penal Code was signed after the Philippine congress passed it earlier. The new law carries harsher penalties for certain crimes such as treason and publishing false news.
The new law punishes the publication of "any false news which may endanger the public order, or cause damage to the interest or credit of the State." Penalty for such crime is imprisonment for 1 month plus 1 day to six months and a fine starting from 40,000 to 200,000 pesos (782 U.S. dollars to 3,909 U.S. dollars).
It also penalizes any person who by means of printing, or by words, utterances or speeches shall encourage disobedience to the law or to the constituted authorities or praise, justify and extol any act punished by law.
In a news release, the Malacanang presidential palace said the 50-page law with 102 sections consists of provisions adjusting the amount of fines, as well as the amount or the value of property and damage on which a penalty is set.
The law adjusted the fines on certain crimes against national security, such as treason and crimes against public order, such as rebellion and sedition.
The Philippine military has been fighting pro-ISIS militants in Marawi City since May, 23 this year. There has been widely-spread false news and propaganda from rebel groups on social media. The Philippine government urged media and citizens to listen to authorities and stop spreading fake news on several occasions.