Bloomberg has reported that the Philippine Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has been bugged by the flood of bogus Facebook accounts using the identities of students, journalists and lawmakers, among others, after the House of Representatives approved the controversial, legally-assailed Anti-Terror Bill (ATB).

Writing for Bloomberg on Monday, June 8, 2020, Cecilia Yap and Andreo Calonzo, they said Guevarra is investigating the accounts, the number of which skyrocketed after opposition to the ATB intensified. “This gives me cause for worry,” Guevarra said. “We don’t need false information at a time when we’re dealing with a serious public health crisis.”

The identity theft and manufacture of fake Facebook accounts came after Facebook scrapped 200 accounts belonging to Duterte diehard supporters as well as scores of pages devoted to pushing Duterte propaganda as well as the dissemination of false information against progressive organizations, party-lists and individuals by elements said to belong to the military, police and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) established through a Duterte memo.

Facebook is urging people to report accounts believed to be inauthentic, the company said in a statement Sunday. “We’re investigating reports of suspicious activity on our platform and taking action on any accounts that we find in violation of our policies,” it said. The University of the Philippines’ student regent said there are multiple reports of empty, duplicate and fake accounts bearing names of its students following protests in the campuses. This was first reported by UP Cebu’s official student publication Tugani, which said it found fake accounts of student activists who were arrested in an anti-terrorism bill protest on June 5.