Alvarez denies selling island to Coco Martin, vows to sue persons behind ‘fake news’

Governor Jose Alvarez has vowed to sue for cyberlibel the persons behind the social media page Freedom Palawan for spreading “fake news” about his alleged selling of an island in Balabac.

Provincial information officer Winston Arzaga, in a phone interview with Palawan News, denied an allegation reportedly posted on the Facebook page that Gov. Alvarez had bought the popular Onuk Island at a low price and sold the same to actor Coco Martin at an exorbitant amount.

Arzaga said Alvarez will also sue those who will share the August 9 Freedom Palawan post.

“The governor will run after them. Kakasuhan sila ni governor, including the individuals who are sharing and posting those baseless but defamatory information,” Arzaga said.

He said they are now investigating who are the personalities behind the page which now has over 10,000 likers and followers on Facebook.

Arzaga added that Alvarez has friends in the information technology (IT) who will unmask the persons behind Freedom Palawan.

“Pamumulitika lang naman ‘yan kaya lang ang dami ng ganyan kaya hinahamon sila ngayon na humarap sa kanya — ang mga taong ito dala ang mga dokumento na susuporta sa sinasabi nila. Madali lang malaman kung sino ‘yan kaya kakasuhan talaga sila, puro sila pakalat ng mga maling impormasyon at walang basehan,” he said.

On September 2, the Provincial Information Office (PIO) also took to social media to belie Freedom Palawan’s claim that Alvarez bought Onuk Island from the Astami family for P2 million and sold it to Martin for P200 million.

Some personalities identified with the provincial government also posted the same on their social media accounts.

Their posts begin with “Notice to all Facebook users and the public”.

“Regarding the fake news posted on Facebook by “Freedom Palawan” that: ‘Tinakot ni Gob. Jose Alvarez ang may-ari ng Onok Island at binili ang isla sa halagang P2 milyon. Naibenta niya ito sa halagang P200 milyon,’ please be informed that this malicious information is completely untrue. The legal team of the governor will file libel charges against those behind this fake news once they are unmasked and will also include those who will repost and share this baseless but defamatory information,” the PIO’ post said.

On August 9, Freedom Palawan claimed that the Astami family sold the island to Alvarez at a low price because it fears being included in the illegal drugs list of high value targets (HVTs).

“Sa kagustuhang makuha ang magandang Onok Island sa bayan ng Balabac, tinakot, hanapan ng maaaring ikaso at iutos na ilagay sa illegal drug HVT, napilitang ibente sa mababang halaga ng pamilya Astami sa naturang bayan ang kanilang isla kay Gob. Jose C. Alvarez ng Palawan. Alam ni Gob. Alvarez na maibebenta niya ito ng malaking halaga kaya ginawa ang lahat makuha lang ang isla,” it said in its FB post.

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