via SSRN
January 10, 2021 | Michael Henry Yusingco

The digitalization of almost every aspect of civic life has brought forth a new democratic milestone with many people now having real-time access to information, to cultures beyond borders, and to discourses happening virtually any place in the world. This hyper-connectivity of people in the digital space has likewise put a new spotlight on the importance of constitutional rights such as free speech and press freedom, and its ability to foster community political engagement. Governments must keep social media a safe and vibrant space for citizen engagement and thus, must institutionalize measures against the deployment of online disinformation. To ensure the integrity of parliamentary democracy in the case of BARMM, three courses of action are proposed: the first being a youth-led comprehensive campaign on proper digital citizenship to empower social media users in the BARMM. The second is establishing clear guidelines in the soon-to-be enacted Bangsamoro Civil Code on the use of social media by government agencies and personnel in the region. And third is instituting prescriptions against disinformation in the impending Bangsamoro Electoral Code.