LTFRB calls out 'The Service Road' host James Deakin for spreading 'fake news'

By Media Newser Philippines | Saturday, December 09, 2017

Screenshot: CNN Philippines
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) called out motoring journalist James Deakin for supposedly spreading fake news on social media.

Deakin, the host of CNN Philippines' The Service Road, on Friday posted on his Facebook page the alleged new guidelines covering transport network vehicle services (TNVS).

In it, he said that TNVS operators under the LTFRB Memorandum Circular (MC) 2017-027 would be compelled to have a "dedicated service area and mechanic. A stock of lubricants, spare tires and other parts, as well as repair and maintenance tools. Dedicated CCTV for their garage/workshop. A dedicated safety officer. And a helper. Even if you have just one single unit."

"This should add another 60k a month to the overhead of a TNVS Driver. Which means he or she will need to drive 4 times longer than they did before just to break even or start asking for dag dag sa Metro just to survive. You know, just like a taxi. Why, LTFRB? Why?" Deakin said in his Facebook post, which has since been edited multiple times.

In a statement on Friday, the LTFRB said it has reached out to Grab Philippines — which Deakin cited as his source — to correct such misinformation online. It also clarified that what the CNN Philippines host cited "are only for vehicles operating under fleet management, and not for TNVS like the vehicles operating under Grab, Uber or U-hop."

"The LTFRB is one with the media in promoting precise and accurate information, more so if such information affects thousands of individuals," the agency said. "We, therefore, request Mr. James Deakin to uphold objectivity, accuracy, and responsible journalism in presenting his reports/opinions, through verifying details with its proper sources, so as to prevent the spread of misinformation that may delude the public."

Deakin, for his part, updated his post with a statement from Grab Philippines and wrote a postscript saying, "Dear LTFRB, a published misinterpretation of your memos by a legal team is not Fake News. Saying that someone is fake news because he shares that published legal opinion is fake news. See the difference?"

In another comment, Deakin added, "So the LTFRB have called me out for being fake news because I shared the legal opinion of the Grab team. They say I should verify with them first. Even if they kicked me out of their media Viber group and seenzone me when I do try to clarify or get statements."

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