You may be fined up to ₱200,000 for publishing false news

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 1) — Publishing false news that can endanger the public now has a stiffer penalty under the new law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Malacañang on Thursday said Duterte signed on August 29  Republic Act (RA) 10951, a law amending amounts and fines imposed under the 87-year-old Revised Penal Code.

Among the key amendments is a penalty of imprisonment for up to six months and a fine of up to ₱200,000 (US$3,910) for spreading false news.

Under Section 18, Article 154, titled "Unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances" penalties will be imposed on a person who will publish false news by passing it off as legitimate news through print or other publication methods.

"Any person who by means of printing, lithography, or any other  means of publication shall publish or cause to be published as news any false news which may endanger the public order, or cause damage to the interest or credit of the State," it reads.

The penalties of "arresto mayor" or imprisonment of one month and a day to six months, and a fine ranging from ₱40,000 to ₱200,000 await those found guilty of publishing fake news.

Under the same article, the penalties will also apply to those who deliver speeches that encourage disobedience to the law, publish an official document without proper authority, and those who will publish pamphlets anonymously.

Sky-high fines for sedition

Under R.A. 10951, the leader of a sedition will now have to pay a  fine of up to ₱2 million, from the previous ₱10,000 under the Revised Penal Code. The leader will be imprisoned from six years and a day, to eight years under Section 7, Article 140.

Those who will conspire to commit the crime of sedition will be  punished by "prision correccional" or two years, four months and a day; to four years and two months; and fined not exceeding ₱1 million. The fine is up from ₱5,000.

Those who will incite others to sedition by means of speeches, proclamations, banners, and other representations will be fined up to ₱400,000 and imprisoned from four years and two months and a day to 12 years. The fine is raised from ₱2,000.

Libel, slander

Libel by means of writings or similar means was amended under Section 91, Article 355.

It now imposes imprisonment or a fine ranging from ₱40,000 to ₱1.2 million, from the previous ₱200 to ₱6,000.

Slander or oral defamation will now be fined not exceeding ₱20,000 from ₱200.

CNN Philippines' Regine Cabato contributed to this report.