PNP arrests 32 for spreading fake news
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said they have arrested 32 individuals for spreading fake news amid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat.
In a statement, PNP spokesperson, Brigadier General Bernard Banac said the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) revealed 24 suspects were arrested for spreading fake news and information on social media portals.
Police regional offices and PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) also arrested eight more suspects.
“The Philippine National Police cautions the public anew against spreading false information, unverified reports and other forms of disinformation that may affect overall unified response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Banac said.
According to PNP-ACG, suspects were from Quezon City, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Caraga Region.
These 32 fake news proliferators are facing charges for violating Unlawful Use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code as Amended in relation to Sec 4c4 or Online Libel and Section 6 of Republic Act No. 10175, or the Anti-Cybercrime Law.
ACG added that from March 9 to April 5, thirty-two complaints were filed for inquest or preliminary investigation, with 17 cases filed while one suspect from Zamboanga Peninsula is still at-large.
Banac said the ACG will be relentless in making countermeasures on misinformation and spread of fake reports by conducting cyber patrol operations on social media and other online platforms.
“The public is urged to cooperate in taking greater steps to topple the COVID-19 pandemic, including refraining from sharing and posting false reports that may cause panic and confusion,” Banac said. Ella Dionisio/DMS