80 charged in court for cybercrines, including fake news: PNP
A total of 80 people were charged in court for cybercrimes committed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Thursday.
PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said cases involved were spreading fake news on the internet, illegal online sale of medical supplies, and online scams.
Data showed that from March 9 to August 9, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) have filed 87 criminal complaints against 52 persons for spreading fake news; three online scam complaints against two persons; and 31 criminal complaints againts 26 persons for online profiteering, overpricing, hoarding and unauthorized selling of medical supplies in the different Prosecutor’s Offices nationwide.
Suspects were charged with Unlawful Use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code as amended to include Online Libel; violation of the Anti-Cybercrime Law; and violation of Presidential Decree No. 90, which makes rumor-mongering and spreading false information as unlawful.
Based on reports from CIDG and ACG, there has been an increase in incidents of persons spreading fake news and unverified information about the COVID-19 pandemic on social media.
Eleazar said the PNP has intensified its monitoring of cybercrimes with most people compelled to log on the internet for school, office work and business due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are appealing to the public to be discerning and wary of fake news," he said warning.
"This is also a stern warning to all individuals or groups spreading false information on various social media platforms. We will go after you and will not hesitate to put you behind bars,” he added. Ella Dionisio/DMS