Albayalde: don’t believe fake news on abusive cops
The Philippine National Police has asked the public not to fall for and spread fake news on social media, particularly reports about abuses committed by policemen conducting checkpoints.
At a press conference on Thursday at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde advised people to be wary of fake news, particularly those which concern the police.
“Pass it [on] to us and we will verify,” he said. Should there be a real incident of police abuse, the victim should get the name of the lawman concerned and directly report it to the PNP.
In a statement on Thursday, PNP spokesperson, Chief Supt. Benigno Durana, spoke about “chain messages” circulating on social media and messaging networks from unknown sources which, “in effect, unduly create adverse public opinion that undermines the integrity of the law enforcement and public safety mission of the police.”
Durana said that none of the police abuses alleged in the “chain messages” happened. “Follow-up investigation is ongoing to trace the source of this fake news which aim to sow fear among netizens,” he added.
He stressed that the PNP police operational procedures (POP) do not allow arbitrary vehicular inspection or random checkpoints unless these were in support of an ongoing operation.
“As a general rule, the revised POP allows only visual inspection of the car’s passenger cabin and other sections of the vehicle that are visible from the outside,” Durana told reporters.
The planting of evidence at police checkpoints, as indicated in the “chain messages,” was far-fetched since there were safeguards against such practice, he said.
In a viral social media post, a motorist claimed that policemen stopped his car at a checkpoint and planted drugs in the trunk. He said he threw away the drugs after he left the checkpoint before he was stopped by another group of policemen several meters away.
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