PNP-ACG files raps against four fake news peddlers
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Unit (ACG) has filed criminal complaints against four alleged spreader of fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Friday.
DILG spokesman and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a statement that the suspects will face charges for “Unlawful Use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances punishable under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code as amended in relation to Sec 4 (c) (4) on online libel and Section 6 of Republic Act No. 10175 known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.”
PNP-ACG filed a complaint against Maria Serrano, a resident of Cubayao City in Laguna, after an investigation showed she allegedly caused panic in their barangay for disseminating false information that a COVID-19 patient died at the Global Medical Center in Cabuyao.
The PNP unit also charged Fritz John Menguito, Sherlyn Solis, and Mae Pinno, residents of Lapu-Lapu City in Central Visayas, for allegedly spreading unverified information about the highly-infectious disease in their locality.
Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said he ordered PNP-ACG to apprehend and track more sources of fake news as it causes anxiety and panic among residents as more people in the country become infected with COVID-19.
“Inaatasan ko ang PNP-Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) na huwag tantanan ang mga nasa likod ng pagpapalaganap ng fake news. Ang pagkakaaresto sa isang suspek sa Laguna at tatlo pa sa Cebu ay babala sa mga fake news peddlers. We are after you,” he said in the same statement.
(I ordered the PNP-ACG to not stop pursuing purveyors of fake news. The arrest of suspects in Laguna and Cebu is a warning to fake news peddlers. We are after you.)
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