PNP: Raps filed vs Cavite town mayor, 2 others for spreading fake news
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has filed charges against the mayor of Noveleta in Cavite province for allegedly spreading false information about COVID-19.
PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said Saturday that the PNP Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit in Calabarzon filed charges against Noveleta Mayor Dino Reyes Chua after receiving complaints that the local government official was the alleged mastermind behind a circulating claim that Noveleta already has its first COVID-19 case.
The complaint supposedly said that Chua was behind the Facebook post of a certain Maggie Bernal, who shared photos of the alleged COVID-19 patient in Cavite Medical Center.
The PNP unit also found that Maggie Bernal is a troll account allegedly created by Chua in 2010 to attack his political opponents.
But according to the Rural Health Unit of Cavite, the photo of the patient is from Makati City. An online news portal Latigo News TV allegedly also shared the false information.
With this, PNP-ACG also filed complaints against Mario Batuigas, owner of the news agency, and Amor Virata, vlogger and online reporter.
Authorities said the suspects will be facing charges for violation of Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, Unlawful Use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances, Online Libel, Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, and Data Privacy Act.
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