NBI looking into netizen’s claim gov’t bought P2-B private jet
MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Crime Division (NBI-CCD) wants to know the basis of a netizen’s post about how the government has managed to spend P2-billion for a private jet but has no money for health care.
“We are very much interested if it is a piece of fake information being spread through social media or the person has a basis,” NBI’s CCD Chief Victor Lorenzo said.
The person subject of the subpoena did not appear on Tuesday, only his counsel, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno appeared before the NBI.
We went to the NBI today to represent my client who is being questioned because of his social media posts. Umaasa akong patas at maayos ang magiging imbestigasyon, at nakikiusap rin tayo sa NBI na wag na dumagdag sa paghihirap ng mga kababayan natin ngayong may krisis sa COVID. pic.twitter.com/kSptPIBOi8FEATURED STORIES
— Chel Diokno (@ChelDiokno) April 7, 2020
Lorenzo said Diokno asked for the nature of the offense and the basis of the investigation.
“Ang sabi namin [We said they should submit the formal reply] by earliest next week, by Tuesday,” he said.
Based on the subpoena by the NBI, Diokno’s client was summoned for alleged violation Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code. The law was enacted in 1930.
Article 154 provides penalties for unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances. The “means” mentioned include printing, lithography, or any other means of publication as well as “by words, utterances or speeches.” The same provision also punishes those who shall “maliciously publish official resolution or document without proper authority or anonymous publication or distribution of books, pamphlets, periodicals, or leaflets.”
But Lorenzo said Diokno’s client could become a whistleblower.
“He probably has knowledge that in times of crisis, bumibili ang gobyerno (the government bought) ng P2-billion na private jet plane, that is 3019 (Anti-Graft Law). So, we want the person to provide us with information,” he said.
He also advised that those who would receive a summon from the NBI to not go straight to lawyers, as advised by Diokno.
“Naka-indicate naman ang (NBI) number doon (subpoena) to communicate with the NBI baka doon ma-clarify na (The numbers to communicate with the NBI is indicated in the subpoena. By calling us, they could already clarify the matter.)
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .