PNP says social media posts saying Sermonia to succeed Eleazar ‘fake news’
MANILA, Philippines — Social media posts which implied that the police Directorate for Operations chief Maj. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia will be the next Philippine National Police (PNP) chief are ‘fake news’, the organization’s Public Information Office (PIO) said on Friday.
In a Facebook post, PNP-PIO said that the police force’s Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) has been tapped to investigate the incident, where draft backdrops for a supposed change of command ceremony led by President Rodrigo Duterte showed Sermonia succeeding outgoing PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.
“The PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group has been tasked to investigate the circulation of a fake news post in social media that purportedly named Police Major General Rhodel O Sermonia as the incoming Chief PNP even as President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is yet to make an official announcement of his appointee to the top PNP post,” PNP-PIO said.
FAKE NEWS ALERTThe PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group has been tasked to investigate the circulation of a fake news post in…
According to the PNP-PIO, even Sermonia himself has denounced the social media posts, saying that it did not come from his side. He also warned that the people behind these actions would be held accountable.
“This is to inform the public that this post never came from us. It is malicious and we take offense from whoever orchestrated this. We believe this is a work of saboteurs who wish to put malice on the President’s upcoming appointment of the new Chief PNP,” Sermonia said on his Facebook page.
“To those who want to put in harm’s way the candidates for the topmost position, I warn you that you will be held accountable for your crime. Already, I have asked the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group to investigate the source of this malicious posting in social media,” he added.
FAKE NEWS!DISCLAIMER This is to inform the public that this post never came from us. It is malicious and we take…
Eleazar is set to retire by November 13, when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56. On Thursday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año confirmed that he had submitted five names to Duterte as his recommendation for the next PNP chief.
Año did not name the five PNP officials, but he said that the President could pick any PNP general outside his list.
Eleazar was appointed by Duterte last May after his predecessor, former PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas, also retired.
During his term, Eleazar pushed for an intensified cleanliness campaign, which focuses on fixing police offices internally and externally. Back in May, when he was appointed, he warned the whole organization that police officers may face sanctions and even dismissal if they continue with their wrongdoings.