Cops probed for leaking info on bomb plot
Police said on Tuesday the information that the Maute terror group was planning bomb attacks in Metro Manila was false, the public should not be alarmed, and the leak of a memo containing the information from the Valenzuela City police was under investigation.
Chief Supt. Roberto Fajardo, Northern Police District director, said the leaked memo, dated June 16 and issued by Chief Insp. Jowilouie Bilaro, Valenzuela police intelligence chief, contained raw information that turned out to be false.
“We have validated the intelligence report and it is not true,” Fajardo said.
Probe of leak
Earlier, Director Oscar Albayalde, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), said he had ordered Fajardo to look into document handling at the Valenzuela police, determine who leaked the memo and plug the leak
“As far as I know, it is only the Valenzuela City police that put the raw information in a memorandum distributed … to the police community precincts. It then found its way to social media,” Albayalde said.
He said the leaked report was genuine but contained raw information that was distributed to police units to check and seek verification.
“It was still unverified and thus was highly confidential information,” Albayalde said.
But officers at the station intelligence branch of the Valenzuela police posted the memo on Facebook and other social media, he said.
“The spread was too fast that even before we confirmed its validity, it’s already everywhere,” he said.
The officers responsible for the leak face disciplinary action, he said, adding that it was only at the Valenzuela police that confidential information was put in a memorandum and circulated on social media, Albayalde said.
Fajardo said he had relieved Bilaro over the leak.
Police in the capital have been on high alert since fighting erupted last month in Marawi City between Islamic State-inspired Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists.
The leaked memo carried information that 13 terrorists led by Mambang Maute were planning to set off bombs at Trinoma and SM Cubao shopping malls, Quezon City Circle and “certain places in Quiapo and Makati.”
In a statement, Albayalde appealed to social media users not to spread the memo.
“We reiterate our call that security is everyone’s concern. While we give due respect to freedom of expression, let us
be vigilant by not spreading news or information that may cause undue alarm to the public,” he said.
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