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PNP cracking down on content creators destabilizing government


Emmanuel Tupas – The Philippine Star

January 5, 2024 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — After having monitored attempts by various persons to use the Philippine National Police against the government, PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. yesterday ordered a crackdown on content creators spreading disinformation on social media platforms to destabilize the Marcos administration.

Acorda has directed the Anti-Cybercrime Group and other police units to intensify their cyber-patrolling to unmask the people behind moves to bring down President Marcos from power through social media.

Col. Jean Fajardo, the PNP chief publicist, said Acorda wants criminal complaints filed against those using the police organization to destabilize the government.

She warned that content creators using their platforms to destabilize the government and spread false information could be held liable for unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code and for violation of Republic Act 10175, or the cybercrime prevention law.

Fajardo cited as an example the “General’s Opinion,” a YouTube channel with 104,000 followers claiming that generals from the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are convincing Marcos to resign.

The YouTube channel also used the photographs of Acorda, AFP chief of staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. and Marcos. The video’s narrator claimed that even Marcos’ sister, Sen. Imee Marcos, is asking him to resign.

The narrator also read a text message supposedly from an unnamed individual warning of violence should Marcos opt to cling to power.

Fajardo urged people to be responsible in using their social media accounts and refrain from posting and sharing unverified information, particularly citing retired police and military officers who are critical of Marcos.

“They have the right to speak and we respect that. But we are also asking them to spare the PNP,” Fajardo said in yesterday’s press briefing at Camp Crame.

She assured the public that the 232,000-strong PNP remains apolitical, intact and professional.

“We will always uphold the Constitution and obey legal orders of the duly constituted authorities,” Fajardo stressed.

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