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Socmed accounts tagged in fanning destab rumors


Emmanuel Tupas – The Philippine Star

January 6, 2024 | 12:00am

PNP: No destabilization monitored

MANILA, Philippines — Two content creators who are reportedly retired military officers are under investigation for spreading disinformation on social media about a supposed widespread clamor among military and police officers for the ouster of President Marcos.

A security official privy to the ongoing probe who spoke on condition of anonymity said they have identified the two individuals engaged in spreading unverified information on video regarding an alleged plot by disenchanted men in uniform to have the President ousted.

The source declined to name the two retired officers being investigated.

“There are two of them, and they are saying almost the same thing,” the official said in Filipino.

Other content creators and individuals found having shared the videos of the two personalities in their respective social media accounts are also being investigated and may be slapped with criminal complaints for trying to destabilize the government.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. earlier ordered the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) to intensify its cyber-patrolling and identify the people behind the dissemination of false and damaging information on social media against the administration.

The ACG, according to PNP public information officer Col. Jean Fajardo, has already made great progress in its probe.

“We now have initial findings,” she said in Filipino on PTV’s “Bagong Pilipinas” program.

Fajardo clarified, however, that while the PNP has not monitored any destabilization plot against Marcos, it is still coordinating closely with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to thwart any attempt to destabilize the government.

“We are ready to address this kind of issues if we get to that point,” she said.

She warned social media users engaged in spreading sensitive but fake information that they 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 also warned the public to be more discerning and not just accept as truth anything coming from social media.

For his part, AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. also dismissed rumors of destabilization plot as he made it clear that the military is united under the “strong leadership” of Marcos, the commander-in-chief.

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines stands firm in its unwavering loyalty to the Constitution and its solemn commitment to fulfill its mandate,” he said in a statement “on the emerging challenges of 2024.”

“The men and women of the AFP remain steadfast in their role as the guardians of our nation’s sovereignty and defender of democratic principles,” Brawner pointed out.

Filipinos, he said, may rest assured that military officers and personnel continue to exemplify the highest standards of professionalism.

“With the strong leadership of our commander-in-chief, the AFP will move as one in defeating all threats to our peace and national security,” he said.

The AFP has been denying talks on a destabilization plot for weeks. It has also dismissed reports on alleged concerns raised by retired officials against the administration, saying they have the right to voice their opinions as private citizens. – Michael Punongbayan

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