Authorities to review communication procedures

AUTHORITIES are reviewing their communication procedures as confidential intelligence reports have been leaked even before these are verified, causing alarm and confusion among the public.

Brigadier General Gilbert Gapay, Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) deputy commander and Martial Law spokesperson, told reporters in Wednesday's AFP-PNP Press Corps media forum that they will study the protocols in handling sensitive information relayed to them.

"We will look into how these standard operating procedures (SOPs) are being implemented to prevent the repeat of such incident," Gapay said.

His statement came after an unverified memorandum from the National Capital Region (NCR) that circulated online.

The unverified memorandum alerted police units for a possible terror plot of the Maute group in the metropolis.

The information, allegedly from the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Davao, that went online stated where the terrorist groups are planning to launch atrocities in different key cities using an LPG truck as vehicle bomb.

According to Gapay, they have already talked with PRO-Davao regional director Police Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan and they both agreed to look at it closely and investigate how to avoid such incident from happening again.

"There is standing SOPs and procedures on communication security on how information should be handled by different offices," Gapay said.

He added that the information, before it reached to the higher officers have already passed through different offices and along the way, it is where the document might be leaked by some officers.

"But we will be strict in implementing these SOPs in community security. Rest assured that information like this, automatic yan vineverify natin before we disseminate it. That's the normal procedure," he said.

The process, he said, is that all the raw information they receive is subject for verification first before it could considered as intelligence. They would only disseminate the information once it is validated by the security officers.

Although they have not received reports yet in the armed forces that there is a leaked memo, he reminded their troops to be careful in handling raw information and not post it to avoid causing panic on the part of the civilians.

He noted that apart from the panic, the spread of the hoax information has also generated positive results as it elevated the level of awareness of the public.
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