THE Philippine National Police (PNP) ordered its anti-cybercrime unit in the region to intensify online monitoring against the circulation of fake news in social media related to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Police Major Divine Mencio, Police Regional Office–Cordillera (PRO-COR) deputy chief of the Anti-Cybercrime Unit, said the order was issued by PNP Chief Police General Archie Gamboa amidst misinformation circulating on social media on how Covid – 19 can be acquired.
“The order is to monitor misinformation circulating in social media involving national or immediate concern, conduct validation, and fact-check to provide reports and updates with Facebook for appropriate action,” Mencio said.
Gamboa earlier stated this is the time for PNP-ACG to double its effort against the proliferation of false information, most especially about national concerns adding the PNP will conceptualize ‘legal offensive’ against individuals spreading misinformation on social media, and urged the public to avoid posting unverified information as this could generate panic and confusion.
The PNP-ACG has already launched investigations and validations on fake news, especially those with harmful content and panic effect on internet users.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health–Cordillera (DOH–CAR) continues to remind the public to refrain from entertaining information coming from social media related to Covid–19.
Doctor Amelita Pangilinan, DOH-CAR OIC director, said that all official information regarding the virus come from verified sources which the health department uses.
“Covid–19 originated from Wuhan, China so 90 to 99 plus percent comes from China. Any traveller from this affected area has a high index of suspicion more so if they develop coughs and colds and other respiratory symptoms and if you have travelled to these places and you have these sights and symptoms you are already classified as PUI’s, you swab samples will be taken and submitted to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine for confirmatory tests. The transmission is still human to human,” Pangilinan said.
The PNP added that cyber-cops are also coordinating with Facebook Philippines through their law enforcement portal to monitor posts spreading fake news on COVID-19 disease.