THE Police Regional Office (PRO)-Zamboanga Peninsula has cautioned the public, particularly the so-called "netizens" across the region, to avoid spreading misinformation and fake news about coronavirus disease (Covid-19) to prevent panic and misrepresentation.
Police Brigadier General Froilan Quidilla, PRO-Zamboanga Peninsula director, said spreading of fake news and misinformation is an offense that is punishable by law, and those who will be found guilty of such crime will be penalized of prison correctional or imprisonment of six months and one day to six years.
Quidilla issued the warning following observation there were several unfounded information posted on social media amid the Covid-19 threat.
Quidilla said they will not hesitate to file charges against anyone found spreading false information, either for violation of Presidential Decree 90 (Declaring Unlawful Rumor-Mongering and Spreading False Information) or Unlawful Use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Section 6 of Republic Act 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012).
He said task units of the Philippine National Police will strengthen cyberspace patrolling to track down certain websites and social media accounts used for spreading of false information.
Meanwhile, he urged the public to remain alert and vigilant and report anyone who is spreading fake news to authorities through the Isumbong Mo, I-Action Ko with numbers 0977-3102-365 and 0961-2977-064. (SunStar Zamboanga)