DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said he has ordered the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to look into memes and fake news derived from his statements.
He warned that those liable for the memes and fake news will be charged with unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code as amended and Section 6 of Republic Act 10175 or the Anti-Cybercrime Law.
Violators may face imprisonment of one to six months and a fine ranging from P40,000 to P200,000.
They could also be punished under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 as well as for violating Presidential Decree No. 90, which declares rumor-mongering and spreading false information as unlawful.
Año issued the order to the CIDG after memes derived from his appeal to wear masks even at home were circulated on Facebook.
“It’s fake news and I will file charges. I also ordered the CIDG to conduct a probe. May caption yan na social distance kahit as bahay binago niya yung One Ride One Shot na may-ari ng facebook account,” he said.
Año had issued the appeal after the National Task Force Against Covid-19 reported clusters of infections in households and workplaces.
“Yan ‘yung konteksto nung statement ni Secretary Año na kahit sa bahay mag-maintain ng social distancing at gumamit ng face mask kasi lumalabas ‘yung mga magulang lumalabas ‘yung iba at nagtatrabaho at dun nanggagaling ang sakit,” DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said.
“Payo lang ito sa publiko nakikiusap tayo sa ating mga kababayan na dahil sa pagtaas ng kaso ng Covid-19 sa ating bansa ‘yung bahay is the first line of defense...Kahit mahirap inaamin naman namin na marami tayo mga kababayan na ang liliit ng bahay andami nila sa bahay maliliit ang bahay pero kailangan po talaga nating gawin,” he added.
He urged the public to cooperate and contribute to the government’s efforts against Covid-19.
“Ang isang pang masaklap jan kahit ‘yung mga may sintomas na nag-paswab na imbis na hintayin ang resulta sa bahay ay nakikipaghalubilo pa sa ibang tao so itong mga ganitong klaseng gawain ng ating mga kababayan ito yung mga bagay na nagpapalala sa problema natin bilang isang bansa so definitely nandito na ‘yung individual discipline, individual responsibility, hindi natin pwede i-asa ito. Definitely pag inasa natin to sa gobyerno matatalo tayo,” he said.
“Everybody must do their part including pag sinabing everybody talagang everybody kasi everybody is a possible spreader of this disease,” he added.
Metro Manila along with the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna were reverted to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) on August 4 because of the rising cases of infection. (SunStar Philippines)