PNP warns fake news peddlers: ‘We’re watching you.’

PNP warns fake news peddlers: ‘We’re watching you.’

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) ‘has warned vloggers to be wary of posting fake news in  their social media platforms to avoid cybercrime charges.

ACG chief Brig. Gen. Joel Doria has directed his unit commanders to intensify their cyber patrols and validate all videos circulated on social media.

Doria also appealed to the public not to believe videos or posts they see online, easily,such posts have not been validated by the PNP, adding that the ACG is working double time to ensure  every ‘Juan’ of their safety from cybercrimes.

“To all spreaders of fake news, remember this: We Are Watching You,” he said in a recent statement.

He likewise instructed his ACG operatives to closely monitor social media exploitation, identify the person who orchestrate them and “once identified, appropriate charges should be filed.”

Doria stressed that information sabotage should not be tolerated as it creates a feeling of panic in the community. “Spreaders of unvalidated information/news should be made accountable for creating undue fear,” he added.

Under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code, (Unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances), any person who by means of printing, lithography or any other means of publication shall publish or cause to be published as news any false news which may endanger the public order, or cause damage to the interest or credit of the state will be liable under this article in relation to Section 6 of Republic Act (RA) 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012).

Doria said ACG has recently filed a criminal complaint against one foreign social media influencer and four other vloggers at the Hall of Justice in Quezon City for allegedly destroying Philippine currency and posting it on social media.

The suspects face charges for violation of Presidential Decree 247 (Prohibiting and Penalizing Defacement, Mutilation, Tearing, Burning or destruction of Central Bank Notes) and Article 154 both in relation to Section 6 of RA 1075.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas requested the ACG for technical assistance in monitoring social media exploitation and  the activities of the social media accounts of the suspects identified as Samer Ousta, a Syrian national with aliases “ForeignGerms and Habibi Sami” (سامر)”; Arnold Galentes Rogero, a.k.a “Cholo TV”; Carl Romulo Miclat Quion a.k.a “Carl Quion , carlquion”; Ritchard Pinero Eramel a.k.a “”; and Joel Espinosa Mallanao a.k.a “qyuarfheerzzchyam” and to gather additional information and facts relevant to the matter for the filing of appropriate criminal cases.

Cyber patrolling by ACG’s cybercops revealed that the video posted by Samer in his social media account in TikTok and Facebook showed him tearing in half a banknote and asking for help from people on the street to help him fix his torn PHP20 bill as part of his social experiment.

Rogero in his social media “Cholo TV” account was seen stapling several NGC (New Generation Currency) banknotes as part of a basketball fun-shoot game played by the creator of his content, his partner while Quion was seen poking a hole into a one-thousand-peso bill trying to portray a role of a magician.

On his Facebook and TikTok account, Eramel used a P500 bill to wipe off dirt from his shoes and crumpled each bill and threw them on the street’s pavement, while Mallanao defaced a P50 bill and used it as a funnel to transfer petroleum products.