NCOV – DILG Secretary Eduardo Año urged the Philippine National Police to arrest those who spread fake news regarding nCoV.
Año said in a statement on Tuesday that they will go after people who spread false information about novel coronavirus due to the harmful effects these acts are to the interest of the general public.
“Let’s not propagate erroneous information that is more viral than the virus itself. We already have enough on our plate. Hindi po sila nakakatulong sa paglutas ng ating problema bagkus mas pinapalala pa nila ang problema.”
The Interior Secretary issued the order after the department was used by some devious netizens in spreading false information.
One of which was an infographic allegedly came from the DILG spread on Friday which claims that the department has decided to place on mandatory quarantine all travelers from countries affected by the virus.
DILG undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that the infographic went viral and caused panic among travelers who wanted to cancel their travel plans sue to the misrepresentation of these people.
“Again, we urge the public to trust only official sources of information and to verify first before sharing. Think first before you click,”
As per the report, the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) of the PNP is curently verifying six suspected false information posts on the virus on social media, further saying that they are tracking the location of the rumormongerers.
“We expect arrests to be made soon,”
Those who violate may face imprisonment of 1 – 6 months and will receive a fine of ₱40,000 to ₱200,000 under the “Unlawful Use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances” of the Revised Penal Code which punishes people who spread fake news.
The perpetrators will also face charges under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and the Presidential Decree No. 90 or the Declaring Unlawful Rumor-Mongering and Spreading False Information.
“Paalala lang sa mga nagpapakalat ng mga maling balita na tigil-tigilan na ninyo iyan at makiisa na lang sa pamahalaan sa pagsugpo at pagresolba ng suliraning ito,”
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