Malacañang denounced the proliferation of false narratives about the supposed increase in the number of crimes amid the implementation of month-long enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement, a day after Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said reports of robbery and burglary in some areas in Luzon turned out to be fake.
“We denounce the proliferation of such false narratives. We ask the citizenry to be discerning on what they read on social media and not to readily believe them,” Panelo said.
The PNP’s Anti-Cybercrime Group is now tracking the fake news peddlers who claimed that some workers affected by the Luzon-wide quarantine were forced to steal food and money.
The false narratives became viral on social media.
Panelo advised the public not to believe the “fake and alarming” news of alleged crimes or planned crimes to be committed that are circulated online.
“They create panic, confusion and fear among our people,” he said. “We encourage our people to keep calm and stay vigilant. Rest assured that the government is here to protect everyone and is working for their safety and well-being.”
Panelo urged the public to report to law enforcement agencies any crime through mobile phone numbers 0917-312-5626 and 0998-894-0013; landline number 725-3176; or e-mail address PNP2019nCoVARRopns@gmail.com.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night placed the Luzon under enhanced community quarantine to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Duterte directed all local government units (LGUs) to ensure that their constituents are observing strict home quarantine until the implementation of the quarantine expires on April 12.
Panelo, however, bared that some LGUs do not follow the guidelines on the imposition of month-long quarantine in Luzon and instead enforced their own measures.
He said LGUs should adopt and adhere strictly to guidelines set by the national government.
Panelo said LGUs’ actions must be synchronized and in unison with the national government’s directives.
“Any deviation thereof by the local executives will derail the very purpose for which those rules were established which is to contain the dreaded disease and place our people in graver peril,” he said. “The national government will not countenance such deviation and disobedience. Errant local officials will face administrative sanctions and criminal prosecution.” (PNA)