PRO-7 anti-cybercrime group to lead enforcement of anti-fake news ordinance

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo February 11,2020 - 02:22 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Anti-cybercrime group of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) will lead the enforcement of Cebu province’s anti-fake news ordinance particularly regarding the 2919 novel coronavirus.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, in a press conference today, February 11, 2020, said the province will partner with the police in running after individuals who create public panic through “irresponsible” posts in social media.

PRO-7 Director Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro paid a courtesy visit to Garcia at the Capitol this Tuesday morning.

“We agreed that we can work hand in hand in enforcing the particular section of the ordinance which penalizes the giving of false information, particularly the spreading of false news,” Garcia said.

The Cebu Provincial Board on Monday, Feb. 10, approved in first, second and third reading Board Member Kerrie Keane Shimura’s ordinance adopting Garcia’s Executive Order nos. 5 and 5-A regarding protocols on quarantine and measures against the 2019-nCoV.

Also included in the provincial ordinance is the penalty of up to P5,000 and up to one year of jail time for those who will be spreading false information.

Garcia also urged the public to keep track of the legitimate updates on the 2019-nCoV situation so as not to fall prey to wrong information being circulated online.

Those who spot “fake news” online or receive dubious messages about the 2019-nCoV may directly report to the PNP Anti-cybercrime group or to the Provincial Legal Office (PLO).

Since the spreading of false information is a violation of a provincial ordinance, the PLO will be the one to file a case in court against those who would be accused of spreading misinformation about the 2019-nCoV. /rcg

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