Netizens Criticize PNP Over Social Media Monitoring Plan

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino netizens have been continuously rating the Philippine National Police (PNP) for days since Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, head of the government’s COVID Shield Joint Task Force, said on Saturday they would monitor the Filipino social media posts looking for quarantine violations.

Most agreed that instead of violating people’s privacy, police should first punish police officers who have already been caught blatantly breaking the quarantine rules that Eleazar seems very keen to enforce. .

Netizens cited Metro Manila’s police chief as an example. General Debold Sinas and dozens of police officers who were pictured partying without masks and celebrating without physical distancing on his 55th birthday in May.

Their photos were uploaded to the National Capital Region Police Bureau’s Facebook page, but were later deleted.

Sinas, who was not removed from his post despite the violations, faces criminal charges before the Taguig prosecutor’s office for violating quarantine rules along with 18 other senior police officers.

But Eleazar argued his proposal would not lead to privacy breaches and instead empower people.

“We will make sure that we do not abuse anyone and if there is [would] will be abuse, they will have to answer us, ”Eleazar said in a television interview, without saying what he did to hold Sinas and his men accountable.

“Contrary to what others think it will be abused, it is the other way around. You will have the option to report information. And just like what I said, the PNP leadership will not tolerate any abuse. If there is any abuse, let us know, ”he added.

He assured the public that no one would be arrested on the sole basis of his social media posts.

“We need more evidence, like corroborations and witnesses, so that we can pursue the case,” he said.

“There is due process and we will follow due process, and what we do, just report anything that you believe is a violation of your rights and we will act accordingly,” he added.

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