PNP to arrest people behind fake news on coronavirus

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 12, 2020   •   774

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will investigate and arrest people involved in spreading fake news about the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.

This is based on the directive of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año.

According to Año, spreading of false information is harmful to the interest of the public.

“We need to put a stop to their nuisance activity. Let’s not propagate erroneous information that is more viral than the virus itself. We already have enough on our plate,” he said.

DILG Spokesperson Usec. Jonathan Malaya also urges the public to only trust official sources of information and to verify first before sharing.

He also added that the PNP’s Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) is currently verifying six suspected fake news posts about the coronavirus on social media.

“The PNP-ACG is working hard to detect the whereabouts of these law offenders. We expect arrests to be made soon,” Malaya said.

Based on Article 154 of the “Unlawful Use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances” of the Revised Penal Code, perpetrators of fake news will face imprisonment of one to six months and a fine ranging from P40,000 to P200,000.—AAC 

Cops infected with COVID-19 now over 1,000 – PNP

Robie de Guzman   •   July 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The number of police officers who have tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has climbed to 1,006, figures from the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed.

The PNP Health Service said 25 additional infections have been reported but there were no new deaths so the total fatalities remains at nine.

A total of 455 cops have recovered from the viral respiratory disease.

The PNP Health Service said it is also monitoring 651 probable cases and 1,252 suspected cases of COVID-19.

The Philippines has so far recorded a total of 51,745 COVID-19 infections, with 12,813 recovered patients and 1,314 fatalities. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Gov’t to allow motorcycle back-riding for married, cohabiting couples starting July 10

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has allowed motorcycle back-riding for married and cohabiting couples beginning Friday (July 10) under certain conditions.

According to DILG Spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, a motorcycle rider must provide a protective shield in between him and his back ride and both must wear respective helmets and facemask.

“Kailangan po ito for safety purposes at for convenience na rin po. So instead na nakayakap tayo doon sa driver, dito na po tayo hahawak [This (shield) is for safety purposes and for convenience as well. Instead of directly embracing the driver, we will hold on to this],” Malaya explained as he demonstrated how to use the protective shield.

“So kailangan din solid din ito at naka-bolt o welded doon sa motor para maging safe for both individuals utilizing the motorcycle. [This (shield) must also be solid and bolted or welded on the motorcycle to be safe for both individuals utilizing the motorcycle],” he added.

Malaya said the DILG will release an official design of protective shield which shall be used as pattern for motorcycle riders.

“Ang importante lang po ay more or less ay sumunod tayo doon sa design na inaprubahan at ito po ay made of solid materials [What’s important is that we adhere to the approved design and it should be made of solid materials],” Malaya said.

Both riders must have a valid ID and a legal document that proves their relationship as a couple which may be presented at checkpoints.

“Pwede pong dalhin nila yung kanilang marriage certificate o kaya any government-issued ID na nakalagay doon sa likod na relationship at name ng mister o misis at address [They may bring their marriage certificate or any government-issued ID that bears at the back their relationship, the name of spouse and their address],” Malaya said.

However, Malaya clarifies that non-related back riders are still not allowed and violators will be apprehended and issued with citation tickets. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Passengers without confirmed flights won’t be allowed at airports, DILG says

Robie de Guzman   •   July 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday reiterated its call on passengers not to go to the airports as they will not be allowed to go in if their flights and tickets are not confirmed.

In a statement, DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said strict health protocols are being implemented in airports amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and operations of airlines and other transportation companies are bound by these rules.

With the limited flights currently allowed to operate, Malaya stressed that “going to the airport without a confirmed flight or ticket is a waste of energy and time and will just lead to frustration.”

He advised passengers to contact the airlines to ensure that their flights are confirmed to avoid inconvenience.

He also reminded passengers that all tickets purchased prior to the pandemic have already been cancelled by the airlines and will need to be rebooked based on the new schedule of flights approved by airport authorities.

“Patuloy po ang paalala natin sa ating mga kababayan na huwag pong magpunta sa mga airport or seaports kung wala po tayong confirmed na flight,” he said.

“Mangyari lamang po na makipag-ugnayan kayo sa inyong airline kung confirmed ang inyong flight. Mapapagod lang po kayo sa biyahe at masasayang ang pera ninyo at mauuwi lang po ito sa wala,” he added.

Malaya also said that walk-in customers will not be able to purchase tickets at the airports as all flights are regulated in coordination with the airline companies.

“Even if you were issued a ticket by the airline, you will have to confirm that prior to going to the airport because there may have been some changes in flight schedules. Moreover, all tickets issued prior to the pandemic are canceled and will not be honored by airport authorities,” he said.

The Department of Transportation, through the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), earlier released an advisory requiring all airlines to secure accurate information, especially the contact details of all passengers, even those who purchased tickets from travel agencies, to ensure that they will be properly notified by the airlines if flights are canceled. Moreover, the said information may also be helpful in future contact tracing purposes.

The CAB also directed all airlines “to make appropriate public announcements advising individuals who have purchased tickets prior to the COVID-19 crisis that their flights are canceled and that they need to rebook accordingly.”

So far, only 29 airports nationwide are open for operation and even in airports allowed to operate, there are limited flight schedules upon the request of Local Government Units, the DILG said.

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