By Martin Sadongdong
The dissemination of information on the rate of criminality in the country might be perpetrated by police officers who were dismissed from the service because of the intensified internal cleansing program of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde continued to deny the reported series of crime incidents, particularly robberies of establishments in Metro Manila.
“It’s possible na pwede rin ‘yung mga disgruntled o mga natanggal sa aming hanay ang mga nagkakakalat din ng mga ganito (It’s also possible that disgruntled or dismissed [cops] are the purveyors of [fake crimes],” Albayalde said when asked about who he thought were behind the dissemination of fake crimes in social media.
“It’s because sila ang may idea kung paano sirain o palabasin na we have very bad peace and order situation in our country (It’s because they already have an idea how to destroy or make it appear that the situation of peace and order in the country is bad),” he added.
Earlier this week, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said that a series of social media posts had gone viral after reporting supposed robbery incidents in restaurants in Quezon City.
However, NCRPO Director Guillermo Eleazar clarified that of the five reported posts, only one incident was verified to have been legitimate. It was a Japanese restaurant that was allegedly robbed by at least four unidentified suspects along Scout Tobias and Loscano Street in Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City last June 1.
Eleazar appealed to the public to stop spreading “fake news and lies” so as not to cause public alarm.
Just as Albayalde and Eleazar dismissed the increasing number of robbery incidents, another restaurant — again along Scout Tobias — was supposedly robbed by two motorcycle-riding suspects last June 6.
The two robbery hold-up suspects were gunned down by lawmen in a hot pursuit, the police reported. It was the second restaurant to be hit this week along Scout Tobias.
Furthermore, a man allegedly robbed a meat shop along V. Concepcion Street, Sampaloc, Manila Friday night (June 8) and ended up dead in a shootout with responding cops.
Aside from the robbery incidents, the killing of Madona Joy Ednaco-Tanyag, a pregnant ombudsman prosecutor, in Quezon City on June 4 and the arrest of several police officers for their alleged involvement in illegal drugs, extortion, and other activities earned the ire of President Duterte.
Albayalde reiterated that he has ordered the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) to investigate the social media accounts of those suspected to be proliferating “fake crimes.”
“That is being worked upon by our ACG at pag na-identify natin ‘yan (if we identify them), we can file appropriate charges also,” he said.
Albayalde ordering probe against cops for their activities in social media is not a new thing. It can be recalled that in April, Albayalde called for an investigation against police officers who reportedly bashed him online.
The PNP later found out the real identities of at least 23 cops who back-stabbed Albayalde and he sent them to Mindanao. Only 20 of them, however, followed the order while the others went AWOL (absent without official leave).