By Vanne Terrazola
Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao said on Thursday he will ask the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to track down the people behind the social media pages using his name to take advantage of Taal Volcano’s unrest.
Pacquiao said this as he warned the public against unscrupulous and fake “Manny Pacquiao” social media accounts asking for donations supposedly for the victims of the recent eruption of Taal Volcano.
He denied initiating fund-raising activities on social media, pointing out that he is directly coordinating with concerned local government units whose residents have been displaced by the Taal Volcano eruption.
“It came to my attention that there are several social media accounts bearing my name soliciting donations supposedly for the Taal Volcano eruption victims. I have not authorized any such solicitation. My office and my family have been in close coordination with Batangas and Cavite local government units to directly provide assistance for the victims and I am using my personal resources for our effort to help our people,” Pacquiao said in a statement.
He appealed to the NBI to “immediately arrest and file appropriate charges against these con men.”
Aside from the DICT and the NBI, the boxing champion-turned-legislator said he will also file appropriate complaints with social media platforms, particularly Facebook, to have the bogus accounts taken down.
Addressing the persons behind the fake social media accounts, Pacquiao said: “Sa mga gumagamit ng aking pangalan para makapanlinlang sa kapwa, mahiya naman po kayo. Labis-labis na ang paghihirap ng ating mga kababayan, ay nagagawa n’yo pang manloko ng inyong kapwa. I am warning you, tigilan niyo na yang panloloko n’yo dahil tinitiyak ko na hindi ako titigil hangga’t ‘di kayo matunton at masampahan ng kaukulang kaso.”
(To those using my name to deceive people, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Our countrymen are suffering badly and you have the nerve to take advantage of them. I am warning you, stop your deception because I will make sure that I will not stop until you are found and charged appropriately).
Pacquiao also called on government security forces to be on the lookout for thieves who may break into houses vacated by residents. “We should expect that these criminals would also take advantage of the situation. I think that our security forces should show no mercy for these people.”
He also appealed to affected residents to cooperate with security and local government authorities to ensure their safety.