By Genalyn Kabiling
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has vowed to prosecute to the “fullest extent of the law” the person or group behind the fake memorandum imposing a quarantine period for travelers coming from more than 20 coronavirus-hit countries.
According to DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, an investigation will be conducted by the police on the false DILG infographic to hold accountable those involved.
The spurious infographic claimed that under a DILG memorandum circular, there will be strict implementation of the 14-day quarantine on people arriving from 23 coronavirus-hit countries. The material circulated on social media last Friday until it was flagged by authorities as false.
Malaya insisted that the DILG has not issued such memorandum.
“We are warning those people that (DILG) Secretary Año has already directed the CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) to investigate kung sino ang nag-post ng infographic na iyon (whoever posted that infographic) because that is a violation of Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code and of the Cyber Crime Act as well,” he said in a Palace press briefing.
“We will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law because what they are doing is creating panic and creating unnecessary threats to public order and safety,” he said.
Malaya added that the false quarantine announcement created undue concern from Filipinos who may return to the country. So far, he said the government has not expanded the travel ban on China and its territories to other countries.
“That decision has not been made. And when that decision has been made, it will be announced by the DOH (Department of Health) and the relevant government agencies,” he said.
President Duterte earlier temporarily prohibited foreign travelers coming from China and its special administrative regions from entering the country to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Filipinos may return to the country but must undergo a 14-day quarantine period.
Filipinos have also been barred from visiting China and its territories for the meantime for their safety and protection.