NBI goes after fake news peddlers

Published March 28, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jeffrey Damicog

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is currently investigating 12 persons for concocting fake news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are around 12 under investigation,” NBI spokesman and Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin told Manila Bulletin on Saturday, March 28.

Lavin said that these 12 persons were placed under investigation for allegedly making and posting fake news concerning COVID-19 in social media, mostly on Facebook.

The NBI Cyber Crime Division (NBI-CCD) Chief Vic Lorenzo is leading the investigation assisted by the NBI’s Digital Forensics Division and International Operations Division.

“Hopefully we will be able to file cases the next few days,” said the NBI spokesman.

Lavin said the NBI has already sent subpoenas against these 12 persons who were told to respond to the allegations that they have been making fake news.

He noted that some of these persons have already submitted their replies since last week until this Friday, March 27.

Aside from these 12 persons, Lavin said the NBI is also investigating fake news on social media from pseudo accounts or those using fictitious identities.

“We are verifying who these persons with pseudo accounts are,” he disclosed.

The NBI spokesman asked the public against making fake news.

“Tumigil sa pagpapalaganap nitong fake news dahil hindi ito nakakabuti (Stop propagating fake news because this is not good),” he stated.

Lavin cited that the NBI filed last February a criminal complaint before the Manila Prosecutor’s Office against Zaldy Maguigad for unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterance as defined and penalized under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) in relation to Republic Act 10175, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Maguigad made posts on Facebook on Feb. 1 concerning a man lying unconscious on a pavement in Manila and claimed that the person to be a Chinese national infected with COVID-19.

The man was later identified and confirmed to be a heavily intoxicated Korean national.