Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III on Monday, Sept. 7, clarified that the police will need to verify violations of quarantine protocols monitored on social media before making any arrests.
He made the statement as the Philippine National Police (PNP) will also monitor social media to run after quarantine violators in the midst of the coronavirus disease- 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Densing said the police will have to inspect the actual site where the individuals committed the supposed quarantine violation.
“Ang pagmomonitor via social media kailangan pa ng verification kasi sa totoo lang maraming fake news (Monitoring through social media still needs verification with the mounting numbers of fake news),” Densing said in an interview on ABS-CBN TeleRadyo.
Some sectors expressed deep concern over this ploy citing that this can interfere with the public’s right to privacy.
But Joint Task Force COVID Shield Commander Lt. General Guillermo Eleazar assured that individuals will only be apprehended when committing quarantine violations.
He stressed that the police are hands-off when lawful interaction or activities are being done in public faces and the comfort of their private domain.
But Eleazar maintained that the police would “regularly monitor” social media posts to look for people defying health protocols with parts of the country still under community quarantine.
After verifications and if proven that minimum health protocols were violated, Densing said the police can now apprehend and impose penalties to the guilty parties based on local ordinances.