PNP could face harassment charges if it uses social media to pursue violators –Sotto

Published September 7, 2020, 6:37 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the Philippine National Police (PNP) could face harassment charges in pursuing its plan to go after quarantine violators thru social media.

Sen. Vicente Sotto III (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

The Senate leader issued the warning as he expressed doubt that PNP will be able properly enforce the move.

“I think it will be very difficult to enforce properly. They will be open to harassment charges if they (PNP) err,” Sotto said in a text message to the Manila Bulletin when sought for comment.

Meanwhile, Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, former PNP chief, advised the police to just implement quarantine protocols in the streets.

“They better go out on the streets and implement proactively the quarantine protocols and leave the social media to the after-the-fact bashers,” Dela Rosa said in a separate text message to reporters.

The Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield, led by the PNP Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, ordered police commanders to regularly monitor Facebook and social media platforms for quarantine violations, such as drinking sessions, parties and mass gatherings.

Privacy and human rights concerns were raised about the plan. Eleazar later clarified that the monitoring will only be limited to public posts, viral contents and complaints reported by concerned citizens.