Cops abusing social media to monitor quarantine violators to be held liable

Published September 9, 2020, 12:13 PM

by Noreen Jazul

Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID Shield commander Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar said cops who are found abusing the use of social media to monitor quarantine violators will be held liable.

(JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In an interview with ANC on Wednesday, Eleazar said the police force will not “tolerate any abuse” of the social media reporting measure.

“We will see to it, wala kamig aabusuhin at kung meron mang aabuso, mananagot sa amin (We will see to it that no one will abuse this measure, and if there will be abusers, we’ll make sure that they will be held liable),” Eleazar said.

The JTF COVID Shield chief also underscored that social media reporting is not an “issue of privacy.”

“We are empowering ordinary citizens to report those who are in power who are violating the regulations,” Eleazar said.

“Contrary sa iniisip ng iba, kabaliktaran po, kayo ang mabibigyan ng pagkakataon na makapag report ng information (Contrary to what others are thinking, it’s actually the opposite, authorities are giving the public a chance to report information),” he added.

Eleazer meanwhile assured the public that those who will be monitored violating quarantine protocols via social media will not be arrested.

“Nobody could be arrested if you are not caught doing the act or crime,” Eleazar explained.

“For those we have seen in social media we cannot arrest them more so we cannot just file a case, kailangan may ebidensya (there needs to be evidence),” he said.

Eleazar said all reports they will receive in their social media pages have to be validated first.

Authorities would also need other pieces of evidence, and witnesses for them to be able to pursue a case against violators, according to Eleazar.

Eleazar also assured the public that authorities will “observe due process” for those who will be caught violating health protocols.

As for the issue of invasion of privacy, Eleazar said the Philippine National Police cannot monitor private accounts because it’s illegal.

 
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