Police have filed criminal charges against a woman for allegedly spreading fake news about a man who tried to kidnap her in Caloocan City, which was captured on video and went viral on social media.
National Capital Region Police Office director Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo said charges of unlawful means of publication and libel were filed by the Northern Police District against Samantha Pargad before the Caloocan City Prosecutors Office.
“Time and again, we are giving stern and strict warning to those who are spreader of fake news that if they are found to be responsible, full force of the law will be accorded to them,” said Estomo.
Estomo said Pargad claimed a motorcycle rider, who introduced himself as a police officer, harassed and tried to abduct her along Alma Jose Street in Barangay 177 on September 4.
But based on the statements of two witnesses, “Pargad and the rider apparently knew each other”, he added.
“Unfortunately, investigators found out that the claims of the suspect (formerly a victim) are not true based on the new CCTV footage gathered and the statements of the witnesses,” said Estomo.
The NCRPO chief earlier appealed to the public to be mindful in posting false information on various social media platforms to prevent undue and unnecessary anxiety and fear from spreading in the community.
“Concerns of public safety or national security is our primordial concern, thus, NCRPO thoroughly conducts validation, fact check and investigate information we receive. We guarantee that fake news spreader would have to face the consequences of their actions,” he said.
Estomo said the NCRPO and Philippine National Police as a whole had been exerting efforts to keep the communities free from undue fear and panic because of this irresponsible usage of social media. Joel E. Zurbano