Police to go after perpetrators of fake news of The Medical City raid

The police yesterday announced that they are building a case against those who spread the fake report that protective gear was seized from The Medical City, where many COVID-19 patients are being treated.

“Case build-up operations are underway against the authors of the most recent fake news item on Facebook that reported the alleged police raid at The Medical City where some pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) were allegedly confiscated,” General Archie Gamboa, chief of the Philippine National Police, said in a statement.

Read: Health department questioned by Senator Poe over expensive protective gear

The rumor circulated on social media earlier this week. In a statement released yesterday, Medical City denied the rumor, and said in a Facebook post, “There are news circulating that a raid of PPEs occurred in our premises on the evening of April 1. We deny this and encourage everyone to be careful in spreading unverified information.”

Read: Philippine General Hospital to run out of protective gear in two weeks due to COVID-19 demand

The Office of the Civil Defense, which is responsible for accepting and disseminating all donations received by the government, has also denied that the raid took place, reports GMA News.

“Fake news is a crime that we must not allow to affect our lives, especially not at this moment or any other time,” Gamboa said. “In this advanced age of digital information, we must exercise discernment to analyze every bit of news through a quick test of [the] reliability of source and reliability of [the] information.”

Five people have been arrested for allegedly spreading coronavirus-related fake news, Gamboa said. They have been charged with violating Unlawful Use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code as Amended in relation to Sec 4c4 (Online Libel) and Section 6 of Republic Act No. 10175, or the Anti-Cybercrime Law.

The Philippines has 2,633 COVID-19 cases as of yesterday afternoon, with 51 recoveries and 107 deaths.

This article, Police to go after perpetrators of fake news of The Medical City raid, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!