PUBLIC WARNED VS. RANDOM CHECKPOINTS ‘HOAX’ ON SOCIAL MEDIA
MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday warned the public against messages circulating on social media warning of purported random checkpoints by alleged policemen for the purpose of extortion.
“We are aware of chain messages circulating in social media and messaging networks from unknown authors containing themes that, in effect, unduly create adverse public opinion that undermines the integrity of the law enforcement and public safety mission of the police,” PNP Spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Benigno B Durana, Jr. said in a statement.
Durana said investigation revealed that these incidents did not happen, noting that they are now tracing the source of the message, which aims to sow fear among netizens.
He clarified that the PNP Police Operational Procedures (POP) do not allow arbitrary vehicle inspection or random checkpoint, unless properly authorized in support of an ongoing operation, subject to prescribed mandatory requirements and limitations.
“While it is actually a good idea for the car owner or driver to personally open the trunk lid of his or her car and supervise any visual inspection that will be done, this may only happen if the car owner accedes to any request to allow visual inspection of the car trunk or the glove compartment as required in the Revised POP,” he said.
As a general rule, the Revised POP allows only visual inspection of the car’s passenger cabin and other sections of the vehicle that are visible from the outside, Durana said.
Durana said planting of evidence, as stated in the hoax message, is a grave offense.
Section 29 of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 prescribes the penalty of death to “any person who is found guilty of “planting” any dangerous drug and/or controlled precursor and essential chemical, regardless of quantity and purity.” (PNA)
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