Eighty people were rounded up with cybercrime-related charges filed against them over the past five months of the pandemic, reported the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday, August 12.
In a press release, the PNP reported that they have filed 121 charges against the 80 individuals, with cases involving the spreading disinformation on the internet, illegal online sale of medical supplies, and online scams.
Citing data from March 9 to August 9, PNP Chief Guillermo Eleazar said that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) have filed criminal complaints against 52 persons for fake news; 26 persons for online profiteering, overpricing, hoarding and unauthorized selling of medical supplies; and against two persons for online scams.
Eleazar said that the police force has intensified its monitoring of cybercrimes, as people spend more time online due to lockdowns that have forced people to work from home and study online.
There has been an increase in incidents of persons spreading disinformation about the pandemic on social media, Eleazar emphasized. “We are appealing to the public to be discerning and wary of fake news. This is also a stern warning to all individuals or groups spreading false information on various social media platforms. We will go after you and will not hesitate to put you behind bars,” said Eleazar.