MANILA, Philippines – One “warning.” That’s all it took for Filipinos on Facebook to lash out against the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Facebook on Monday, October 1.
The PNP, through a Facebook fan page, warned users against “using foul word against [their] police officers.”
“Foul words against our police officers can be used as evidence now to file a case against you in a court of law,” the post read. As of posting, the page no longer exists.
The poster was referring to a comment made by a user named Archie Arevalo.
“Mas madaling makotongan mga turista pag magaling sa English [ang mga] pulis,” Arevalo posted in reaction to an article about the English proficiency of Criminology students. (It’s easier for cops to extort money from tourists if they know how to speak English.)
PNP spokesman Chief Supt Generoso Cerbo Jr. however told Rappler that the statements made on their Facebook page are not official.
As of late Monday afternoon, the account was already closed. Before this, it had close to 9,000 “likes,” according to a Facebook commenter.
“Di kami nagrerelease ng statement through Facebook,” he said, adding that the PNP only makes statements through their official website. (We don’t release official statements through Facebook.)
Users immediately criticized the person behind the post for what they say was an infringement of free speech.
Cerbo said that they are currently investigating the matter.
“Yung klaseng statements na ganyan, di kami nag-iissue,” he said. (We don’t issue those kinds of statements.)
On a different PNP account on Facebook, Cerbo reiterated his earlier statement. The second account first became active on Facebook in 2011 and has 752 subscribers.
“The PNP categorically denies any official connection to a message which appeared in one particular Facebook account found by many to be offensive, threatening and malicious,” he said through a status message. -Rappler.com
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