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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Saturday, May 7, said it is set to crack down on cyberbullying cases related to the May 9 elections.
PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez said the PNP is studying the issue of election-related cyberbullying, a new trend due to the rise of social media.
In a news conference on Saturday, Marquez said the PNP wants “to help not only media personalities but other people as well who have been victims of cyberbullying” during the election season.
He said the PNP has cybercrime units to help in this crackdown.
The situation this year is unique, he said, because social media is more prominent unlike in the 2010 and 2013 election seasons.
“Very, very active ang social media ngayon. Napakaraming misinformation,” he said in a joint briefing with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
(Social media is very, very active this year. There’s a lot of misinformation.)
Marquez described these efforts after he was asked about the harassment of media practitioners before the May 9 polls.
For one, supporters of the leading presidential candidate, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, have allegedly harassed journalists.
Reacting to the supposed threats against media practitioners, Marquez told reporters, “We can provide you security, actually, with the permission of the Comelec.”
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has already aired an appeal to “spare journalists from being targets in the May 9 political battle.”
Environmentalist Renee Karunungan also complained before the Comelec and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) about reported threats from Duterte supporters. – Rappler.com