MANILA - Police monitoring of social media for possible quarantine measure violations empowers the public to report those in authority, an official said Wednesday.
Authorities have been using public social media posts to aid in case build-up even before the pandemic, according to Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, head of Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield.
Most of the police's apprehensions made during the pandemic that were based on social media posts were local officials who pushed through with festivities despite their area being under lockdown, he added.
"Instead of the people (being) threatened of data privacy (violations), it’s the other way around. We are empowering the public to report to the police particularly those who are in power violating the protocols," he told ANC.
"Contrary dun sa iniisip ng iba na ito’y aabusuhin, kabaligtaran ho. Kayo ang mabibigyan ng pagkakataon na makapag-report ng impormasyon. The PNP leadership will not tolerate any abuse."
(Contrary to what people are thinking, the public will be given the opportunity to report information.)
The PNP will verify complaints of possible violations of health protocols and use other pieces of evidence to file a complaint against an individual, Eleazar said.
"We need to have more pieces of evidences like corroboration and witnesses for us to pursue the case," he said.
"The apprehension of the people, that we’ll be invading or encroaching their privacy, hindi namin gagawin 'yun. We will not do that because we cannot do that. First, it is illegal if ever na private accounts ang ating ipe-penetrate. Second, we cannot do that because we don’t have the capability, particularly our police stations."
The police can only act on quarantine violations in relation to local ordinances, Eleazar added.