Despite proof, PNP says it did not try to link community pantries to rebels
This screenshot shows a since-deleted Facebook post of the Quezon City Police District.
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Despite proof, PNP says it did not try to link community pantries to rebels

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - May 13, 2021 - 12:28pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police on Thursday said it has not tried to link community pantries to communist rebels despite actual attempts to do so on social media.

The Quezon City Police District last month apologized for Facebook posts red-tagging community pantries in the country. Its social media staff, however, got off with a "reminder" to be more "circumspect." 

But Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP chief, said on DZMM TeleRadyo that the police didn't do that at all. "At a time when everyone's attention is focused on us, do you think we will still do things that can ruin our reputation and image?" he said.

This comes despite well-documented instances of police accounts doing so.

Red-tagging by police on social media

The PNP leadership has yet to acknowledge a pattern of red-tagging by police units. The government has also insisted that what it is doing instead is "truth tagging."

When Facebook itself announced that it took down a network of accounts exhibiting “coordinated inauthentic behavior” and linked to the PNP, the national police "disowned" what it said was the "unofficial and unauthorized opinion" by the social media platform and asserted that all of its official channels "remain compliant with standards." 

But over the coronavirus pandemic, the PNP has consistently posted content vilifying and red-tagging activists, government critics, and even sitting party-list lawmakers on its official social media accounts.

"We continue to remind our policemen to be careful posting as it can be misinterpreted," Eleazar also said. 

"If the public has any information, just approach us and we will caution and make the proper sanction against our policemen."

RELATED: Plot twist: From community pantries to police-run 'Barangayanihan'

'No profiling of community pantries'

Eleazar also denied that policemen were "profiling" community pantry organizers, days after one pantry organizer in Marikina was made to give up his contact information and home address to cops. 

Even as the police chief made the remarks, though, police accounts continued to post red-tagging content as the Las Piñas City Police Station published a graphic linking the Kabataan Party-List to the communist insurgency. 

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