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PNP tells cops to keep partisan politics out of their social media accounts

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
PNP tells cops to keep partisan politics out of their social media accounts
Photo release shows members of the national police at an online meeting.
Release / JTF CV Shield

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police warned its personnel Monday to stay apolitical and to keep partisan politics out of their social media accounts, especially when representing the police organization. 

In a statement, Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP chief, cautioned police officers against expressing their political leanings on social media, saying these would go against the organization’s non-partisan stance in politics.

"While I am encouraging all police personnel to exercise their right to suffrage as citizens, they must remain apolitical in carrying out their mandate as members of the PNP," he said. 

"I am reminding all police personnel to be mindful of what they post on their social networking accounts and refrain from showing support for or campaigning against local or national political aspirants," the PNP chief said.

Eleazar has been repeatedly issuing similar warnings as the 2022 elections draw closer. 

PNP's social media guidelines

The police chief in his statement pointed to PNP Memorandum Circular 2020-034 issued in March of last year containing the Guidelines and Procedures on Social Media Content, Post and Engagement Utilizing Social Media Accounts and Individual Accounts of PNP Personnel.

The memo contains a prohibition on social media posts "that would be inimical to the interest of the PNP as an organization" and prescribes administrative sanctions on violators of the ban.

PNP accounts still red-tagging today

Former PNP chiefs have pointed to the same memo to discourage local police stations from red-tagging, a practice said to not be part of police policy.

Social media managers in soe police offices, like that of the Quezon City Police District, have been let off with a "reminder" to be more circumspect after they used the official QCPD account on Facebook to falsely accuse community pantry organizers of links to communist rebels. 

But even today, official PNP accounts post content linking labor groups protesting endo, a Filipino-coined term for “end of contract” that refers to the practice of hiring a worker for contracts that skirt the requirement to grant tenure on the sixth month of service, and rampant contractualization.

Other posts also falsely link activists protesting the Anti-Terror Law to the Communist Party of the Philippines, using the latter as the backdrop for posts supposedly against terrorism. 

"I will repeat the warning to every police officer not to get involved in politics. The only thing we have to side with is the country and the people, not some personality, politician or party," Eleazar stressed.

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE PNP
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