By Aaron Recuenco
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday urged netizens to be cautious in posting and sharing on social media a message about an alleged planting of illegal drugs on the trunk of vehicles being flagged down in police checkpoints.
PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Benigno Durana denied that there are police officers cashing in on the said scheme.
“The PNP today cautioned the public against chain messages circulating in social media and internet-based messaging groups warning of purported irregular vehicle stops and checkpoints by alleged policemen for purpose of extortion,” said Durana.
“We are aware of chain messages circulating in social media and messaging networks from unknown authors containing themes that, in effect, unduly create adverse public opinion that undermines the integrity of the law enforcement and public safety mission of the police,” he added.
Durana was reacting to a social media post which went viral about a motorist who was supposedly stopped at police checkpoints and was ordered by the police to open the trunk of his vehicle for inspection before he was allowed to go.
The motorist reportedly went out of the vehicle to check on the trunk over his gut-feeling that the illegal drugs were inserted or planted at the checkpoint.
He allegedly discovered several sachets of shabu which he threw away.
Several meters away, he was again stopped by a group of policemen who immediately checked on the trunk of his car looking for something.
He was allowed to go after finding none.
“Investigation revealed that those alleged checkpoint incidents did not happen. Follow up investigation is ongoing to trace the source of this fake news which aims to sow fear among netizens,” said Durana.
Further checks reportedly revealed that that incident happened in other country but was made appear that it happened in the Philippines.