There is no truth to claims that there will be military control and extension of enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Friday.
In a radio interview, Nograles branded as “fake news” the rumors circulating on social media.
“Gusto ko lang pong linawin na lahat po iyan ay puro fake news. Huwag po tayong maniwala, mga kababayan (I want to clarify that the rumors are fake news. To all, do not believe unverified information),” Nograles said.
Fake news are shared rapidly online since President Rodrigo Duterte placed the island of Luzon under quarantine to stop the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Contrary to the false information, Nograles said the government was doing its best to address Covid-19 outbreak before the quarantine ends on April 12.
“Ang gusto nga natin, madaliin na ito. Gusto natin mapabilis na itong ano natin pero kailangan ‘yung cooperation ng iba (We want to immediately address this Covid-19 pandemic. We want to end this health crisis but we need the cooperation of everyone),” he said.
Nograles advised the public to monitor the official websites and Facebook pages of all concerned government agencies handling the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said all official announcements would only come from President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Health, and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“At tandaan po natin, ang lagi lang po nating pakikinggan, ‘yung IATF, Department of Health at pati na rin po si Pangulong Duterte (Let’s only believe all the information from IATF, the Department of Health, and President Duterte),” Nograles said.
Nograles said the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Anti-Cybercrime Group, along with the National Bureau of Investigation, are now intensifying operations against purveyors of fake news.
“Nago-overtime po para makapag-sample na po tayo dahil hindi na po maganda ito. Hindi na po nakakatuwa (They are working overtime to punish individuals who are sharing false information because it’s not funny anymore),” he said.
Duterte on March signed Republic Act (RA) 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, which grants him special powers to solve the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
One of the provisions included in RA 11469 imposes a two-month jail sentence or a fine of up to PHP1 million against persons who spread false information related to Covid-19.
As of Thursday, the Philippines has 707 confirmed cases of Covid-19. (PNA)