Proliferation of bogus accounts a ‘prelude to a crackdown’
House Deputy Minority Leader Carlos Zarate expressed concern over accounts on social media platform Facebook alleged to be owned by activists, students and faculty of some universities.
Zarate, an opposition solon, on Sunday said the government could be behind the accounts that were found to be dummy accounts.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, on Monday shot down Zarate’s claim.
If Congressman Zarate has the evidence, (he should) file the corresponding charge, said Roque.
Zarate, in a statement, said the fake accounts that targeted activists “sprouted” after the shutdown of giant television network ABS-CBN and the campaign against the controversial Anti-Terror Law .
“Are these deliberate manufacture of numerous fake activist poser accounts a prelude to a crackdown?” Zarate asked.
“Are troll farms now harvesting names on online petitions so that their bots would not be detected and then use these fake accounts to spread fake news and get the real name owner into trouble?” Zarate asked further.
The Bayan Muna representative said those behind the fake accounts is guilty of “online” planting of evidence and “identity theft.”
“If the proposed terror bill is enacted into law, real name owners of these fake accounts can be easily sent to jail,” he warned. President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to sign the anti-terror bill that was approved by the House and Senate.
Roque, in a virtual presser on Monday, said Zarate is free to bring the matter before the courts and fiscal offices.
He assured that concerned agencies such as the National Privacy Commission (NPC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ)-Office of Cybercrime, in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), are already investigating the matter. Read More in PNA
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa, on Monday said its Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) is ready to take action on the complaints behind the so-called “ghost accounts” of many Facebook users.Gamboa assured that the PNP is doing its best to monitor illegal activities…Read More