By Jose Cielito Reganit
MANILA — Senator Manny Pacquiao on Thursday called on the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to track down and arrest those behind bogus social media accounts using his name to solicit donations supposedly for victims of the Taal Volcano eruption.
In a statement, Pacquiao said he would ask NBI’s Anti-Cybercrime Division and the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) to track down those behind the fake donation drives.
“It came to my attention that there are several social media accounts bearing my name soliciting donations supposedly for the Taal Volcano eruption victims. I have not authorized any such solicitation,” he said.
“Sa mga gumagamit ng aking pangalan para makapanlinlang sa kapwa, mahiya naman po kayo. Labis-labis na ang paghihirap ng ating mga kababayan ay nagagawa niyo pang manloko ng inyong kapwa (To those who are using my name to defraud their fellowmen, be ashamed of yourself. Our countrymen are already suffering greatly and yet you could still manage to dupe them),” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao warned the owners of the bogus accounts that he would not stop until they are tracked down and appropriately charged.
He also said that he would file the appropriate complaint before Facebook and other social media platforms, and request that such accounts be taken down.
Pacquiao stressed that if and when he would ask for donations, it will only be through his official social media accounts — Personal Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @MannyPacquiao; Foundation account on Facebook: @MannyPacquiaoFoundation; Instagram:@PacquiaoFoundation; and Twitter: @MPac_Foundation.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian supported Pacquiao’s call, as he noted the proliferation of fake donation drives and false information being circulated online during calamities.
“Sa mga nakita nating ganitong malalaking trahedya, meron talagang mga loko-lokong inaabuso yung sitwasyon at sinasamantala yung sitwasyon. Yung iba nagpapakalat ng fake news na Alert Level 5 na, yung iba ay nagpapakalat ng fake donation drive,” he said in a media forum.
(From what we see during big calamities, there are really dishonest persons who abuse and take advantage of the situation. Others spread fake news that we are already under Alert Level 5, while others start fake donation drives.)
The lawmaker said the NBI and the DICT should be very alert, and to closely monitor and arrest those behind the fake information and donation drives.
“Yung cyber capability ng NBI importante ito sa mga fake news, sa mga fake donation drive. Karamihan dito sa ganitong disinformation and misinformation ay ginagamit ang internet, at ang may capability niyan ay ang NBI (The cyber capability of NBI is important to track fake news and fake donation drive. In most cases of disinformation and misinformation, the internet is used, and the NBI has the capability to track them),” he said.
The senator said that the only long-term deterrent to such misdeeds is for authorities to immediately litigate and jail the perpetrators.
“The long-term solution is to be vigilant at dapat may masampolan kaagad (and an example should be immediately set),” he said.
“Gusto nating makita na may makulong; masampahan ng kaso at hayaan mo siyang managot sa korte. Dahil kung hindi masampolan ito, lalong marami ang lalakas ang loob at gagawin ito, at marami ring maloloko (We want to see somebody jailed; to be charged before the courts. Because if we don’t set an example, more people would be encouraged to do it, and more people would be duped).” Gatchalian said. (PNA)