Mayor, police appeal on wanton sharing of sensitive photos, false information
Mayor Benjamin Magalong and the Baguio City Police Office issued separate appeals to the public to be discriminating in sharing social media contents that are insensitive, distasteful or containing false information.
Piqued by the continued circulation of the naked photos of the lifeless woman found in a compound in A. Tabora Barangay last Aug. 30, the mayor called for the stoppage of the detestable act.
“Our moral principles have taught us to respect the dead, to protect human dignity even in death so please stop this abominable act,” the mayor said.
He warned those who will continue to spread these sensitive photos of legal repercussions.
The City Legal Office the act may constitute violation of Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code which deals on “immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions” and penalized with prison terms or a fine of up to P2,000.
The Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit Cordillera said those who share photos of naked persons without covering the private parts are liable for violation of the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009.
The BCPO is headed by City Director PCol. Glenn Lonogan for their part appealed to people to be “mindful of the information they share at the social media sites.”
BCPO Deputy City Director for Operations PLt.Col. John Cayat said they “acknowledge the desire of the netizens to inform the public of the incidents” but they should be careful and must “refrain from spreading unverified information from unknown sources or speculations that tend to lead to public disturbance, panic or confusion or on our part affect the ongoing investigation.”
Apart from latest case, Cayat was also referring to false information going around the social media on alleged vans roaming around the city abducting women for prostitution or organ harvesting which had been declared as untrue and unfounded by the mayor and the police director.
“We assure the public that all the reports of missing persons in the past months and even in the previous years were not kidnapping or rape incidents. All of these missing persons had been located and had returned home safe and sound as attested by our city police.
“Rumors of syndicates in vans roaming the city allegedly kidnapping persons for prostitution or organ harvesting had remained as such, rumors, as there had been no such incidents reported to our city police that corroborate the claim.
Nonetheless, we advise people to continue to be vigilant and mindful of their and their loved ones’ safety. Please immediately report any suspicious-looking activity, person or place to the nearest police station. Rest assured that the city police and the city government are on top of the situation and doing every possible way to keep our city safe,” the mayor said. – Aileen P. Refuerzo