Bukidnon police chief owns up, apologizes ‘terror tag’ FB post

The chief of the Malaybalay City Police Station (MCPS) in Bukidnon has admitted they made a mistake when they shared on Facebook an infographic suggesting those who oppose the closure of broadcast network ABS-CBN as supporters of terrorism.


In a phone interview Friday, Lt. Col. Jerry Tambis admitted that one of the station’s police officers was responsible for posting the infographic on the police station’s Facebook Page.


“One of my personnel did it, and has already apologized for what happened,” Tambis said, without saying whether the officer involved would be punished.


Tambis said there was no intent to malign ABS-CBN and that it was to characterize “left-leaning groups” that supposedly exploiting the ABS-CBN closure to criticize the government.


The infographic, posted on Facebook July 15, showed persons holding placards supporting ABS-CBN, whose petition for franchise renewal was denied through a majority vote of the House of Representatives’ legislative franchises committee on July 10.


Each placard was identified with progressive groups such as Gabriela, Altermedya, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Bayan Muna, and College Editors Guild of the Philippines.


The post has already been removed as of Friday afternoon, although several netizens managed to take screenshots of it.


“He [Tambis] was made to explain to the chief PNP,” said Lt. Col. Silvestre Asiong Jr., the provincial police spokesperson, in an interview, referring to Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa.


Tambis said the infographic posted on their Facebook page was not their own creation but was shared from another social media account and was edited by the unnamed police officer.


He said the police regional office at Camp Alagar called him up and ordered him to remove the post shortly before noon on Friday.


“We made a mistake and we are sorry for it,” he added.


A quick look at the Malaybalay police Facebook page features public reminders on criminal activities such as gambling, child abuse, human trafficking, bullying, violence against women and children, illegal drugs, and rape.


It also posted advisories on coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and news articles related to it, as well as photos documenting the police station’s activities.


Meanwhile, the Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC) condemned the MPCS’ now-deleted post, saying it is not only irresponsible but illegal.


In a statement, COPC asked Gamboa, who is also a lawyer, to look into “this nerve-wracking and irrational labeling.”


“Our PNP personnel who are supposed to protect media and those who exercise their rights enshrined in our Constitution should not join in this terror brouhaha lest they are accused of ignorance of the basic law,” the statement read. (PNA)


Source: Philippines News Agency

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