The Pangasinan Provincial Police Office is currently tracking three female suspects who uploaded the photos of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient online.
“Mayroon na tayong tatlong suspects na unang nagpakalat niyan.” said Provincial Police Director Redrico Maranan mentioning that two of the suspects are from Lingayen while the other one is currently being traced.
PD Maranan said that posting of such pictures is against two laws – Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and RA 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
Penalties of such laws include imprisonment of at least one year and a fine of no less than P500,000.
“’Yong nag-share ay equally liable doon sa source dahil parehong naka-public,” said PD Maranan.
Appropriate charges will soon be filed by the PPO to the identified suspects.
PD Maranan reminded that social media responsibility should always be observed by netizens.
Provincial Health Officer Anna Ma. Teresa De Guzman expressed her concerns on the dissemination of photos of the COVID-19 patient online.
“Ang panawagan natin ay tanggalin na kaagad. Refrain from posting at mag-ingat kasi may kasamang responsibilidad iyan,” Dr. De Guzman reiterated PD Maranan’s reminder on social media responsibility.
Dr. De Guzman also acknowledged the immediate action of the Provincial Information Office which posted a notice earlier today in the Province of Pangasinan Official Facebook page on the posting of patient’s photos online.
In just five hours, the post reached 223,407 people with 8,637 reactions, comments, and shares.
Dr. De Guzman also said, “Hindi kasalanan ng ating mga kababayan na sila ay nagkasakit at hindi ito dapat pagtawanan, paglaruan, at pandirihan.”
Meanwhile, the Pangasinan PPO is also assisting the contact tracing of those who had a contact with the COVID-19 patient.
It can be noted that the patient attended a class reunion in Dagupan City on February 22. The patient also visited their ancestral home in Lingayen and had a breakfast on a beach resort on February 23.
As of press time, all identified persons under monitoring whose fourteen-day incubation lapsed on March 8 did not show any symptom of COVID-19.
Pangasinan Provincial Police Director Redrico Maranan and Provincial Health Officer Anna Ma. Teresa De Guzman, along with DOH-Region 1 Disease Surveillance Officer Rosario Pamintuan and Liga ng Mga Barangay Provincial President Jose Peralta served as the resource speakers of Pangasinan in Action (Lingguhang Talakayan sa Kapitolyo) on March 10 held at the Urduja Ceremonial Hall.
/Paula Jhea Sison (Photo by Jinver Perez)