The Philippine National Police (PNP) has started an investigation to determine how an internal memorandum order reportedly signed by a ranking officer from the Cordillera Administrative Region Police Regional Office (PRO-COR) circulated on social media and sparked an alleged destabilization plot in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr.
PNP Chief, Police Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said he ordered the PRO-COR to look into the supposed memo dated January 7, 2023 and signed by a certain Lt. Col. Dexter Ominga from the PRO-COR.
“We already directed the regional director of PRO Cordillera (Brig. Gen.. Mafelino Bazar) to look into the possible security lapses as far as the document security is concerned,” Azurin said in an interview with reporters at Camp Crame in Quezon City on Monday, Jan. 9.
The supposed memo had several versions and were circulated in at least three other PNP units involving the Special Action Force (SAF), and the police regional offices in Western Visayas (Region 6) and Caraga (Region 13).
However, they carried the same message: that Azurin placed the entire PNP on full alert status due to “destabilization movements from the AFP,” “developing issues in Camp Aguinaldo,” and “resignation of all officials of the Department of National Defense.”
The rumor was further fanned by the spread of images of PNP trucks mobilizing at Camp Crame but Azurin explained that this was only due to maintenance checkup. An earlier statement from the PNP stated that the assets were used to secure devotees attending the Feast of the Black Nazarene.
“As far as the destabilization is concerned, I don’t think there is one because I also talked to the [AFP] Chief-of-Staff, Sir Andres Centino, last night and he gave the assurance that the PNP and the AFP will work hand-in-hand in ensuring that the Marcos administration will be very stable,” Azurin said.
If there are any lapses on the part of the PRO-COR, the PNP chief assured that appropriate charges will be meted to Ominga.
Meanwhile, the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) will also conduct an investigation on the spread of the supposed memo on social media.
“The PNP-ACG has initiated its investigation to determine who is the source of the social media post which reported that the PNP was placed on full alert because of a destabilization. Like what the PNP Chief said, whoever is proven guilty to have spread the misinformation will be punished,” PNP spokesperson Police Col. Jean Fajardo said. — Martin Sadongdong
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