PNP cracking down on content creators destabilizing government

MANILA, Philippines —  The labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) is seeking a yearlong extension on the consolidation deadline for public utility vehicles (PUVs).

Instead of extending the deadline for just one month, the group said this should be lengthened to a year to make both the government and operators be tter prepared.

It added that the month-long delay in the implementation of the consolidation deadline only exposes t he fact that the government is not ready for the consequences of the jeepney modernization plan.

“The government is not willing to admit the reality but it is aware that the public transport system will fail if the hard deadline for consolidation was enforced last Jan. 1. In fact, not only do jeepney operators and drivers stand to lose their means of livelihood but commuters stand to lose their means of transportation,” PM chair Renato Magtubo said.

PM claimed that about 140,000 drivers and operators could lose their source of living by Feb. 1 based on the estimate that 70,000 jeepneys have not consolidated. It noted, though, that traditional je epneys with individual franchises have been allowed to continue operating in routes with less than 60 percent consolidation.

It is a different story in Eastern Visayas region, though, as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) reported that 94 percent of PUV operators in Region 8 have already consolidated, as required by law.

This record, according to LTFRB regional director Gualberto Gualberto, puts Region 8 among the highest in consolidation-compliant sectors in the country and ensuring that the mode rnization program will be achieved in Eastern Visayas.

Records show that 3,480 units of the region’s 3,692 registered PUVs have consolidated since the Department of Transportation launched the PUV Modernization Program in 2017.

Gualberto said this explains why there has been no transport strikes in any part of the region.

Josue Laudenio, one of the region’s transport operators, said that while it is very challenging for small operators to buy expensive modern units, they are willing to comply.

“We are here to get provisional authority to operate until we can borrow funds to acquire modern units. The old jeepney only costs P200,000 per unit, while the cheaper modern one costs P1.4 million,” said Laudenio, who leads a transport cooperative in Leyte.

Laudenio noted that some operators have yet to secure loans from government banks to acquire modern vehicles pending the completion of the local government units’ local public transport route plan (LPTRP ).

The LPTRP is a detailed route network with specific modes of transportation and the required number of units per mode for delivering land transport services. The document will serve as the basis for the minimum requirement prescribed for the issuance of PUV franchises. –  Miriam Desacada, Romina Cabrera

MANILA, Philippines — After having monitored attempts by various persons to use the Philippine National Police against the government, PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. yesterday ordered a crackdown on content creators spreading disinformation on social media platforms to destabilize the Marcos administration.

Acorda has directed the Anti-Cybercrime Group and other police units to intensify their cyber-patrolling to unmask the people behind moves to bring down President Marcos from power through social media.

Col. Jean Fajardo, the PNP chief publicist, said Acorda wants criminal complaints filed against those using the police organization to destabilize the government.

She warned that content creators using their platforms to destabilize the government and spread false information could be held liable for unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code and for violation of Republic Act 10175, or the cybercrime prevention law.

Fajardo cited as an example the “General’s Opinion,” a YouTube channel with 104,000 followers claiming that generals from the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are convincing Marcos to resign.

The YouTube channel also used the photographs of Acorda, AFP chief of staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. and Marcos. The video’s narrator claimed that even Marcos’ sister, Sen. Imee Marcos, is asking him to resign.

The narrator also read a text message supposedly from an unnamed individual warning of violence should Marcos opt to cling to power.

Fajardo urged people to be responsible in using their social media accounts and refrain from posting and sharing unverified information, particularly citing retired police and military officers who are critical of Marcos.

“They have the right to speak and we respect that. But we are also asking them to spare the PNP,” Fajardo said in yesterday’s press briefing at Camp Crame.

She assured the public that the 232,000-strong PNP remains apolitical, intact and professional.

“We will always uphold the Constitution and obey legal orders of the duly constituted authorities,” Fajardo stressed.

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