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A Swiss national appeared before Coron Municipal Police Station Saturday morning, May 23, to clear his name for reportedly posting false information or fake news on the alleged continuously spreading of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases on his Facebook account.
Police Major Thirz Starky Timbancaya, Coron PNP chief told Palawan Daily that they have received reports involving Pablo Martin Baldinger, 57, for posting fake news regarding the spread of COVID-19 in Coron.
Upon reaching the police station, Baldinger claimed that his Facebook account was hacked and he is not the one responsible for spreading the news.
But Timbancaya didn’t buy the explanation of the foreign national.
“Hinahanap ko s’ya, hinahanap namin s’ya base doon sa mga fake news n’ya na ipinalabas sa kanyang account. Nagkataon naman na nung pinuntahan namin sa bahay n’ya e wala s’ya kaya nung nabalitaan n’ya siguro, pumunta s’ya ng opisina,” Timbancaya told Palawan Daily.
“Pumunta s’ya doon [Coron MPS] at ang ginawa n’yang drama, sinasabi n’ya na na-hack ang kanyang account pero kalokohan ‘yun dahil sumasagot s’ya sa mga comment doon,” he added.
The PNP is currently planning to file appropriate charges against Baldinger.
“Pero hahanapin ko parin ‘yan, actually pinag-aaralan at pinai-imbestigahan ko narin ‘yan at kung pwede ay kakasuhan ko ‘yan. Kung mayroon lang din legal basis, tutuluyan, kakasuhan ko talaga ‘yan,” Timbancaya said.
Under Republic Act 11469 or “Bayanihan To Heal As One Act”, any fake news peddlers may face imprisonment of at least two months or a fine ranging from PHP10,000 to PHP1 million, or both.