Fake news victim*

NCRPO chief, ChinaIT SEEMS no one is off the hook and anyone can fall victim to fake news nowadays, even if you are a high-ranking official of the Philippine National Police.

Director Guillermo Eleazar, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, vehemently denied recently the authenticity of a photo that went viral on social media depicting him as someone being castigated by a Chinese official.

According to the post, a Chinese security officer was allegedly angered at Eleazar after some demonstrators managed to stage a protest in front of the embassy of China while Chinese President Xi Jinping was in the country.

Eleazar was quick to dismiss the caption accompanying the photo as fake news. He said the Chinese officer was not angered but actually happy.

In fact, the Chinese official did not question Eleazar about the rally. It was the NCRPO chief who voluntarily told him that in the Philippines, cops are lenient with protesters as guaranteed by our Constitution. They allowed the rally in Makati even without a permit as long as it would not be held in engagement areas and routes taken by the Chinese visitors.

Instead of being angered, the Chinese official was reportedly even thankful to the PNP for the tight security it provided in welcoming their president to Manila. Eleazar supposedly replied that it was merely to reciprocate the security that they granted when President Duterte visited China.

Eleazar assured that the PNP-Anti-Cybercrime Group is already tracing the identities of the people responsible for spreading the fake news and will make them pay for their actions.

I am not siding with China in any way but why do some people have to attempt to destroy a good relationship being forged between two nations?

Had the NCRPO chief chosen to remain silent on the issue and did not offer any explanation whatsoever, netizens would not even be aware that the picture carried the wrong information and would accept it as gospel truth.

A photo showing Eleazar being scolded by a Chinese official would create yet another impression in the people’s minds of the growing influence and power China wields over the current administration.

Fake news supporting what people perceive is already true harms the Truth.

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*The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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Robert Roque Jr.
Robert B. Roque Jr. is a veteran journalist who started out as a correspondent for Manila Bulletin's tabloid TEMPO in 1983. In 1989, At age 27, he rose to become the youngest associate editor of a newspaper of national circulation. In mid-2000, he took the helm of the paper as its editor until his voluntary retirement in 2012. He currently writes a syndicated column for TEMPO, Remate, and Hataw newspapers, and for this site, Beyond Deadlines. A former journalism lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Santo Tomas from 1992 to 2002, Roque is also an active member of the Lions Clubs International, the largest service club organization in the world, having served as head of the Philippine Lions (council chairperson) in Lion Year 2011-2012.

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