MANILA, Philippines — Citing the importance of social media as an easy and effective way of detecting crimes, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary Mar Roxas announced Thursday an initiative to increase police visibility on various social networking sites.
“The recent hulidap incident in EDSA made us rethink and reevaluate the effectiveness of our police force in deterring crimes,” said Roxas, adding that the need for more Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel monitoring social media posts of concerned citizens, arises with each passing day.
“Lahat po ng pulis sa Pilipinas ay ilalagay natin sa isang opisina na may computer, upang magmasid sa mga post sa social media na may kinalaman sa kriminalidad. Bibigyan din po natin sila ng tig-iisang smartphone at gagawan sila lahat ng social media accounts sa Twitter, Facebook at Instagram.“
Roxas went on to reiterate the importance of 1:1 police to smartphone/computer ratio, and the need to check their timeline for viral posts on-the-go.
“Sa ganitong paraan po ay mabilis nating maaaksyunan ang mga krimen na magiging viral sa social media,” he said. “Hinihikayat ko po ang sambayanan na i-retweet, i-share o i-regram and anumang krimen na makikita nyo, nang sa gayon ay maging viral ito at matugunan agad ng mga kinauukulan.“
He also cited the possible effectiveness of all PNP social media users simultaneously tweeting or posting “SURRENDER NOW” status updates to strike fear into criminals.
“If that doesn’t scare the criminals into surrendering, I don’t know what will!”
Roxas reminded netizens to be responsible when reporting crimes, noting that a post or status update must contain the following:
- brief narration of the incident
- a few exclamation points
- Emojis expressing fear, sadness or anger
- high-resolution photo of the criminal(s) to eliminate guesswork
“Social media is more effective than closed circuit television (CCTV) and actual police presence on the field,” said Roxas. “Because on social media, our police force can be closer to the people while being informative, witty and helpful.”
The Interior Secretary did not eliminate the possibility of PNP personnel using social media to prowl unsuspecting citizens.
“Our policy is that we have zero-tolerance for rogue cops,” Roxas said, adding that netizens should be more careful not to flaunt their wealth on social media.
“Iwasan nating mag post ng mamahaling kotse, kagamitan at ari-arian sa internet, dahil matutukso lang ang ating kapulisan,” he added.
“At wag na din pong ipost kung magkano ang halaga ng Twitter account nyo, hindi naman po totoong pera yan.“