A barangay watchman in Cabanatuan City has been arrested for spreading fake news, Mayor Adrianne Mae Cuevas of Palayan City said Wednesday.
The watchman, also known as barangay tanod, was arrested by the police for spreading fake news, announcing in social media that Palayan City had recorded a COVID-19 case.
A report from Palayan chief of police Lt. Col. Renato Morales identified the suspect as Vener Cortez, 42, married, of Barangay Cabu, Cabanatuan City.
Cuevas said Cortez was arrested for spreading unverified reports that Palayan already had a confirmed COVID-19 case thru his Facebook account.
In his post, Cortez even warned the residents to be careful to avoid contracting the disease.
“Mga kababayan kong taga Cabu may nag-positive na po sa Palayan city ng corona virus, kaya po mag-ingat tayo sa pakikipaghalubilo sa mga taong hindi natin kakilala,” a part of the post said.
The said post has caused fear and panic among residents of Palayan City, prompting Cuevas to order the police to look for Cortez and immediately arrest him.
The Mayor also belied the reports, saying that their city was still COVID-19-free.
“Walang pong katotohanan ang ipinakalat ni Vener Cortez, kaya siya ay ipinaaresto, magsilbing aral sana ito sa lahat sa pagpapakalat ng fake news,” Cuevas stressed.
She added they would file appropriate charges against Cortez to avoid a repeat of the incident.