Video posts by netizens, as well as tweet replies by the Philippine National Police (PNP), confirm reports of the alleged distribution of an official publication by PNP red-tagging Bayan Muna and Kabataan Party-lists on election day, May 13.
Consequently, alternative news site Bulatlat posted a tweet showing police distributing a certain newspaper, to which PNP’s Police Community Relations Group (PCRG) account made a direct reply addressing this.
According to PNP-PCRG, the newspaper being distributed is a publication released by the agency twice a week. In the said tweet, it links an album of the publication, “Pulis Serbis Balita,” which is available on Facebook.
While PNP-PCRG expresses that the distributed publication is not black propaganda, the article, entitled “High-powered firearm, election campaign materials ng Party List Groups, narekober sa Palawan,” claims that a high-powered firearm was retrieved alongside election campaign materials of Bayan Muna and Kabataan Party-lists in a joint operation reportedly undertaken in Rizal, Palawan, last May 3.
Specifically, it claims that various ideological works of communists were recovered.
Under Art. XXII, Sec. 261.i of the Omnibus Election Code, the intervention of public officers or employees may be considered as an election offense:
… any officer, employee, or member or the Armed Forces of the Philippines, or any police force, special forces, home defense forces, barangay self-defense units and all other para-military units that now exist or which may hereafter be organized who, directly or indirectly, intervenes in any election campaign or engages in any partisan political activity, except to vote or to preserve public order, if he is a peace officer.
DZUP is part of the fact-checking collaborative project, Tsek.ph, which is spearheaded by the UP Department of Journalism.
abbydescula19. (2019, May 13). PNP Officers, namimigay ng mga BLACK PROPAGANDA na babasahin! | Sampaloc Manila #Halalan2019 #KontraDaya [Twitter post]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/abbydesacula19/status/1127824576233099264
chantzeco. (2019, May 13). The PNP tabloid that was making rounds in Sampaloc, Manila. So obviously kinuha na ang marami pang kopya para di na kumalat pa. #KontraDaya. [Twitter post]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/chantzeco/status/1127834906023739392.
Global Police Community Relations. [GlobalPCR]. (2019, May 10). Pulis Serbis Balita Vol. III No. 13 (May 1-10, 2019) [Facebook photo album]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pg/GlobalPCR/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2297823070238954.
Kontra Daya – Metro Manila. [kontradayametromanila]. (2019, May 13). URGENT ALERT: An unidentified man distributes PNP publication contatining malicious accusations against Bayan Muna and other Makabayan Partylists inside Geronimo Elementary School in Sampalo, Manila. #KontraDaya #VoteReportPH [Facebook video]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pg/kontradayametromanila/videos/?ref=page_internal.
De Castro, Obet. (2019, May 13). [Facebook video on police officers distributing Pulis Serbis Balita]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/obet.decastro.7/posts/2322446467863099?_rdc=1&_rdr.
Commission on Elections. (1985). Article XXII. In Omnibus Election Code. Retrieved from https://www.comelec.gov.ph/?r=References/RelatedLaws/OmnibusElectionCode/OECArt22.