Malacañang on Monday defended social media monitoring as a tool for policemen to spot violators of quarantine protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a televised briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said social media monitoring is not illegal, especially if the posts were made public.
“Pinost po ‘yan eh so parang nagkaroon po ng waiver of privacy diyan kapag posted na po ang isang bagay sa social media,” Roque, a lawyer, said.
“Wala pong mali doon sa ginagawa ng pulis kung tinitignan lang nila kung ano ang mga naka-post sa social media. Hindi po iyan iligal.”
Roque also said authorities in developed countries have been using technology for law enforcement.
Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar earlier urged police commanders and their men to regularly monitor social media for violations of quarantine protocols such as mass gatherings for drinking sessions and other forms of celebration.
Eleazar said the photos and other information posted on social media could be used as evidence to warn, fine and summon the people concerned in coordination with the barangay officials concerned.
Data from the JTF COVID Shield showed that more than 365,000 people have been warned, fined and charged for violations of quarantine rules since the imposition of social distancing measures on March 17. — RSJ, GMA News