October 11, 2021 | 1:04 p.m.
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police on Monday warned its staff to remain apolitical and keep partisan politics out of their social media accounts, especially when representing the police organization.
In a statement, Police General Guillermo Eleazar, chief of the PNP, warned police officers against expressing their political leanings on social media, saying it would go against the non-partisan stance of the organization in politics.
“Although I encourage all police officers to exercise their suffrage right as citizens, they must remain apolitical in the exercise of their mandate as members of the PNP,” he said.
“I remind all police officers to be careful what they post on their social media accounts and to refrain from showing support or campaigning against aspiring local or national politicians,” the PNP chief said. .
Eleazar has repeatedly issued similar warnings in the run-up to the 2022 election.
PNP Social Media Guidelines
The police chief in his statement stressed PNP Memorandum Circular 2020-034 published in March of last year containing guidelines and procedures on social media content, posting and engagement using social media accounts and individual PNP staff accounts.
The note contains a ban on social media posts “which would be contrary to the interests of the PNP as an organization” and prescribes administrative sanctions against those who violate the ban.
PNP accounts are still marked today
Former PNP chiefs have pointed to the same note to discourage local police stations from applying red beacons, a practice that would not be police policy.
Social media officials at some police offices, like the one in the Quezon City Police District, received a “reminder” to be more cautious after using the official QCPD Facebook account to falsely accuse the organizers of the community pantry of links with the communist rebels. .
But even today, official PNP accounts display content linking groups of workers protesting against endo, a term coined in Filipino for “end of contract” that refers to the practice of hiring a worker for contracts that circumvent the requirement for tenure to be granted for the sixth month of service. , and galloping contracting.
Other publications also falsely link activists protesting the anti-terrorism law to the Communist Party of the Philippines, using the latter as the backdrop for allegedly anti-terrorism publications.
“I will repeat the warning to every policeman not to get involved in politics. The only thing we have to side with is the country and the people, not a personality, a politician or a party,” stressed Eleazar.