Gamboa decries fake news, fabricates photos

August 19, 2020

PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa yesterday denounced the malicious posting of photos which were being made to appear as taken in Baguio City last week although they were shot  in Makati City nearly six months ago.

Gamboa said the pictures being circulated were actually taken during a dinner tendered for him by a friend shortly after he assumed his post as the country’s 23rd PNP chief. He also noted that all persons in the photos being circulated via Facebook were not wearing face masks since there was still no COVID-19 pandemic in the country that time.

Officials said  the source of the pictures is misleading the public and is trying to add up to unfounded reports that the PNP chief had a dinner-party in Baguio City complete with a live band performance last week which already had been denied by the Department of Interior and Local Government, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, the local police chief and Gen. Gamboa himself.

“PNP Chief, Police Gen. Archi Gamboa strongly denounces the malicious posting of photos that were taken at a private event in Makati City in February 2020,” said PNP spokesman, Brigadier Gen. Bernard M. Banac.

“The PNP warns the public and purveyors of fake news from sharing such photos as there are other private individuals in the picture whose right to privacy may have been violated. We urge all persons who posted, shared and forwarded thee images in social media to immediately take these fake news down or face possible criminal charges under Republic Act 10175 or the Anti-Cybercrime Law,” Banac added.

Gen. Gamboa had denied having a party in Baguio and said he only had dinner with some friends.." "There is no truth to the allegations spreading on social media. There was no party or concert. It was a dinner that ended at 9:30 pm," he  said.

The PNP chief said he also met with Mayor Magalong, an upperclassman from the Philippine Military Academy who also serves as pandemic czar for contact tracing last Sunday to discuss the peace and order situation of the region.

Several top Cordillera police officials also met with the Chief,PNP  after quarantine rules prompted the PMA leadership and Gamboa himself to forgo with ceremonial parade for the top cop who will be retiring from the police force this coming September 2.

Magalong, a member of PMA Class 1982, in the first place would be the first to cry foul over any quarantine violations in the city, similar to the one reportedly committed last June by the group of San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora, officials said.

Baguio City police chief, Colonel Allen Rae Co described as ‘fake news’ reports that the PNP chief held a concert party and  maintained that Gen. Gamboa abided by all their health and safety protocols and had with him the requirements including a travel authority when he entered the country’s summer capital.

Gen. Gamboa said that for the record, “there were only three vehicles which is less than the PNP chief protocol; all of us went through the triage as per the city of Baguio’s regulations; and there was no party or concert. It was a dinner that ended at 9:30 p.m..”

“Social distancing was strictly followed and the food was individually catered. My contingent and I stayed at the Chief,PNP cottage at the Navy Base the whole time,” added the member of PMA ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 986.