DEPARTMENT of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año vowed to go after individuals and groups who have spread – and continue to spread-- a malicious ‘meme’ on social media claiming he wants couple living together to practice ‘social distancing’ after having sex.
In a statement released by his office, Año said he has already directed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police (CIDG-PNP) to conduct the probe and file the necessary charges.
In a message to this writer, the DILG chief said he is compelled to take action “to teach them (those behind the fake news) a lesson.”
Año said he also “condemns” the use of social media as a “platform to proliferate malicious and false information.”
“There is no truth to the recent statement in circulating on social media about practicing distancing after sex,” stressed the bemedaled and highly-respected former Armed Forces chief of staff.
“We at the DILG are not inclined to make such false and malevolent claim; neither will we tolerate them,” he said, noting further that those behind the false social media post “impugn the institution’s credibility and undermine the progress we have thus far accomplished in the fight for Filipino survival (under the COVID-19 pandemic).”
“As such, we at the DILG will investigate the matter at hand and will go after the propagators of fake news with renewed intensity,” the statement further said.
The controversial post, he noted further, “changed” the original post of the DILG wherein he only called for social distancing inside residences because there is no assurance that those living together in one house are all negative from the highly-infectious virus.
Año clarified family members should practice physical distancing and wear face masks to avoid COVID-19 transmission.
“But on social media, it (caption) was changed to read, ‘after mag-sex, dapat may distancing din,” he pointed out further.
“In these troubling times, we at the DILG believe that the right step to healing and recovery is not through divisive and disparaging means. Rather, we must all put our best foot forward and unite as a nation to establish mutual trust between government and the citizenry,” the official emphasized.