MANILA – Malacañang warned Thursday that criminal charges would be lodged against people faking their identities to get identification cards (IDs) issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious disease (IATF-EID).
“Ang parusa po, well, pwede pong falsification iyan (They might face criminal case for falsification of public documents),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4.
He issued the statement, following reports that some individuals are pretending to be media practitioners to get IATF ID.
Roque said it should be clear that media practitioners are those who are raising public awareness about current events.
“Basta sila po (As long as) they impart information regularly to the public, whether or not they are paid, then they should be considered journalists,” he said.
The IATF-EID earlier issued IDs to front-liners who are allowed to leave their homes amid the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
The ECQ was imposed in the entire Luzon to combat coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), which has already infected 6,981 persons in the country.
Exempted from work stoppage during ECQ period are health workers, soldiers, policemen, media practitioners, and other persons rendering basic services.
However, some people are taking advantage of the Covid-19 crisis by selling fake quarantine passes.
On Tuesday, Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte already ordered the immediate arrest of those behind the sale of fake IDs that purportedly serve as quarantine pass amid Luzon-wide ECQ.
Under Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, people who commit unlawful acts during ECQ period will face one-year imprisonment or a fine of PHP10,000 up to PHP1 million, or both. (PNA)