MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is going after a con artist posing on Facebook as its chief, Gen. Camilo Cascolan, and warned the public of a modus using his name.

PNP spokesperson Col. Ysmael Yu said the police zeroed-in on a cyber con artist who misrepresented Cascolan in an internet-based scam.

Using stolen identity data, the poser who was not identified, created a fake social network account with the name “Camilo P. Cascolan” on Facebook to further bolster his criminal misrepresentation and impersonation scheme.

Investigators of the PNP anti-cybercrime group (ACG) have identified the owner and creator of the fake account and have called the attention of Facebook over the fake account’s violations, particularly to facilitate criminal activity.

ACG Director, Brig. Gen. Dennis Agustin, said case-build-up operations against the suspect, who is yet to be arrested pending warrant, yielded evidence that would establish a strong case for violation of anti-cybercrime laws.

Cascolan was alerted of the poser’s activities by his friend whose nephew, a cop in Cabanatuan City, was almost duped into sending PHP10,000 via money transfer purportedly in exchange for a preferred reassignment to a choice post.

Yu warned the public not to fall for this kind of cybercrime swindling operation.

“We welcome well-meaning messages and posts on social media that assist us in reaching out to the public, but we will not allow the name of the PNP and its officials to be misused for shady activities,” Yu said.

Citing ACG records as of Sept. 17, a total of 76 persons have been charged for 113 separate cases of cybercrime-related offenses while 27 violators were arrested since March when the entire country was placed under enhanced community quarantine, Yu said.

Yu said the PNP has stepped-up anti-cybercrime operations in anticipation of a possible surge in cybercrime incidents or non-contact crime cases in areas under community quarantine where a 47 percent drop in traditional crime trend was noted.

Meantime, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año slammed leftist groups claiming that deaths from the anti-drug campaign allegedly increased during the pandemic.

Citing police statistics, he said the index crime volume nationwide went down by 46.66 percent since the start of the pandemic.

Año urged leftist groups to stop spreading false news about the alleged spike in drug war killings.

“It has never been a policy of this government and the Philippine National Police to violate human rights, much more extrajudicial killings. We will continue to prosecute anyone even law enforcement who violates those rules, violate human rights of our citizens,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

He questioned the basis and methodology used by Human Rights Watch, the group that claimed the increase in anti-drug killings, and noted that the police force has been busy with the Covid-19 response.

“The entire PNP was mobilized for Covid response, the crime rate nationwide dropped significantly, our people mostly stayed at home, curfew was implemented, the streets are relatively quiet, and now they will claim that extra-judicial killings increased?” he asked.

Contrary to previous reports that the drug war killings increased since the start of the pandemic, Año said comparative data of 183 days before and after the community quarantine shows the index crime volume dropped from 31,589 between Sept. 15, 2019, to March 16, 2020, to only 16,849 from March 17 to Sept. 15.

Based on the data from the PNP, all eight focus crimes all went down during the same period including carnapping of motor car (65.3%), robbery (61.36%), theft (60.04%), carnapping of motor vehicles (60.3%), physical injury (37.35%), homicide (24.78%), rape (24.27%) and murder (21.22%).

Of these figures, theft posted the highest volume at 10,489 while carnapping motor vehicles recorded the least incidents at 86.

“These are nothing but baseless and bloated allegations of the leftist groups and their cohorts claiming an increase on extra-judicial killings just to mislead the public and demonize the administration,” he added.

Interior spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya hailed the police force for moving several notches up in terms of Peace and Order Index Solution Efficiency from 76.34 percent to 79.20 percent in the same period.

Malaya also called for a greater sense of discipline among the Filipinos as there was a notable increase in non-index crimes particularly on violation of special laws, from 91,928 to 100,876. (PNA)

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