MANILA, Sept 7 (Mabuhay) — Police officers can monitor social media posts for violations of quarantine protocols, Malacañang said Monday as authorities zero in on virus restriction violators.

All police commanders were earlier told to monitor social media for violations of quarantine protocols, which include drinking sessions and other forms of celebrations.

“Hindi naman po pinagbabawal ang social media monitoring so wala pong mali doon sa ginagawa ng pulis kung tinitingnan lang nila ‘yung mga naka-post sa social media,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, a former human rights lawyer, said during a Palace press briefing.

“‘Yung pagmo-monitor po hindi po iyan iligal (Monitoring is not illegal). I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that,” he added.

Virus restrictions were further eased in most parts of the country this month as the government sets its eyes on economic recovery after the country plunged into recession.

Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, chief of Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield, earlier said the police would focus on complaints sent to them online and viral posts showing quarantine violations as it lacks manpower to scour millions of social media accounts.

To allay fears of indiscriminate surveillance, the National Privacy Commission urged the police to explain its method of monitoring social media posts. (MNS)

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