By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday belied the existence of an alleged “chop-chop” syndicate targeting motorists in certain areas in the National Capital Region.

“This misinformation has been circulating since 2017, and there have been no reported incidents to date that match the description provided in the message. The details presented appear to be entirely fabricated,” PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. said in a statement.

This came following a viral social media post that warned motorists against the criminal gang which allegedly targets motorists in various areas, including Green Meadows, Valle Verde, Binondo, and C5 Road near the Bonifacio Global City.

The post also said a 30-year-old individual narrowly escaped falling victim to a scam orchestrated by persons posing as police officers.

Acorda, meanwhile, called on the public to refrain from posting unverified information which causes undue panic and fear.

While the police force acknowledges the importance of raising awareness on crime schemes, the PNP chief also urged netizens to verify the accuracy of such information before disseminating it further.

In separate statements, the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) and the Southern Police District (SPD) also urged netizens to refrain from sharing such posts.

“Hoaxes and false news have the potential to harm the reputation of individuals and institutions involved. In this case, Police Station 12 of QCPD confirms that there is no ongoing threat related to the alleged chop-chop syndicate as described in the message,” the QCPD said.

“Considering this incident, it is essential to remind the public that spreading fake news that creates panic and confusion is a criminal offense. Misinformation can have severe consequences, not only for the individuals involved but also for the wider community,” it added.

Meanwhile, the SPD said it has intensified police visibility especially in crime prone-areas.

“Public awareness is crucial, but equally important is responsible sharing of information to prevent unnecessary panic and misinformation. We encourage the public to exercise caution, verify facts, and rely on official channels for accurate and up-to-date information,” it added. (PNA)