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NBI defends summon to Chel Diokno’s client: Nothing to hide if you did nothing wrong

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By Nancy Carvajal

The National Bureau of Investigation defended the summons issued by its Cybercrime Division to several individuals, including the one who sought the help of lawyer Chel Diokno, Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) chairman.

“The bureau will only run after fake news authors, scammers and other online criminals concerning the 2019 novel coronavirus, if you are not a fake news peddler and we summoned you, then you have nothing to worry,’’according to head agent Vic Lorenzo head of the NBI-CCD.

Lorenzo also refuted Diokno’s statement on his twitter account that the agency is running after ordinary netizens to silence critics of the administration.

“It is not part of the NBI’s mandate to run after and silence critics of the government,’’ Lorenzo added.

The NBI-CCD head said the bureau recognized the benefits of social media, but stressed the need to suppress fake news being disseminated online.

“Ang general instructions kasi sa NBI is to suppress yung mga fake news that could actually lead to public disorder,’’ Lorenzo said.

Diokno, on his twitter account said, he will provide legal assistance to an ordinary citizen who has been subpoenaed by the NBI for unlawful publication and unlawful utterances in violation of Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) after posting online criticism against the government.

Lorenzo said they welcome Diokno’s help, saying it will expedite the investigation.

However, Lorenzo commented that Diokno gave no explanation on his social media posts what were the accusations against the lawyer’s client.

“It was misleading, the good lawyer could have stated in his social media account the reason why his client was being called,” Lorenzo added.

Lorenzo said that based on the number printed on the subpoena posted by Diokno, the person posted on social media allegations that the government bought an airplane worth P2 billion instead of using the money for public health care amid the growing threat of COVID-19.

“So dalawa ang personality ng kliyente niya, either he is an author of fake news or a whistleblower,’’ Lorenzo said.

“If there is truth in his accusations, we want that information so that graft charges could be filed against the government officials involved in the purchase of the plane,’’ Lorenzo added.

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