Ghost patrols

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The Philippine National Police (PNP) has been upgrading its fleet of patrol cars to better serve the public. In 2015, it purchased more than 2,000 Mahindra patrol vehicles worth P1.89 billion for use by police stations nationwide. Unfortunately, users of the India-made patrol vehicles complained that the cars were defective and difficult to repair due to lack of spare parts.

On 29 May 2018, the PNP received better police cars: 49 Hyundai Elantra sedans and 81 Starex vans donated by the Korean National Police Agency. The police cars were deployed in Angeles, Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Davao and Baguio cities where there are Korean communities.

On Sunday, 200 police cars that President Duterte asked from China arrived in the Philippines, according to a photo post in a Facebook page of “General Bato for Senator Movement.” The French news agency Agence France Presse (AFP), however, found the post fake with PNP spokesman Benigno Durana denying there were such cars delivered to the police agency.

Another fact check by AFP confirmed the post as fake news as the posted photo of two rows of cars led by two patrolmen were traced to a YouTube video showing the unveiling on 3 April of 22 Nissan Leaf cars for use by traffic enforcers of Fukuoka City in Japan. The video is in Japanese.

Other posts in the Facebook page supporting the senatorial run of former PNP and Bureau of Corrections Chief Ronald de la Rosa were also fake news. The page may have been created to mock De la Rosa and the Duterte administration or hype awareness on the senatorial aspirant to help him win in the midterm elections next year. It can achieve either purpose, except curbing crime. Non-existent police cars can be of no use but for fighting ghost criminals.

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