Philippine Daily Inquirer

Prank texts, spam flood NCRPO hotline

Only 7 percent were ‘actionable’ messages that led to police operations

- By Matthew Reysio-Cruz @MatthewINQ

The official hotline of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) was flooded over the weekend with prank texts, spam and congratula­tory messages after its launching onFriday.

As of 3 a.m. on Sunday, the data from the NCRPO showed that 998 or 49 percent of the 2,054 texts sent to the hotline were “Prank/Spam SMS.” Not far behind were 874 texts from “citizens giving thanks and greeting us for [opening the] hotline” which accounted for 43 percent of the total.

38 ‘outsider’ texts

Only 7 percent or 144 texts were considered “actionable,” while the remaining 38 messages were requests from regions outside of Metro Manila. These were forwarded to the Philippine National Police headquarte­rs at Camp Crame.

Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, NCRPO director, told the Inquirer onSunday that so far, he was pleased with the reception to the hotline as informatio­n from actionable texts—which ranged from illegal drugs, illegal gambling and police scalawags—led to successful police operations less than 36 hours later.

“It shows we are really dead serious [about] this effort,” said Eleazar, referring to two drug busts in Pasig and Valenzuela City and an antigambli­ng operation, also in Pasig.

Eleazar clarified that he was not sure what kind of prank texts were sent to the hotline which was being constantly monitored by at least two policemen. He added, however, that they had received a lot of texts from advertiser­s trying to sell various products.

Texts from well-wishers

While other actionable texts were still under validation, Eleazar said he was hopeful that the 874 well-wishers who lauded the launching of the hotline would also be sending useful tips soon.

“We will also let the public know the results of the actions taken from informatio­n sent to the hotline to encourage them to continuous­ly report,” he added.

He called on residents of Metro Manila to also use the hotline’s multiple platforms—including Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram, Line and WeChat—by sending photos and videos in addition to texts.

 ?? —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA ?? SWAMPED The hotline has gotten 2,054 texts in over two days.
—NIÑO JESUS ORBETA SWAMPED The hotline has gotten 2,054 texts in over two days.

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