PNP probing PH-based website link to El Paso shooting suspect

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

August 7, 2019, 9:48 am

<p>PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde. <em>(File photo)</em></p>

PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde. (File photo)

MANILA -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) has ordered its Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) to conduct a probe on a Philippines-based website that is being linked to a mass shooting in the United States that left more than 20 people dead.

“I already got information on this. I asked the PNP’s ACG to verify it already and monitor the website,” PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde told reporters when sought for a comment on Tuesday.

The website 8chan, which allegedly posts racist posts and commentaries, is reportedly owned and maintained by an American who has been living in the Philippines for more than a decade now.

It is being linked to the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas as the site allegedly allows posting of racists commentaries that may spur a person to carry out attacks.

Albayalde said part of the verification is to come up with all the technical details on how the website is being run for proper action.

For instance, the probe would start with the identification of the service providers in order for the police to write a formal letter to the owner and operator of the website.

Albayalde said he also expects the ACG to come up with all the details regarding 8chan's operation in the Philippines.

“It will depend on what we would see, of course on who are the connections. It’s really up on what we could dig there especially that it is traced to be here (Philippines),” he explained.

“We have to conduct verification and intelligence buildup,” he added.

He also assured that strict gun control measures are in place to prevent incidents such as mass shootings.

“Hopefully, these (mass shootings) won't happen here. We have a License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF) now. The reason why we don't have that here is probably because they undergo neuropsychiatric test and there are certain requirements. There are documents that need to be submitted. You even need to undergo firearms training,” Albayalde told reporters.

On Saturday (US time), more than 20 people were killed when a 21-year old gunman opened fire on a Walmart supermarket in El, Paso, Texas.

The gunman was reportedly a white supremacist who reportedly expressed his anger against immigrants, especially Latin Americans.

A few hours later, another mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio left nine people dead. (PNA)