THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has started its investigation to determine what caused people to swamp vaccination centers in Metro Manila.

PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the probe hopes to uncover individuals who could have started the disinformation that pushed people to flock to jab sites.

"We are already looking into this and part of it is to trace the identity of the source of disinformation on vaccination being circulated on social media and text messages," Eleazar said in a statement on Sunday.

He said the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Anti-Cybercrime Group will conduct the investigation.

"We will see if there was really someone instigating this kind of sabotage because this has been damaging the programs of the concerned units," Eleazar said.

He pointed out the PNP has not received any order to prevent unvaccinated people from going outside their homes.

As for the cash aid program of the government during the pandemic, Eleazar said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año had given assurances that qualified beneficiaries, regardless of their vaccination status, will receive cash assistance.

There were reports that thousands descended on vaccination centers last week because of news that those without jabs will either not be given cash aid or not allowed to go out.

Eleazar urged the public to verify news with their respective local government units or concerned agencies.

"Many are taking advantage of the pandemic [by] spreading wrong information to cause commotion that is why it's important for us to be critical with what we are seeing," he explained.

Malacañang was the first to dispel rumors about the restrictions for unvaccinated individuals and said the blame should not be placed on President Rodrigo Duterte who, on July 29, ordered authorities, especially the police, to escort back to their homes unvaccinated persons for being Covid-19 "spreaders."

On Sunday, Eleazar visited the vaccination site at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. He joined Brig. Gen. Antonio Yarra, the district chief of the Quezon City police, inspecting one of the largest vaccination centers in Metro Manila.

The police chief said he made the visit after false information again spread on social media that walk-in appointments will be allowed.

Quezon City Mayor Maria Josefina Tanya "Joy" Belmonte denied the report.